Using a credit card responsibly

A credit card is a powerful tool. It can offer you convenience and ease. In our world these days, many things just aren’t possible without one – buying online or renting a car, for example. They are a great tool, but they can get you in a lot of trouble if you don’t use them responsibly. They can quickly get out of control and cause you problems. They have high interest rates which can add up and bury you in debt. In the majority of personal bankruptcies, credit cards have played a major role. Here are 7 tips you can use to avoid getting in trouble with your credit cards:

Don’t follow their payment rules. Credit cards companies have minimum payments. If you only pay the minimum payments, you will be paying forever. It would take you 44 years to pay off a $4,500 balance using just the minimum payment each month. The minimum payment allows the interest to build up very quickly, too. That same $4,500 balance on a typical card would build up $17,000 in interest by the time you pay it off. That isn’t good. Pay as much as you can afford everything month. Hopefully, that will mean much more than just the minimum payment.

credit card

Be careful of fees. Banks and credit card companies make millions of dollars every year by charging their customers fees for everything they do. Some of the fees are obvious – late payments, getting a new card, ordering another statement for your account. Those fees are obvious and you probably already avoid them whenever you can. More important, though, are the fees that you probably aren’t aware of. Some cards have a fee for balance transfers or even fees for talking to a real customer service agent instead of a computer. There might even be inactivity fees if you don’t use your card for a few months. Look over your agreement to understand what fees are associated with your card and do all that you can to avoid them.

Stop when you are in trouble. If you can’t afford to pay your minimum payment and your problems look like they are going to continue into the future, don’t keep using your card. Building up higher balances isn’t going to help anything. It is just going to cause troubles. Stop spending, look at your situation, devise a plan to get out of trouble and stick to it. Once you have everything sorted out and your finances are back under control you can start using your cards again. Read more »

Is Christmas Shopping Really an Emergency

See, we don’t really get too terribly sarcastic here, for a reason. I believe that it’s because all of us around the blog want to make sure that you’re getting the best information possible when it comes to your finances. Trying to just give you the same watered down, rehashed information isn’t really our speed. So when you guys write in questions, we do try to answer without the bias and the snark. However, there are some questions that really make this hard, truth be told. We get asked whether or not something like Christmas can be considered a financial emergency. See, we thought the answer would be obvious, but apparently it’s a common question.

People feel obligated to do something special for Christmas on a grand scale, which is really not the point at all. You want to make sure that you’re thinking about more than just hanging onto a bunch of presents. That’s not what the season is all about anyway. You want to install in your family members a sense that this is a time to be grateful for everything that they have. I know that most associate this only with the Americanized version of Thanksgiving, but I think that the entire season should be about gratitude. We are all truly lucky to have so many luxuries, even when we assume that they aren’t luxuries. It’s never a bad idea to step back for a while and actually be grateful.

Christmas Shopping

If you’re trying to save money, then why not make everyone’s gifts rather than trying to get it at the last minute? It would give your gift a personal touch and make the recipient feel like you really went out of your way to take care of them. What could honestly be better than that? There’s nothing wrong with looking into just about everything that you can when it’s time to balance finances with fun and games. You don’t have to be fussy about the whole affair. You don’t even need to make some big announce that you’re thinking more about saving money and not spending so wildly. There’s something about the holidays that really brings out a desire to spoil our families. However, we have to think about the future even as we enjoy the present. This means having a little self control rather than going completely wild.

So, in a nutshell: Christmas is not a financial emergency. Your family will not melt if they don’t get the latest and greatest. However, to be able to look back and realize that you saved enough to put your children through college… now that’s amazing, is it not? Or maybe you dream about getting a bigger home? No matter what big dream that you see on the horizon, you’re going to need money in order to make it happen. There’s nothing wrong with thinking through these things and not getting worked up so much.

