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Avoiding credit card interest and charges

These questions and answers will help you avoid paying more than necessary charges

I have been late making a repayment or I have not been able to make a full balance, what should I do?

Credit card companies will immediately start adding interest, sometimes going back to the date of the transaction, and will keep adding interest every day it is not repaid. To increase the amount of interest you pay some credit card companies will use your late payment to repay the most recent transactions first. As such, even if you are only a day late you can attract a large interest charge.

To reduce these charges as much as possible take the following steps:

  1. Stop using the credit card immediately
  2. Call the credit card company and find out what the current balance i.e. including all the transactions up to that date.
  3. Make a payment for the entire balance plus a bit to allow for any transactions that have not gone through
  4. Don’t use the card again until you have received a statement with a 0 balance.

You will incur some interest but the above steps will you minimise these costs

I have built up a balance and I am not able to repay it for a while, what are my options?

Firstly you can take advantage of an interest free or low interest balance transfer option as a short term solutions. Longer term solutions are to consider cheaper forms of borrowing such as personal loans or adding it to your mortgage. You need to carefully consider your options as each of these will have advantages and disadvantages.

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