Think before using credit cards
In a society where the latest tablet PC sells like hot cakes, it’s unsurprising that many people are getting into debt without even realising it. Whether you’re struggling to pay the bills or can’t seem to control your spending, being in the red is becoming an increasingly common issue.
Although debt worries might feel like being under a never-ending rain cloud, there are ways you can turn things around. To bring about a change, or to simply avoid the dreaded overdraft, we chatted with our friends at MyVoucherCodes to come up with some handy hints and tips on saving money this spring. Continue reading »
posted by James in Budgeting
Credit card debt is on the decline.
Over the past two years we’ve seen a decrease in the number of clients coming to us needing help with credit card debts.
But if you think you’re spending too much on a credit card, or are already in debt management, how can you avoid getting into further debt?
Make sure you do the right thing
We regularly hear from people who have buried their head in the sand and let their debt situation spiral out of control. This can be due to having too many payday loans, spending too much on credit cards or any number of other reasons.
From the release of our 2011 Statistics Yearbook last month we already know that 45% of people wait over a year before asking for debt help. It seems as though people try and exhaust all possible options before admitting that they need debt help.
So what are these other options? And more importantly, what are the consequences of not getting advice from a free and impartial charity like us?
Continue reading »
posted by Chris in Budgeting
(Please note: this article is fictitious)
I had known Miss Lucy Ryan for over 5 years. We were first introduced around Christmas time in 2005. She was a pleasant, sanguine lady; in her mid-40s I think. She was a typical ‘happy-go-lucky’ type. People loved to be around her. As did I.
She was ecstatic to see me at last, that I remember quite vividly, but not nearly as happy as she was to see me leave many years later. You see, Lucy had been expecting me that winter morning, and waiting for this day for some time. Our meeting had been pre-arranged for us so all that was left to do was for me to show up on time. And that I did, feeling like a million dollars. I wasn’t old then, you see.
Continue reading »
Buy now… pay until 2027
Doesn’t it seem as though Christmas comes round quicker every year? No sooner have you taken down the decorations than it feels like you’re dragging them back down from the loft again!
So the plans you made to put aside a little each month for the festivities has been swallowed up by those essentials that just keep cropping up.
Research from moneysupermarket.com reveals that over half of Brits (53%) are worried about funding Christmas this year, an increase on last year when 45% were worried.
Once again, you are depending on your ‘plastic friend’ and whipping out the credit card to fund the cost of Christmas.
But do you realise that if you spent £500 on using your credit card last Christmas and you only made minimum payments*, it could take you until 2027 to clear the balance? Or if you upped your payment by £10 a month that you’d only finish paying off the debts when the Olympics roll into London in mid-2012?
But of course by then you could be paying off the credit card bills for this Christmas and next Christmas as well, putting your repayment date back by years.
To put this in a wider context, Credit Action report that the Association of Business Recovery Professionals estimated that almost a third (31%) of personal insolvencies that occurred in March this year were triggered by overspending during the festive season (PDF, page 3).
So before you splash the cash make sure you can afford to clear it within a reasonable timescale by making much more than the minimum payments. Of course the best practice if you use a credit card is to pay back in full each month.
This minimum repayment calculator will help you to work out the true cost of Christmas on a credit card.
*Using the average credit card APR of 18.5%