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Yes. Direct Debits dramatically reduce the risk of you failing to make payments and stop your balances accumulating. you can set your Direct Debit as a fixed monthly amount, for example, or to wipe out any outstanding balance.
Yes. Credit card rules include making the “minimum repayment” amount each month. Failing to do so could result in any special introductory offer being removed, additional fees being charged or your balance moved onto a different, more expensive card. Failing to make a payment will also leave a mark on your credit file that will make it harder to get credit - and if you do, mean you will pay more for the borrowing.
The minimum repayment is the sum of any interest and charges accrued during the previous month, plus the higher of 1% of your outstanding balance or a figure determined by the provider (usually, a little more than 1%). Most providers will also have a monetary minimum repayment and if so, the minimum repayment will be the higher of the two.
The big issue with minimum repayments is that as the balance reduces, so does your monthly repayment, extending the time that you are in debt and therefore the amount of interest you will pay to your card issuer. This isn’t to say that minimum repayments aren’t useful - they can be if used sparingly to get you over a spending hump, such as Christmas. However, repeatedly making minimum repayments will leave a mark on your credit file and may also be seen negatively by lenders if you wish to borrow again.
This depends on your circumstances, but ideally you should always avoid paying interest and pay off as much of the balance as you can afford.
Beyond making the minimum repayment, it's always sensible to pay off the most expensive (card with the highest rate) first.
Card providers will use the information on your credit file, information that they already hold about you and the information on your form to determine whether they will lend to you. There are a number of key factors, so getting these in order is worthwhile before you apply:
Ensure you're on the electoral roll
If you have a lot of open credit cards, close a few of them
Try to avoid having too much debt as a percentage of either your salary or your available debt
Be consistent and honest on any applications (providers can check and estimate details)
If you have a good credit history, It may be as simple as the card issuer will not allow you to have more than one card on their files.
If you're in a position where you cannot afford to pay the minimum repayments, then you may wish to speak your provider about how to manage this. You could also contact a debt charity for help, such as Turn2us (Turn2us.org.uk), StepChange (stepchange.org) or Citizens Advice Bureau (citizensadvice.org.uk).
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, the annualised amount of Interest you will be charged as a percentage, rather than just a monthly fee. Ordinarily, an APR will only include the interest charges, but not any other fees and charges.
To level the playing field and allow you to easily compare products, the Representative APR includes those charges and the representative example will use an assumed borrowing figure of £1,200.
Not necessarily. Typically, only around 51% of accepted applicants receive the advertised offer. This means that, in theory, 49% of people could get a shorter introductory period and/or a different Representative APR (usually higher).
Whether you get the headline offer will depend on how the lender views you, using a combination of the information you provide and on your credit file.
As soon as you get any form of credit, a credit file will be opened on you by the credit reference agencies - Experian, TransUnion (formally Call Credit) and Equifax. In theory, all agencies should hold the same data on your file, but data doesn’t always flow through correctly, so the information they hold about you may be slightly different.
The CRAs interpret this data using their own algorithms and can present that back to you as a “credit score”. However, this score is merely their evaluation of the information and is not something that is used directly by lenders.
Knowing where you sit on the credit score spectrum is useful. It can help you to understand how you’re likely to be viewed by most lenders. Typically, the higher your credit score the more likely you are to get the headline offer, if you are accepted when you apply for a particular product.
Not necessarily. Each time you apply for a credit card will leave a mark on your credit file, but the occasional application is unlikely (subject to a few caveats) to make much of an impact.
However, if you apply for a number of credit products in quick succession, this may be seen as a sign of debt stress and that may raise red flags with lenders.
To avoid this, where possible always use an eligibility checker before making your application.
Yes - but provided you meet the lenders minimum income requirements - only indirectly. All lenders consider how affordable the debt or potential debt will be for you. To do this, they typically use third party data to calculate your living costs - including the costs of your existing debt - to work out your disposable income. The more disposable income you have the bigger the credit limit you are likely to get.
If you have an average credit score with a few blemishes on it, but significant disposable income, you may be accepted for products with a reasonable credit limit. However, you're less likely to get the headline rate than someone in a similar position with an unblemished credit file.
There isn’t a definitive answer. This depends on your particular circumstances and each lender has its own rules.
