Money Guide - Credit Cards, Loans, Savings Accounts and Current Accounts
At UK Financial Options we don't just have comparison tables so you can easily and quickly compare the latest financial products. No we are much more than that. We are a one stop shop of financial information.
We cover many tips and tricks to getting the best deals, avoid the cons, how to save money and make more money with credit cards, loans, savings accounts and current account. These are spread over the site in a miriad of useful guides written by financial journalists and experts.
We start our guide with basic financial advice. Much of this is common sense, but unfortunately many people over look them.
Always shop around for your credit cards, do not just go for the one with a name you recognise or the one the bank offer you. We have comparison tables for credit cards and so do many other websites such as Card Guide, Money Supermarket and Balance Transfers 24/7.
When comparing credit cards for balance transfers remember that most cards now charge a balance transfer fee. So compare the fees as well as the length of the0% balance.
Becareful when using credit cards in resturants or places where you leave your card with someone for even a short period of time while they process it. Many resturant workers have swiped cards to copy them when they take them to pay your resturant bill.
Always pay at least your minmum payment of each month and on time. Most credit card companies have a late charge if you go over the pay by date. This can be upto £30. Although there are ways to reclaim fees taken by credit card companies and banks, as now it is considered ilegal to do. Look on Google for ways to reclaim your fees for upto 10 years ago.
Never borrow more than you can afford. Calculate how much the minmum payments will be and then look at your monthly income and outgoings are to see if you can afford to pay the monthly payments.
If you get into debt with a credit card and then transfer your balance to another credit card with 0% balance transfer, always get rid of the other card. That way you will not be tempted to then clock up a big bill with this card, then leaving you with two credit cards to pay off. Many people kid themselves into thinking that they will not use the other credit card, but most do. So don't leave temptation in your way. Don't just cut the card up. Phone the credit card company and close the credit card account down.
Do not use credit cards to get cash out of an ATM unless you are really desparate. You get charged a percentage for getting cash out and it is not cheap. If you do have to get cash out on your card, keep it to a minimum.
Generally be careful with credit cards. They are useful, but remember if you get into to much debt with them they can seriously restrict your finances.
Loans are a good way of borrowing money as you know exactly how much you are going to pay back when you take out the loan. Like most financial services it is work shopping about. Don't just go for the first loan you see an advertisement for. Look websites such as this one which have loan comparison tables. There are many other websites apart from this one. Moneysupermarket, UK Personal Loan Store, Money Expert and This Is Money to name just a few.
Yet again if you use loans to pay off credit cards make sure that you only have one credit card left. So if you have three credit cards with nothing on them, get rid of two of them, preferably the two with the highest interest charges.
If you get a loan which is secured on your house you must think carefully before you take it out. This is a serious commitment and if you do not keep up your payments then you will loose your house. Make sure you can afford it before you take out the loan.
Don't take out to many loans. It is easy to fall into the trap of taking out a loan everytime you want something. This is a bad mistake. Gradually the debt will creep up and before you know it you will have more debt than you can aford. Remember banks often lend you more money than you can actually afford. It's upto you to make the stand and not borrow more than you can afford.
Savings Accounts and Current Accounts
Savings accounts are good to have. You can use them to save money for a new car or stereo rather than borrow the money or save of the future.
This is good for two reasons. If you save money you get paid interest which means this helps towards whatever you are saving for. The second reason is that if you save up for things rather than just borrow the money you do not have to worry about getting into debt ro having to find the money to pay a loan off each month.
There are many savings accounts to compare. Some pay better interest than others. Some have instant access. Some you have to order your money to get it out, which can take time. Although this type of savings account usually pays better interest.
There are even savings accounts where you have to pay in a set amount each month for a set period of time. This can be good if you can keep up with the payments and do not want access to the money until the period is over, as they pay a good rate of interest. Also because the money is taken straight from your account each month they take out the will power element of you having to put the money to one side.
Many self employed people save money to pay their income tax and VAT. Therefore they would need an instant access savings account. In this day an age you can still get a reasonable rate of interest if you want instant access, so I will say it again, make sure you shop around.
The same goes for current accounts you can get as good an interest rate on some current accounts as you can instant access savings accounts. Infact some people even use open a current account with a good rate if interest and use it as a savings account.
There is more to look for in a current account than the interest you get paid. See what interest rate they charge you on your overdraft. What are their charges on going over your overdraft or going over drawn if you do not have an overdraft.
Also look into what there other charges are. This is important as many banks make their money on current accounts through there charges. You do not want to end up with a current account that costs you a fortune in charges.
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