Tag Archives: credit card

Home improvement: can it pay off?

Is improving your home worth it

We’re a nation of DIY lovers, aren’t we? Home improvement can be a double winner, as not only can it make your house into a home, it could also make it a more profitable asset for you.

And a lot of us think that now. An amazing 91% of homeowners think their house value has increased since they bought it, and by an average of £33,125, according to recent research from Co-op Insurance.

The research also showed that homeowners believe that renovation and decorative works they’ve carried out has led to an average £14,900 increase in property value.

But doing your homework before starting, working out exactly how you’re going to pay for the improvements, is important too.

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How often do you use your credit card?

Credit cardsIn January we asked our Twitter audience how often they use your credit card, and over 3500 of you replied.*

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

Credit card jargon buster – 10 top terms

Credit cardsEver wondered what some of the key credit card terms really mean? Here are our top ten.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
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6 last-minute holiday money-saving tips

Did you know that this is the week there are the most online searches for holiday money?

According to Google Trends*, in 2015 there were 100,000 online searches for holiday money in the week ending 4 July, higher than at any other time in the year.

Before you go on holiday this summer, it’s worth remembering that there are many ways you could cut costs before you’ve even touched down.

  • Waiting until you get to the airport to make essential purchases makes you a captive customer – you’ve literally got nowhere else to go, so you’re likely to pay a premium for exchange rate and small items. So get your pounds to euro, pounds to dollar sorted out in advance, get your sun cream & toothpaste from pound shops, and book your airport parking as soon as you know your flight times – and you might save a packet.

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What to do about missed or late payments

Missing a credit repayment can happen to everyone – but don’t be tempted to skip or delay your monthly repayments.

Late or missed repayments stay on your credit report for at least six years, so it’s not hard to see how important it is to stay on the right side of repayments. Your credit report can show you if you’ve missed some payments on cards or loans you have.

What happens with missed or late payments?

If you apply for new credit, and lenders see late or missed payments on credit agreements with other lenders, they may be concerned that you will miss payments to them too.

Late or missed payments in the past six years are likely to impact your credit score, meaning that any credit you do apply for and manage to get might cost you more money.

Watch video: What happens if I miss a credit card payment?

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