Are you one of the millions who is facing a debt crisis in January? It's always a difficult month and in 2017 even more people will have problems because credit card, loan and catalogue debt has been rising fast. Personal debt has grown by over 10% in a year and it's now at the highest level since the 2008 crash. When debt goes up faster than incomes, more people will have difficulty repaying … [Read more...]
Articles about credit cards
Credit cards can be really useful but they can also be dangerous - if you just hand over that piece of plastic it can be too easy to run up bills which will take you many years to clear. So how can you make the best use of them? The articles here look at
make sure you get the benefits - practical steps you can take so that the banks don't make huge profits from you;
what's new and whats changing with credit cards in Britain?
too much credit card debt - how can you tackle it fast?
Have you had a catalogue or a credit card where you were given a high credit limit? So high that the minimum repayments were hard to manage without borrowing more? Many people were originally given sensible limits, but the lender kept increasing them. Thousands of people got refunds from payday loan complaints in 2016, see How to get a payday loan refund for more information. Some people have … [Read more...]
A reader asked: "I've seen advice to improve my credit rating after a Debt Management Plan by getting a "bad credit card" and repaying it in full every month. Would it be a good idea to get two of these cards? I don't want to borrow any money, just to get a better credit score." This is a good question! Let's start off by looking at why getting a bad credit card such as Vanquis is often … [Read more...]
The deals available on 0% balance transfer cards got better - longer and cheaper - throughout 2016. Now in February 2017 you can get a 43 month deal if you pay a hefty fee or you can get a 26 month deal with no fee at all. If you have a good credit rating, there has never been a better time to refinance that expensive credit card debt. In contrast,there are now a lot fewer cash back offers … [Read more...]
There are several "bad credit" cards in Britain, including Vanquis, Aqua,and Luma. The cards are aimed at people who get turned down for a normal credit card or loan promising: access to credit you need but can't get; and helping you to improve your credit score. In July 2016, the FCA (the credit card regulator) published research showing that a quarter of these cards that were taken … [Read more...]
If you are making the minimum payment to a credit card it will probably feel as though you are only paying interest and the balance isn't going down. You aren't alone - in July 2016 new research found that over 1.4 million people in Britain have been making minimum payments for three years or more. If you are caught in this minimum payment trap, what can you do? Of course it would be best to … [Read more...]
In 2016 there is a lot of competition to get the top spot in the credit card best buy tables. At the moment (August 2016) Virgin is top of the "longest deal" table with 41 months at 0% for a 4% fee. Tesco has a 24 months 0% offer with no fee at all. You can see the current "best buys" for balance transfers here - if you know you can clear the balance soon, then look for a zero or very low fee … [Read more...]
Over the last couple of weeks Barclaycard have been writing to their customers explaining that they are changing the way they will be setting interest rates. Here is the start of the email I received: The changes they are making At the moment, everyone with a Barclaycard has an standard interest rate for purchases and a different interest rate if you withdraw cash - you may also have a … [Read more...]
Yesterday the FCA issued an interim report for its Credit Card Market Study. It feels the overall market is working well however it is worried about the number of people who appear to be just above the default level: around 2 million people have "persistent levels of debt", normally using 90%+ of their credit limit, suggesting that they may be struggling to repay; another 1.6 million … [Read more...]
I've got a Barclaycard, so I was interested in the news of a new facility they sent me: the Barclaycard Purchase Plan. This offers a 0% deal on a single new purchase for an up-front fee, all run as part of your normal credit card account. Launched in summer 2015 I've found out a bit more about how it works and there are a couple of things to be be careful about. Setting up a Purchase … [Read more...]