Wish you could afford a holiday in the sun? A few simple economies may help you do just that. For example, increasing your credit card repayments instead of buying a weekly family take-away will provide enough money in one year to take the family abroad for a two-week break1, according to www.moneybasics.co.uk.
The independent website, a partnership between GE Money and charities, Credit Action and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, has launched a fully interactive credit card calculator to show consumers just how much they could save by increasing their monthly repayments.
The calculator is really easy to use, and allows credit card users to see the total cost of borrowing if they increase or decrease repayments, miss a payment or go over their balance.
Chris Tapp, deputy director at Credit Action, comments: “Credit cards are really useful for spreading payments, as well as shopping online and abroad. However, they can become a plastic pain in the wallet if people don’t manage their repayments or think about the most sensible way to use them.”
www.moneybasics.co.uk offers the following suggestions to help consumers make the most of their credit cards:
• Before you sign up for any credit card make sure you ask yourself whether you really need it, or whether you are likely to use it simply to purchase items that you want, but can not really afford.
• If you decide that you do need to get a credit card then use a price comparison website to make sure you are getting the best deal. Using a credit card calculator – like the one recently launched on www.moneybasics.co.uk – is also really useful to make sure you understand the real cost of any card.
• Make sure you only spend on your credit card when you know that you can afford to pay off the balance in full the next month. Always aim to pay more than the minimum amount.
• Buying essentials or paying bills using a credit card is a real warning sign that you either need to change your financial behaviour or seek help. If you find yourself in this situation then make sure you get free and independent advice.
For further information:
Chris Tapp Deputy Director,
Credit Action Tel: 0207 636 5214
Notes to editors:
1 Average credit card balance = £2,200
Weekly take-away meal for family of four = £130.00 per month
By paying an extra £133 a month there is a saving of £548 on the total cost of the credit card and the balance is cleared 31 months earlier.
Thomascook.com – two weeks in Costa Blanca for two adults and two children = £420
MoneyBasics is a money education website with money management information and tips that has been set up by Credit Action, CCCS and GE Money. It offers independent information on topics such as budgeting, plus case studies of people who are managing to deal with their debt problems.
Credit Action is the national money education charity encouraging people to have better thinking about money. Since 1994 it has been working to produce resources, run projects, give advice and educate people across society on issues of personal finance to help them stay in control of their money and not let their money control them. www.creditaction.org.uk Registered Charity No 1106941
The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS)
CCCS is the UK’s leading debt charity primarily helping people with multiple debt problems. People can contact CCCS Monday – Friday 8am to 8pm.
Free phone helpline number 0800 138 1111
Registered Charity No 1016630