There’s a time and a place for everything, of course. You don’t have to panic because you’re cutting back. Believe it or not, a lot of families are finding themselves in the same boat as you. They want to make sure that their children have good stuff, but not at the cost of the future. It’s really a big deal now that the economy has cooled off and it looks like it’s going to still be sluggish for a few more years to come. Everyone has to do what they feel is best, rather than just going with the solution that seems the best. Now is definitely the time to start looking around carefully at your finances, before the holidays actually are upon us.

PPI selling tricks and claiming your payments back

“Before we conclude this agreement for credit, have you considered having an insurance policy in place to help you with your credit repayments if you suddenly got sick for a long time, had an accident, or get unemployed?”

This and other sales pitches would have been the most overused tirades in the financial services industry when PPI was introduced. It could have been the same question you were asked when you applied for or followed up on an application for a credit card, loan, and/or mortgage. What’s amusing is that the sales staffs was just so charming and enticing when the product was being described as helpful and secure. However, the irony pushed in when years of mis-selling was discovered. It became the protection policy that never protected you.

PPI selling tricks

Now, you might be wondering, how could the trick of mis-selling PPI have happened? Address that doubt by answering the questions below:

Were you asked questions that determine the suitability of the policy to your current situation and living status?

Was the need for the insurance established during the sale?

Were you not made aware that PPI is an optional product and that it does not matter when it comes to the approval of your finance agreement?

Were you not informed of the eligibility requirements such as age, residence and employment status, pre-existing medical condition, etc?

Were the policy terms and conditions, extent of cover, exclusions, and limitations not discussed in the sale process?

Were you not given a cooling-off period to let you cancel the policy without any cost?

Were you not made aware of the total premium costs and how it would incur interest, and that the policy may expire even earlier than your credit card or loan repayment?

If you answered YES to any or all the above, it is very clear that you were deceived into buying Payment Protection Insurance, Having learnt that, you now stand the chance of making a claim for your payments to be refunded, plus some interest it accrued from the start.


Look through your documents for any references to the payments you made to PPI. Your statements, receipts, agreement forms, and policy certificate will indicate the insurance policy cost and its duration of activity alongside your account. If you’ve got missing documents, request for copies from your bank. Read more »

An Instant Payday Loan Gives You Exactly the Cash You Need – Instantly, Of Course!

Look, let’s get down to the basic point here: if you need money, you need it quickly. There’s really no time to wait for your grandmother to check and see whether or not she can really come off the extra money or if she would be better off just telling you no. When you really have to have funds, you know that you need to go ahead and take things to the next level in terms of financing. You need fast financing options that can really get the job done. Going to a bank is out of the question when speed is a priority. You don’t want to think that it’s impossible to get things done — you just need to make sure that you’re looking at the fastest route, always.

Payday loans can really get the job done, even though a lot of people automatically have a negative opinion of them. Let’s get something straight: you don’t have time to really run through all of your options. You need to pick the best option possible. For example, a lot of people complain about the high interest involved with payday loans, but this pales in comparison to the massive fees that you could face by missing a utility bill, or having to constantly walk back and forth to work because your car isn’t working. When there’s a serious emergency, you have to get the problem taken care of. Just hoping for the best really isn’t enough. You have to do more than that, and it’s time to go with a quicker solution like payday loans.

Instant payday loans

Instant payday loans do exactly what they say. They’re going to give you the quick cash you need without a lot of hassle. What more could you honestly want than that?

Keep in mind that you are going to have to make sure that you pay this money back as soon as possible. The last thing that you really want to do is find that you aren’t going to be able to handle the emergency in question. So go online and get an instant payday loan. Take care of what needs to be taken care of. After you have the financial pressure off your back, you can move on to the things that really matter. What could be better than that, when you really think about it?

No Need to Fear The Arrival of A Spring Newborn!

