You could save thousands of pounds in interest with simple switch – how to apply | Personal Finance | Finance

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If you’re burdened with credit card debt, you can significantly reduce your borrowing costs by switching to a zero percent interest balance transfer card.

As per the latest data from Moneyfacts, the average credit card APR was at 35.1 percent in May 2024. However, if you manage to transfer your debt to a new card offering zero percent interest, you could save hundreds, or even thousands of pounds, and become debt-free much quicker.

The process involves transferring your existing credit card debt to a zero percent balance transfer card, which charges no interest for a specified period. You need to choose a card that offers enough months of zero percent interest to clear your debt, otherwise, you’ll start paying the representative APR once the promotional period ends.

But first, use an eligibility calculator to check which card you are likely to be accepted for. MoneySavingExpert.com provides a zero percent balance transfer calculator that performs a “soft credit search”, so it won’t be visible to companies or lenders.

Only those with excellent credit scores are likely to get the longest number of months advertised – but you may not necessarily need the longest period on offer anyway. There are sometimes fees involved when transferring your debt – however, if you don’t need the longest deal, there may be shorter cards available with cheaper, or sometimes no fees, reports the Mirror.

The longest zero percent balance transfer card currently available is from Barclaycard, offering up to 28 months of interest-free credit. This card carries a 3.45 percent fee and reverts to an APR of 24.9 percent after the zero percent period ends.

NatWest offers the longest zero percent period with no fee, providing 13 months of interest-free credit.

It’s crucial to always make your minimum repayments on your zero percent balance transfer card to avoid losing the interest-free period. Additionally, it’s advisable to refrain from spending or withdrawing cash on these cards as these transactions are typically not charged at zero percent.

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