Published On: Mon, May 11th, 2020

Martin Lewis shares that ‘you can’t afford not to try a balance transfer’ – deals revealed | Personal Finance | Finance

Martin Lewis kicked off his appearance by first explaining exactly what balance transfers are. He explained that a balance transfer is where a person can get a new card that pays off the debts on old cards (usually for a small fee).

Many of these offers will come from companies that customers will likely already be familiar with: “Currently, the longest zero percent is from TSB which gives up to 30months zero percent, with a 2.95 percent fee.

“But as it’s an ‘up to’ card meaning you could get shorter zero percent depending on your credit worthiness (so often unless you’ve a great credit score, it is best to avoid ‘up to’ cards, especially if you’ve high chances on other cards).

“Alternatively, Virgin Money is 29 months zero percent with an ever so slightly higher three percent fee, and if accepted you’ll get the full 29months.”

However, he warned that not everyone will be able to get these cards and people will need to be careful with their applications.

Credit files and scores will affect a person’s eligibility, as he explained: “When you apply for a credit card the lender will score you based on their own wish list of what is a profitable customer. This involves a combination of your credit history, and also your earnings and whether you pass affordability checks. And right now that can be tough.

“Yet it is important to understand each application you make leaves a mark on your credit file – which can count against you on future applications – so if you get rejected and have to re-apply elsewhere that can be bad news.”

He concluded that people should utilise comparison sights and tools before making decisions.

On top of this, he highlighted that only “soft” credit checks and searches should be performed as these won’t affect a credit rating.

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