Over half of those who responded (53%) said they use their credit card at least once a week – with over one in four (27%) saying they use it every day. Just over one in five (21%) said they use it monthly, while just over one in four said ‘other’.
We also asked How much of your credit card balance do you pay off every month?**
41% said they pay off the full balance of the card , while 18% told us they make sure they pay the minimum payment. A further 29% said they pay only what they can afford.
Finally, we asked What’s your priority when deciding to switch or compare cards***. 43% told us that reducing the interest they pay was the biggest priority, while 32% said that it depended on which rewards and benefits were available.
A wide range of responses such as this could mean that different credit cards may suit different people. Think about what you actually want a credit card for. Is it for doing the weekly shop? Making a large purchase? Or paying off a current debt at a better rate? Continue reading →
The Office For National Statistics estimates that a basket of goods and services that cost £100 in December 2015 would have cost £101.60 in December 2016. They put the rise down to “Price movements for the majority of the broad groups of goods and services.”
It’s no surprise that gym memberships rocket in January. Resolutions to shed the pounds in the new year are not uncommon, and gyms and fitness centres know full well that a high number of new members will find it hard to keep up their commitment beyond the end of the month, let alone the full year.
Even with introductory offers, gym membership can still be costly if you’re committed for a year upfront and are loathe to cancel.
Besides gym membership, it might be satellite TV channels you never watch. An extended warranty you didn’t really need to buy. It can all add up! A budget calculator may help you work out if you could live without it.
Would a missed gym membership payment affect my credit report?
Neil Stone from our Social support team says: We’ve recently been contacted by a worried customer who was being chased by a debt collection agency over a missed gym membership payment and were concerned that it would impact their credit report. Continue reading →
Travelling by train to work hasn’t been a lot of fun for many of us so far this year, with industrial action, service problems and fare increases in many places all over the country.
The fare rises in the first week of January 2017 saw a nationwide average increase of 2.3%, with increases of 4.9% on some routes, such as the East Coast main line. In Britain as a whole, it is the highest fare rise since January 2014, when rail fares increased by 2.8 per cent.
Ever wondered what some of the key credit card terms really mean? Here are our top ten.
APR - The annual percentage rate is the price you pay each year for money you’ve borrowed, including interest and fees. The representative APR is an advertised rate that a minimum percentage of customers will pay, usually 51% of those accepted. If you’re not given the advertised rate, you’ll get a personal APR.
Balance Transfer – This is when you choose to move credit card debt you already have to a lower or 0% interest credit card balance, usually for a transfer fee. With a 0% balance transfer deal you can potentially give yourself longer to pay off an existing credit card debt, without having to pay interest. This is as long as you make the minimum monthly payment and stick to any other Ts and Cs. More about balance transfer cards here
To get 2017 off to a bright new start and set yourself some achievable financial goals, we asked some of our favourite finance and budgeting bloggers to tell us their best tips for how to budget for the year ahead.
Francesca from the super From Pennies To Pounds blog said: “Make sure you allow yourself some wriggle room in your budget for some fun things as this will make you much more likely to stick to your budget.”
These no-frills cards are aimed at people who need to help build their credit history. They often have low credit limits to start with and a high APR, but paying off the bill each month can help show lenders that you’re reliable. Applying for too many cards at once can hurt your credit score even more, so it’s an idea to choose a credit card you’re more likely to get, and one that suits your needs best.
It is quite common now to move credit card debt to another card to help give yourself more time to pay it off at a cheaper rate.
A balance transfer is when you choose to move your credit card debt to another card with a lower or 0% interest rate.
How do they work?
With a 0% balance transfer credit cardyou can potentially give yourself longer to pay off an existing credit card debt, without having to pay interest. Some 0% rates last for 3 months, some for up to 24 months, one or two even longer.
It can work almost like an interest-free loan, but only if you make sure you plan well and pay it back within the period of the 0% promotional rate, and as long as you make the minimum monthly payment, and stick to any other terms and conditions the card might have. If you don’t make the minimum monthly payment, or you miss the pay date entirely, you run the risk of losing the promotional 0% deal as well.
Here we take a look back at 2016 and some of the more significant things that may have affected our finances.
January We focused on our Millennial Me report, which found that 45% of Millennials manage to save at least a quarter of their disposable income each month, compared to just a third (34%) of 35-54 year olds.
February With a busy year of voting ahead, we focused on National Voter Registration Drive (1-7 Feb), which not only encourages young people to register to vote to increase their voice, but also to help boost their credit profile – as lenders use the information on your credit report to help confirm your identity which could help you when you apply for credit.
March March saw George Osborne’s final Budget as chancellor (though he didn’t know it at the time) , and the main points we focused on included changes to the personal allowance, spending cuts, changes to savings and infrastructure projects.