Your baby is on the way, but that doesn’t mean that you have to feel pressured by a lack of finances. There’s always a chance to save more money, but you have to make sure that you just do the best that you can do. Stressing yourself off isn’t going to make your life any better. You have to think about what’s going to be the better fit for your child. When you stress yourself out, you’re not really thinking about your child’s future. You’re thinking about your worries. The truth about worrying is that it rarely solves anything. You’re still stuck with the same worries and you can’t necessarily change them…so why worry?

Get into the mode of planning the best way you can. Your little bundle of joy is going to be here whether you plan or not, but having a plan will keep you calm. For the most part, they will already have their nourishment needs under control. You will most likely breastfeed or already have formula purchased for them. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family for help with clothes and other supplies that your baby will need. There are also charities that work directly to give new parents the materials that they really need.

You also want to look into figuring out what benefits will be available. The UK is great about helping new parents through a few Government schemes, so you don’t want to ignore this as you’re trying to figure the rest of everything out. As long as you’re willing to keep focused on the bigger goal, there’s really no way that you can fail. Just don’t give up.

What about saving? You might want to create a fund for your children. This will be great for their grandparents and many of your friends. A lot of people want to contribute to the quality of your child’s life in some way, but they don’t always know how. Instead of getting worried, you can reach out to all of the people that want to help your little newborn grow strong.

You can actually start up a Junior ISA and even a special type of pension. The more that you can contribute to your child’s savings, the easier it will be for them as they grow up.

Even though you’re stressed about the arrival of your newborn, you want to make sure that your finances are in order. This isn’t the time to start paying bills late. You want to make sure that your credit stays as high as possible. If you’re dreaming about saving up for a home, this type of savings will come in handy. There’s no reason to give up when there’s so many reasons to push forward. Why not get started today, while it’s all still on your mind? You’ll truly be glad that you did!

Same Day Loans Make Your Needs a Priority – What Could Be Better Than That

Are you a priority in your own life? When it’s time to take care of family, be supportive of friends, and be a team player at work, chances are good that it’s hard to really feel like anyone is putting you first. You might be taking care of everyone and doing the best you can, only to find that when you really need help and support, there’s no one around with enough availability to give it to you. When you’re in the middle of a financial emergency, it’s easy to feel betrayed. Even though you might have helped out friends and family, chances are good that there’s no one around to help you when you really need it most. Instead of giving yourself over to negativity, doubt, fear, confusion, and hopelessness, you just need to find resources that can really give you the jump start that you need. You need to and check out same day loans.

Same day loans are truly a realistic option when it comes to taking care of a financial problem very quickly. There’s no need to worry about being rejected. As long as you have an actual income, the sky is the limit. You can do just about anything you need to do with the money without being judged. Speaking of judgment, you’re not going to face social outrage because you took out a same day loan. In fact, nobody has to know about it but you. You get to have the money quickly transferred into your checking account, leaving you free to take care of whatever financial fires that need to be doused.

If you’re going to go online, you need to have a quality site that you can turn to. One site that immediately comes to mind would have to be This is a site that not only gives you the best approach possible to taking care of your finances, it also gives you more information. It’s all about peace of mind when you’re trying to take care of your family, and the site wants to make sure that you have peace of mind when it’s time to apply for a short term loan.

Open your mind to the possibility of getting your financial problems behind you as quickly as possible. It definitely can be done, you know! Good luck!

Don’t Be Swept Away By Holiday Mishaps – A Holiday Accident Claim Can Really Make the Difference

Are you trying to figure out where your dream holiday went terribly wrong? If you’re like many people, you went on holiday not expecting anything to go wrong at all. The truth is that the chances of your holiday going off course are greater than you first imagined. It’s a business of people, and people are prone to making their own mistakes. If you really want to make sure that everything runs smoothly, you have to be able to carry your own travel insurance cover.

But what happens when you need to make that holiday accident claim? You will need to naturally follow up with the travel insurance company. Yet you don’t want to let them call all of the shots. They have a tendency to present travelers with an offer that’s far lower than what they honestly deserve. They assume that you will not be contacting an attorney, so there’s no need to actually treat you fairly. This isn’t the case at all. If anything, you needed to make sure that you’re retaining a good attorney that understands personal injury from every possible angle. Otherwise, there is a strong possibility that you will be leaving a lot of money on the table.

