Can it ever make sense to have a Store Card?

Store cards used to seem like a great idea. If you regularly shop with one retailer then a store card acts just like a credit card but specific to your favourite brand and with lots of benefits – doesn’t it? Although the idea may be sound in principle, store cards have recently been labelled “the devil’s debt” because more than two thirds of the cards on offer come with interest rates on purchases of 25 – 30%. So, is it ever going to be worth making purchases with a store card? Why do people have store cards? As well as the convenience of buying without cash, store cards have a number of other benefits too. Many offer discounts on purchases – the New Look card, for example offers 20% off a second purchase – and if you have a store card at somewhere like Topman then you’re entitled to free delivery every time you buy online. Store cards come with a credit limit just like any other credit card. However, these are frequently increased over time as customers remain loyal


Why registering to vote makes both political and financial sense

A surge in young people voting is said to have been behind the rebound in the Labour Party’s fortunes at the General Election on June 8. Despite the Conservatives enjoying their highest share of the vote since John Major was re-elected as Prime Minister in 1992, Labour also saw a surge in support which saw the party win 262 seats in the House of Commons on a 40 per cent share of the vote. Figures released shortly before the deadline for registered to vote passed in May showed that there had been an enormous surge in the number of young putting themselves on the electoral roll. In the final month before the election, almost 1.2 million people between the ages of 18 to 35 registered with more than half of those being below the age of 24. Why registering to vote is good for your credit record If you are a young person, then it’s likely that you don’t have a long record of borrowing and repaying money. This record – your credit record – is held by the main credit reference agen

‘Tis the season of budgeting for 2017

There’s a sense that everyone is hungry for Christmas this year. What with all the political upheaval and unsettling events, the distraction of twinkly lights, mulled wine and presents is more than welcome. If you want to make sure that this positive goodwill continues into 2017 then focus on any areas of your life that aren’t quite up to scratch. For many of us, that’s budgeting and finances. With our 2017 budgeting tips you can make sure that you start next year as you mean to go on – with a strong plan and focused resolutions. Go on a cash diet There is an argument that many of us overspend when we use plastic but not if we’re paying with cash. It often seems much more real to hand over actual money and that can help you to keep a tighter hold on your finances. If you have trouble with your spending then start the year on a cash diet. Pay for everything in cash and leave your cards at home for the first three months of the year. You’ll be able to reset any unhealthy hab

Does pet insurance make financial sense?

Britain is a nation of pet lovers. We share our homes and our lives with dogs, cats, guinea pigs, tortoises… even giant lizards. But owning and caring for a pet can be an eye-wateringly expensive hobby with vet bills for even minor operations running to hundreds of pounds. For many, the answer is pet insurance and the security in knowing that should your pet fall ill or have an accident, there will be somebody there to pick up the tab when you can’t afford to. But insurance is not cheap with monthly premiums which can sometimes be large plus excesses when you do have to make a claim. So, if you do have one or more pets and you’re concerned about paying for their care, should you consider pet insurance? What does pet insurance cover? There is a myriad of things that pet insurance covers and plenty of conditions that it doesn’t. Most pet insurance coverage is dependent on the breed of animal so you should start by comparing policies that cover your particular pet. Most insuranc

Do Rent to Buy retailers make financial sense?

You probably have a so-called weekly payment store in your local high street. Names like BrightHouse and Perfect Home have grown rapidly in the years following 2008/9 banking crisis. Their attractive facades and appealing promotions promise to enable you to buy those goods and gadgets that everyone seems to have already. So, if you need to replace your broken washing machine or get that widescreen TV you ve always promised yourself is using a rent to buy store a sensible way of doing it? Putting aside for the moment the merits of whether you should or should not make that next purchase what you really ought to make sure is that you don t spend more than you have to. And if you are going to have to borrow to make the purchase happen then this is even more important because you re going to be paying interest as well as the price of the item. So our call to you is to think twice as to whether you really need it and if you do then choose your finance carefully. How does weekly payment ren

When interest rates are low does it make sense to save?

These are lean times if you are a saver with interest rates at historically low levels after the financial crisis. And in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU the Bank of England has cut its base rate to just 0.25 per cent it can t really go much lower. While borrowers are enjoying an unparalleled run of low repayment rates, savers are paying the price for this. Rates on savings accounts in the UK are as low as 0.01 per cent.  If you ve got £10,000 to invest and put it into an account yielding 0.01 per cent, then after a year you would have earned just £1 in interest. The highest rates on offer are currently around 4 per cent but these represent a tiny proportion of the market. The average interest rate in the UK on savings account is currently just a shade over 1 per cent. This level of interest doesn t even cover inflation (RPI) which is currently running at 1.5%. The basics of saving If you ve got money tucked away already, then the first thing that you should do is to ch

Would a balance transfer credit card make sense for you?

If you’ve got a credit card with more than £1,000 outstanding on it, you might be considering applying for a balance transfer credit card. These cards offer a promotional introductory period – sometimes for as long as 18 months – where you will not be charged interest on the amount that you have transferred. But are they a good idea? Do balance transfer cards actually save you money or can you end up in even more debt and make your financial situation worse than it was before you started out? What to consider before applying There are plenty of promotional balance transfer cards out there with virtually every major card issuer offering deals lasting between 12 and 18 months. But before you jump in and start applying for one or more of them, it’s important to note that just because the headline says 0% does not mean that everybody will benefit from that rate. Marketing rules mean that the issuer only has to offer the headline rate to 51% of people who apply. If you have an imp