Millions of people all over the world are strugling with credit card debt. And that figure is constantly rising, along with the risk of further interest rate rises.
You might be managing to keep your debts at bay as things currently stand, but could you cope if interest rates started to rise?
Okay, you might have a fixed rate mortgage, but what about your credit card?
Credit card payments tend to change in line with interest rates, and this is where problems can occur. If rates go up, your credit card payments are likely to follow.
So if you want to guard against interest rate rises, it's important to get your credit card debt under control.
And apart from spending less, one of the easiest ways is to make sure that your credit card debt doesn't grow is to avoid additional interest payments and penalties.
Spending on credit cards is at an all time high, lenders are making record profits, yet that's still not enough for the credit card providers. They've become greedy and have imposed a string of extortionate penalties on cardholders who fail to make their monthly payments on time.
So the first step is to set up an automatic direct debit from your bank account to your credit card account(s). Each month, the minimum payment (or any other regular amount that you choose) will be made to your credit card account. This will help you to save time and will avoid the risk of being charged a late payment penalty.
But it's not as easy as it sounds. Many providers make it as difficult as possible for cardholders to set up automatic credit card payments. In fact, some will only accept direct debit set up instructions though the post.
But let's face it, credit card providers rely upon the fact that many customers won't set up automatic payments. And then, when they miss a payment or are just a few days late, they boost their profits by charging a hefty penalties.
So ask your credit card provider about setting up automatic payments. And if they make it difficult or put obstacles in the way?
Transfer your debt to a place where you can set up automatic payments. And make sure you get a lower interest rate while you're at it.
by Stuart Laing
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