A transfer worth thinking about
As a nation that likes a credit card or ten, it is a safe bet that many Britons choose to pay just the minimum repayment necessary each month, barely making a dent in the figure they owe.Granted, this...
Granted, this approach will work for some, especially those who have fallen into the trap of building up levels of debt that are impossible to reduce in large chunks. Sometimes a period of small repayments is necessary for individuals to get back on their feet and get themselves in a position to sort their finances out.
However, many of us are guilty of simply being happy to pay off as little as we can get away with or simply forgetting about our credit cards altogether.
Because of this, it is estimated that borrowers in the UK will pay back some £9 billion in unnecessary credit card repayments in 2009 – a figure that would make Roman Abramovich blush.
Billions could be shaved off that amount if more credit card holders considered a 0% balance transfer. There are many such options in the market, with the opportunity on offer to avoid paying interest on current credit card debts for up to 16 months.
As transfers go, that’s more Fernando Torres to Liverpool than Sol Campbell to Notts County.
Consumers should be aware that there is typically a charge of around 3% of the outstanding balance when switching, which could be quite significant depending on the debt. A high rate of interest is also likely to be implemented after the 0% period as well.
Those looking to continue spending might be better off looking at a credit card that offers low rates on future purchases.
However, as a means of clearing credit card debt in an economic fashion within a set timeframe, a 0% balance transfer credit card stands out as the best option.
To illustrate this, by paying the minimum amount on some cards, you face over a decade of repayments, even for relatively small amounts. You may also find that you will pay more than double your actual borrowings when your payment plan eventually finishes.
To reap the benefits, a strict payment plan must be devised and rigidly upheld, ensuring the debt is cleared before the 0% period ends.
It may be challenging but doing so means your debt will be reduced in a far shorter period of time and your repayments will reflect what you actually owe, rather than what banks want to charge you in interest.
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