CHESTER, England, January 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Save over £700 by moving to a zero per cent deal*
- Taking advantage of low rate offers can save hundreds of pounds
As consumers face up to the cost of Christmas with many having used their credit cards to fund the festivities, now is the time to focus on consolidating and clearing those debts in the smartest and quickest way possible, according to MoneySupermarket.com.
Credit cardholders who cannot afford to repay this debt this month should look to transfer their Christmas balance to a new zero per cent balance transfer card, and think carefully about how to budget throughout the year in order to pay off the debt quickly.
Tim Moss, head of loans and debt at MoneySupermarket, said: "Following the festive season, many consumers will be facing hefty credit card bills which will be landing on the doormat over the next few weeks. The best way to tackle these debts is to be savvy and move to a cheaper deal. Moving existing credit card debt onto a zero per cent deal could save Brits a tidy sum of money, but they also need to consider how much realistically they are able to repay every month in order to find an appropriate product for their situation.
"People should also be aware even if they are accepted for a good product now, there is no guarantee this will be the case in a year's time, so careful planning is required to ensure credit card debts are cleared in the most efficient way possible. "
For those looking to switch credit cards, MoneySupermarket offers the following top tips:
- Check your credit rating - make sure you have a good credit rating before applying for a credit card to avoid rejection or being offered higher rates than expected. Be warned that even a good credit rating may not guarantee card acceptance.
- Realistically plan your budget to pay off your debts - if you are looking to switch your debt to a zero per cent deal then aim to pay it off before the balance transfer period ends, and ensure you can afford the monthly repayments to clear the debt. Moving £3,000 to the market leading 24 month balance transfer card from Barclaycard would save £702 in interest* by repaying £125 per month over the 24 months interest free period.
- Check the small print for transfer fees as many providers charge a fee when moving onto a zero per cent credit card e.g. Halifax charges 3.5 per cent on its Balance Transfer credit card.
- Switch to a low rate card - If you cannot afford to repay a debt on a zero per cent card within the zero per cent period then consider switching to a low rate credit card. Switching £3,000 to the market leading low rate credit card from Sainsbury's at 6.9 per cent and repaying £150 per month would take 22 months to clear the balance and save £444 in interest**.
- Anyone looking to switch a credit card debt should check whether they are allowed to transfer their balance to a new provider. Some providers prevent the transfer of existing debt to other cards within the group. For example cardholders cannot transfer a balance from a Sainsbury's credit card to a another HBOS issued card, or Virgin credit card balances to another card issued by MBNA.
- Even if you are accepted for a new deal, the credit limit you receive may not cover the entire balance you want to switch. If this is the case, then transfer as much as you can and then focus on paying off the remaining balance on your old card as quickly as possible while maintaining minimum repayments on the new one.
- If you are unable to move your Christmas debt, then aim to pay off the balance as quickly as possible. Paying off £150 a month on a £3,000 balance on a card with an average rate of 18.41 per cent would take two years.
- For those unable to find a new card deal it may be worth considering a personal loan. A loan allows consumers to make fixed repayments over a set period of time which is ideal for anyone looking to budget. Many new loans are only available to existing current account customers but take the time to shop around to make sure you are getting a good deal.
- If you are unable to switch to a cheaper deal and cannot afford to service your existing debts then look at alternative ways of paying them off. Review all of your outgoings and try to free some cash which can then be used to pay off debts. Concentrate on repaying the debt with the most expensive interest rate first as this is likely to be costing the most.
- Don't bury your head in the sand. If your debts are unmanageable then seek immediate help from one of the free debt advice services such as Citizen's Advice or The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) who will be able offer help and advice.
Notes to Editors:
* Compared to making a £125 monthly repayment on a credit card with a balance of £3,000 with an industry average APR of 18.41per cent
** Compared to making a £150 monthly repayment on a credit card with a balance of £3,000 with an industry average APR of 18.41 per cent
MoneySupermarket.com's customer commitment
- No other site compares more prices or products
- We are independent so only find the best deals for you
- The price you see is the price you pay - you don't need to go direct and you won't get a better deal doing so
- Your details are safe with us and we won't sell them to anybody
MoneySupermarket.com compares (at 24th November 2011)
- 102 car insurance providers and 79 home insurance providers
- 11 broadband providers and 17 energy providers
- 29 unsecured loan and 5 secured loan providers
- 62 mortgage lenders and 27 credit card providers
- 70 savings providers and 35 current account providers.
- Over 935,000 mobile phone deals
We promise to be clear and impartial
- All the products in our full search results tables are displayed in a completely unbiased manner.
- We don't add fees or commissions on to the prices we compare.
- There may be times when another site compares more companies than us on a particular product, perhaps because of market changes or technical issues. You'll be able to see this and know we are working hard to fix it.
We promise to be trustworthy
- We never use your data to make unwanted sales calls or send you spam.
- We never pass your personal information to third parties unless you give us permission to do so.
- Even if you choose to receive additional information from us, you can opt out at any time.
- We promise to be supportive.
- You can use our community forum to get information and help from other customers.
If you need further help or support, you can contact our sales advisors, customer services agents.
For further information, please contact:
PR Manager (Financial Services)