Credit card stress-buster
Got the blues about your plastic? Don't panic
It's not unusual to worry about money early in the year. The festive period puts a dent in many people's pockets and dealing with the fallout can often
make us fret.
But our guide to getting organised with your credit cards should help to ease your anxiety. Stop using your cards the wrong way and potentially save
hundreds of pounds. Start spending the right way and you won't need to panic about credit card debt again.
House of cards
One major mistake a million Brits have admitted to in the last 12 months, for example, is paying for their housing costs with their credit card, according
to homelessness charity, Shelter.
By using your plastic to juggle debts and cover your mortgage repayments you are potentially storing up huge problems - in extreme cases your credit
card company could force a sale of your property to recover their debt.
You are far better off approaching your mortgage lender as soon as you think you could have problems meeting your monthly commitments.They may
agree a temporary reduction in your payments until you get back on track financially. But you must get in touch at the first sign of trouble - don't use
your credit card to mask the problem.
Avoid other costly mistakes and save money by following our top credit card dos and don'ts:
DOâ€¦ Transfer your balance to a 0% credit card. Languishing on your provider's APR is an expensive way to borrow - and it's not necessary. Virgin
Money's Credit Card offers interest-free credit for 16 months on balances transferred and MBNA's Platinum Credit Card gives you 13 months at 0%.
Switch a Â£4,000 balance to MBNA and save a massive Â£550 by the end of the introductory period compared to paying a typical APR of 17.9%
(making the 2.5% minimum monthly payment).
DON'Tâ€¦ Use your credit card for cash withdrawals. You will usually be charged a high rate of interest, and it's calculated from the day you take
money out, unlike the typical 50 days' grace when you use your plastic for purchase