Credit Card Charges and How to Avoid Them

It is one of the joys of the UK credit industry that prices of credit, and in particular of credit cards, have continued to fall over the past number of years. Today you can get zero per cent on balance transfers, and even zero per cent on purchases, offers that were simply unimaginable just a couple of years ago. This is all the result of increasing competition in the market place from alternative lenders and banks from abroad, particularly US banks. However, there are still many charges out there and it takes some care and consideration to make sure that you dont end up paying far more than you should for your credit cards.

The main charge associated with credit cards continues to be interest charged on outstanding balances. This is traditionally how credit card providers have managed to rake in the massive profits that they have become associated with. It doesnt take much research to discover that the interest rates on credit cards are among the highest on the market. While mortgage rates and personal loan rates can easily be as low five or six per cent, credit cards rates are easily over twenty five per cent. This is due mainly to the convenience and flexibility of credit cards as a source of needed money. If you find that you are carrying over large credit card balances from one month to the next, you are probably paying far more than you need to for your credit. The best way to remedy such a situation is to consolidate this credit.

Debt consolidation loans, typically secured over your home, offer far lower rates of interest. You can then reduce your outgoings to a single monthly figure that allows you to pay off the debt at a reasonable rate.

Another way to avoid credit card interest rates is to take advantage of zero per cent balance transfers. These can be great opportunities and are offered by credit card providers who are ever more eager to increase their market share and add you as a customer. You will benefit from low or zero per cent rates on any balances that you transfer over to the new card from other credit cards. A word of advice however is to make sure you close the original account. This avoids the temptation of racking up further spending and improves your credit rating by reducing the over all amount of credit available to you.

Other charges such as subscription fees are by and large a thing of the past. Some credit cards still charge annual fees on the basis that they offer other rewards or are more exclusive cards but the general advice these days is that you can get just as good results on cards that do not charge these fees so if you are paying a fee, perhaps you will want to switch to a card that is free in this sense.

Late payment fees and other penalties are incurred if you fail to keep up with your repayment obligations and you should make every effort to avoid these as they are completely unnecessary.