There are generally a few different types of holiday accidents. The most common is a slip and fall case, which usually happens when you don’t see a sign that the floors are wet, or that the path isn’t going to be smoothed out. Remember that the hospitality industry is a multi-billion pound enterprise. There’s no need to think that you should downplay your case. You were going on the holiday with the intention of trading your hard earned money for a great experience. If you are injured, then it’s up to you to seek compensation for it.

There are also accidents involving food poisoning. While this happens often, you want to make sure that you have clear evidence that it’s something that you’ve eaten while you were at the resort, on a bus, or even while you were on the plane going there, or coming back home. Food poisoning is no laughing matter — the stomach pains that result can really set you back.

You also have auto accidents that can occur, such as when a part on a vehicle goes out and it’s not your fault whatsoever. This can be absolutely dangerous, and needs to be followed up with as soon as possible.

There’s no need to assume that you’re just going to have to grin and bear it — it makes a lot more sense if you can just think about everything that you have at stake here. Can you go back to work? If not, you will need to be compensated for the time that you’ve missed out of work. If you’ve got extra expenses related directly to the accident, then you’ll need to be compensated for that too. Compensation isn’t just about getting back the expenses you’ve spend, though. It’s truly about giving you money for the pain and discomfort that you’ve experienced. That would have never happened if you were able to have a smooth and care-free experience.

Again, it cannot be stressed enough — getting an attorney before you make the holiday accident claim can truly make a big impact on what you get back in terms of compensation. Good luck!

Understanding the universal default clause

When you get that credit card solicitation in the mail that guarantees an extremely low APR, make sure that you read the fine print. Your low interest can instantly increase to an extremely higher rate by simply missing one payment. A lot of people take out credit cards without properly reading the terms of service. Reading the terms of service can help you avoid paying a lot of money in fees.

The following scenario is repeated daily throughout the country. You finally decide to fill out that credit card offer that you received in the mail a few weeks ago. The card is great. It includes rewards on purchases, a low balance transfer fee, and best of all, it boasts an extremely low APR; the lowest you have ever seen. Everything goes well with your new card until the day you miss a payment. All of the sudden the card isn’t so perky anymore. You suddenly lose your low APR. What was once 10% suddenly jumps to 24%. You ask yourself how such a thing could have occurred.

The Default Clause

The default clause allows the credit card companies to raise your interest rate if you ever miss a payment. A lot people simply look at the conspicuous 10% APR lettering on the envelope and simply apply based on that. In order to avoid paying higher interest fees, you must be aware of the defaulting rules. The credit card companies are not lenient when it comes to breaking agreements. They will quickly apply the higher rates as soon as you miss a payment. That is how they make their money. They offer you low rates, in hopes of you making late payments that way your rates increase.

The Universal Default Clause

With the universal default clause, you simply have to be late on any credit card payment and your rate automatically increases. If you’ve been making timely payments with your low APR card and unknowingly forget to make a payment on your sears card, your low APR card’s APR can increase because of the universal default clause.

How does the credit card company know that you’ve missed a payment on another card? They simply look at your credit report. If they see you’ve made any late payments on your credit accounts, they automatically increase your rate.

This means that you must pay all of your credit cards on time in order to avoid higher fees. Missing a payment on any credit card will increase your rates.

Tips and Tricks

1. Apply for a credit card that does not have a universal default clause. If you can’t find a card without a universal default clause, find one that has a lower default clause.

2. Pay your bills on time every month. Having your rates increase simply because your payment arrived late is very foolish. If your bank offers online banking, sign up and take advantage of the speedy service.

3. Don’t exceed your credit limit. Try to maintain low balances on your credit cards. In general, try not to exceed 50% of your available credit. The lower the balance on your credit cards, the easier it will be for you to make monthly payments.

