It does this by running a “soft” search (the type lenders should use but don’t).
This means that while you can see it on your credit reference agency files, lenders can’t, so it will have no impact on future credit checks. All the APRs listed on the table show a “representative” rate, meaning only a guaranteed 51pc of accepted applicants will actually get the rate advertised; the rest can be charged more (though hopefully you’ll have cleared the card by then anyway).
Forget to repay in a month, or do it late, and you risk losing any 0pc deals, being fined or getting a hit on your credit score.
Paying only the minimum is usually a bad idea – but that’s not what I’m suggesting.
If you’ve got existing debt on credit cards – it’s time to act.
To spell it out, that means if the balance transfer fee is 3pc and you transfer a grand, you will owe £1,030.The debt is shifted to the new card, hopefully at a cheaper rate.The amount you can transfer depends on the credit limit given.Barclaycard typically offers 6.9pc with a 2.9pc fee, and MBNA cards often give short term 0pc deals.The advantage of doing this is that there’s no mark on your credit file. You need to operate it correctly, using these simple rules.So to minimise the fee, use my table below to pick a card where the 0pc length comfortably gives you enough time to repay in full, but no more. Someone owing £5,000 on a standard 18.9pc card, repaying £200 per month, would take 32 months to clear the card at a cost of £1,270.Shifting it to Halifax would clear it six months quicker at a cost of just £135.Then once that’s clear, shift your focus to the second costliest, and so on.This is called snowballing, and will get you debt-free far quicker. But if you’re struggling to meet even your minimum repayments, or you have non-mortgage debts bigger than a year’s salary, or are feeling panicked and worried – then you’re likely to be in debt crisis.The idea is you use the direct debit to ensure you never have a problem, but then pay more manually on top, too.Focus all spare cash on clearing the card with the highest APR, as that’s the costliest one – just pay the minimum on the others.