Should I get a credit card?
How do credit cards work
To successfully manage your credit repayments, start by choosing the right credit card for your personal situation. For example, a rewards or cashback credit card could be a good choice if you’re big on shopping. Or if globetrotting is more your thing, you could consider an overseas spending card.
It always pays to figure out the total cost of borrowing and when payments are due. Making the minimum repayment on time is a must, but paying more could mean you’ll benefit from an improved credit score, pay less interest in the long run, and have more to spend on the exciting things in life, like home improvements, hobbies and holidays.
Beyond your credit card, shopping around for better deals can reduce household bills, while keeping some money to one side in case of a broken boiler or burst pipe can prevent further borrowing and repayments.
If you can manage your money well, you’ll be more likely to get a better credit card...
It’s worth combining as many money management tactics as you can so you can take control of your finances and future. Late or missed payments create additional fees, which add to what you owe and can impact your credit rating.
Because banks, potential employers and other companies don’t know you personally, they rely on credit scoring to figure out what type of borrower you’ll be. So, if you can manage your money well, you’ll be more likely to get a better credit card, mortgage, loan, phone contract – in fact, all types borrowing will be easier.
Here are some simple steps to help you manage your credit repayments and keep your financial future looking bright.
The best time to make a repayment plan is before you’ve even applied for a credit card. By doing your research and getting organised early on, you’ll find that managing your borrowing becomes so much simpler.
Are you going to use your credit card to make purchases, improve your credit scoring, or consolidate multiple debts? Credit cards offer different benefits so it’s important you research the various options to find the one that suits your needs. If you don’t have a credit card and are wondering if you should get one, you can read our guide ‘Should I get a credit card?’ Or, if you have a card and aren’t sure if it’s the best one for you, you can use our card finder tool to compare options.
Most of us know how much we spend on our credit cards, but it’s worth looking at the bigger picture to make sure you know what the total cost of borrowing will be. For instance, if you have a balance transfer or purchase offer, once it expires you will start paying interest. There could also be fees for making cash withdrawals. Being aware of the various costs involved in using your credit card is an important part of checking you’re getting the best deal.
Barclaycard could help you lower your cost of borrowing by transferring your outstanding credit card balance to a lower rate card.
Making multiple credit applications in a short space of time can have an impact on your credit score, meaning you are less likely to be eligible for the best deals. You can use the Barclaycard eligibility checker to make sure you’re likely to be accepted before you apply. You can use it worry-free, as it won’t have any effect on your credit rating. When you make your actual application, other fraud and identity checks will be carried out to make sure you’re eligible.
Once you’ve been accepted for a credit card, make sure you know the exact amount you need to pay back each month and when, as late or missed payments can make managing your finances much tougher. Remember that if you can make more than the minimum payment each month, you’ll not only pay off what you owe faster, but you’ll save on interest too. Our Repayment Calculator will show you the difference a few pounds extra a month can make. You’ll also be showing the lender how reliable you are, which will lead to improvements in your credit scoring.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated. By keeping track of your incomings and outgoings, you can keep on top of your finances and start reducing the amount you owe.
Don’t rely on guesswork when it comes to budgeting. Work out your total incomings and outgoings each month to get a clear financial picture and don’t forget the pennies either – they all add up!
We all need to treat ourselves every now and then, whether it’s a brand new outfit or a tasty takeaway. Budget for these indulgences but just make sure you’re aware of how much they add up in the long run.
Don’t be afraid to compare prices and change providers if they offer cheaper options on your household bills. According to energy regulator Ofgem, households in 2017 were typically overpaying on energy bills by £300 a year.
Four quick tips on how you can use technology to help you manage your credit repayments.
Sign up for mobile and online banking.
Receive text alerts from your bank.
Get extra help with budgeting apps.
Set-up automated payments to your credit card.
There are so many great tools that can help you stay up to date with your finances. If you haven’t already, signing up for online or mobile banking is a great idea. It allows you to make payments, move money between accounts and see your bank statements whenever you want. You can download the Barclaycard app here.
Making payments on time can be made easier by setting up Direct Debits to automatically pay off your outstanding balance every month.
Budgeting apps can give you a helping hand with getting your finances in order, while our text alerts can notify you if you are near your monthly spend limit. Barclaycard text alerts can also let you know when you’re near your balance limit and remind you when payments are due. As long as you have enough money in your account, making payments on time can be made easier by setting up Direct Debits to automatically pay off your outstanding balance every month.
A 0% balance transfer offer on credit cards can be a great way to manage your credit repayments. You should aim to repay the balance within the promotional period to avoid paying interest. There’s usually a fee for moving the balance, but this can often be outweighed by the savings you could make on interest by transferring the balance onto another card. They are ideal if you want to either reduce the interest you pay on an existing debt or consolidate all your debts to make organising your finances easier.
Here are our top tips when applying for a balance transfer credit card:
Check if there are any transfer fees
Consider a card with a longer 0% interest period available
Compare the interest rates after the 0% period has ended
Avoid making lots of purchases on your balance transfer credit card unless it has a 0% purchase offer built in.