4. Take the time to review your credit report. Visit and apply for your free credit report. You are entitled to 3 reports every year. Order one every 4 months and check it for accuracy.

If you read the fine prints on your credit card, you will avoid getting into situations that will make you pay higher interest rates. Make sure you review every credit card offer before you send in the applications.

Avoid Loan Fraud

When you are looking for a lender for a mortgage or other loan be careful to evaluate each lender and what they have to offer. Do not become a victim of loan fraud.

1. Shop around for a loan and see what various lenders have to offer. By shopping around you can make sure you find the best interest rates available to you.

2. Never accept a loan from a lender that tells you that no other bank or lending institution will extend you credit or grant you a loan. If they tell you this, they are most likely trying to trick you into accepting a loan from them so that they can charge you higher rates.

3. Do not be talked into taking a loan for more money than you can afford. If you are unable to keep up with your payments, you can lose your home and harm your credit. You know how much you can afford.

4. Do not allow yourself to be talked into continuously refinancing your home.

5. Never let the lender know of any special circumstances as to why you may be very desperate for a loan. If you do this, they may take advantage of you.

6. When applying for a loan always be honest about your employment, your income and any assets. Remember that lenders make money off of you if they lend you money. Therefore some unethical lenders may encourage you to stretch the truth on applications to be sure you will be approved for a loan. Read more »

Using A Credit Card Abroad

When you are abroad, using your credit card or debit card can be an expensive move that you probably wont realise how much it has cost, till you return home and receive your monthly statement.

But by picking the right credit card spending on your cards abroad can be better than Travellers’ cheques and Bureaux de exchange, by cutting out charges of up to around the £90 mark, this is savings on commission that banks and travel agents place on there currency exchange before you go and then when you get back, if you have any of your holiday cash left. It’s all about picking the right card, as some can cost you a lot more than you bargained for.

Trying to read through which card will be for the best, can be a mind busting process, so by trying to explain some of the charges made by the card companies maybe will go some of the way of helping you decide which is the best for you.

There are four charges that relate to credit cards, with three of the same charges coming hand in hand with debit cards, the first of these charges that applies to both cards is the loaded exchange rates, this means that the card issuers will add on a charge in the region of 2.75% when the card is used, this means if you say spend £150 you will actually be paying £154.12 for the amount you spent. Though a plus point is you will receive the going rate of exchange on your Dollars or Euros from the Visa/ MasterCard’s wholesale rate that is free of the normal everyday charges associated with banks and the Bureaux de Exchange and gives you the full value of the currency that you are using.

The second charge that comes into force with both types of card is the charge made when you withdraw cash from an ATM on your visit to a foreign land, this will be around the 2% mark in most cases and carries with it a minimum fee of £2. To combat this it is best that you pay for anything that you wish to purchase with the card, though look out for debit cards that have a charge attached when making a purchase, some of the main offenders are the Halifax Bank of Scotland with a fee of £1.50 and the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Nat West who each charge £0.75 per spend.

The third and final charge that is placed on both cards is the charge that is made by the banks that you will use abroad, this is almost in most cases in America, though different banks maybe charging different scales of fees, the best idea is to shop around and find the cheapest bank you can find.

The last one to be on guard with is the interest charges that will be made to your credit card; this will not apply to a debit card, if you do find that you withdraw cash while on a visit abroad, check before you go on what the charge will be made on your card, this will probably make up your mind for you. Interest can come in at a much higher rate than spending normally on the card an example being Capital One’s No Hassle Platinum Card charging 20.5 % on cash withdrawn compared to 6.9% on spending, so be careful.

If you are thinking of using a card abroad then look no further than the Nationwide Debit card that will have no charges attached to it, can save you up to the region of £90 on other cards, though to be successful in applying for this card you will have to open a bank account with them, though not the worst by any means, your current one could be working better for you.

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