However, if you think about this from a lender's perspective, you will likely make the right decision.
For example, let's say you've had a card for many years and slowly accumulated a balance, which you then transfer. Financial stability and account age is perceived as a positive, so leaving that card account open may be a good thing to do.
However, if you have 10 credit card accounts that haven’t been open for long, but cumulatively add up to a large credit limit, then closing a few of these is likely to be helpful as when you apply for future credit. The new lender will be able to see how many credit accounts you have, how many are in regular use and your cumulative credit limit.
If a lender judges that the cost of your existing credit card debt exceeds a certain percentage of your disposable income, they may reject you.
If you are sure you will pay off your credit card in full each month then a reward, cashback or airline card will probably provide the best value. Be careful though, as the cards offering the best rewards may also charge the highest rate, so if you don’t pay them off any rewards will be quickly eroded. If you want to make purchases beyond your monthly budget, a purchases card with an introductory 0% interest period will give you up to 2 years to pay off the debt without paying any additional charges. If you've already built up a debt on a credit card, a balance transfer card with an introductory 0% period will allow you to cut the cost of your borrowing. However, the longest 0% deals have an upfront fee. If you have built up a balance, it is usually best to cut up the card after transferring to avoid any temptation to rack up more debt. If you have an overdraft or another expensive debt, a money transfer card will allow you to move money from your credit card to your current account to pay this off. It's a card that transfers money into your bank account. You typically borrow at 0% for a period, but pay a fee.
If you are accepted and the card issuer is confident there is no risk of fraud, some providers will provide a virtual card, so you can start spending immediately.
Otherwise, applications normally take a few days to a week. That's assuming that the lender doesn't require any further documentation from you.
All credit cards provide you with at least a month of interest-free credit, allowing you to delay payments until you get paid or leave money in savings for this period.
Credit cards provide you with "Section 75" protection under the Consumer Credit Act. This means that the card provider will be jointly liable for any issues you have with products and services purchased with your card. So you may be able to claim back from your card provider or ask them to negotiate with the supplier on your behalf for any breach of contract of misrepresentation.
Assuming you don't go over your credit limit, repay your card balance each month and build up a steady credit history, having a credit card should enhance your credit score. This may give you access to cheaper credit in the future, and make it easier when applying for mortgages.
We have a credit cards data feed from the data specialists defaqto. They provide us with over 100 daily updated data items that we use to compile or Credit Card listings on Everything Financial.
Defaqto have a team dedicated to ensuring the information that they provide to us and others is accurate. However, it is your responsibility to check the details of any products and services on the Provider’s site before you apply
Getting data from defaqto, running servers and employing a team to run the website costs money. So, like almost all other comparison sites we list the best “affiliated” links first for each credit card type and then the unaffiliated links after this.
How have you calculated the cost of borrowing on balance/money transfers To provide an indicative understanding of which card may be best for you, we have provided the following calculation:
Balance: £3000 + (any upfront fee) Monthly repayment: £110 (less interest accrued in the previous month)
This calculation assumes that you will not do any other spending on the card. To help yourself avoid the temptation of spending on your new card, you may want to consider taking the scissors to it straight away!
If you are unsure which card is going to be best for you, a quick way to estimate this is to divide the total balance by the amount you can afford to repay each month, if it is more than less than 24 months, a fee free card will probably be cheapest and if it is more than 34 months, then you will almost certainly be best off with the longest possibe balance transfer with a fee.
We aim to include all the credit cards in the defaqto data feed, but will not include any that are missing key regulatorily required information such as the Representative APR.
When analysing the data to compile our listings we could see that there were only a small number of providers offering a number of very bad credit / credit builder products. To make comparison easier for you, we determined that consolidating the into one listing per provider would be easier.
Defaqto have a set of criteria that they use to determine how good or otherwise different credit cards are, by rating all the different features and costs. A 1 star product, isn’t necessarily a bad product, merely a limited product.
You can see all every credit card's defaqto rating on the main credit card page and can filter the results to more easily see features of interest to you.
However, when deciding which is the best card for a particular purpose, an aggregate score of all the card's features is not as relevant. We have therefore changed the information displayed to allow you to compare that type of credit card more easily.
We are everything financial and the website you are on is a free, online comparison service. We exist to make finding a financial product or financial advice easier.