Martin Lewis issues urgent warning for those paying interest on credit cards – days to act

A financial journalist and campaigner, Martin Lewis has become widely recognised as the Money Saving Expert – and has founded the website of the same name. He regularly appears on the small screen to share his latest money insights, and this week was no different.

He explained: “So, we talked about balance transfers earlier. That is of course where you get a new card that pays off debts on the old cards for you.

“So, you owe the new card the money at a cheaper interest rate. More of your money clears the debt rather than servicing the interest.”

Martin continued: “Well, I’m afraid the longest zero percent deal on the market is being withdrawn next Tuesday. So if you want it, you’d need to go quickly. It’s TSB’s up to 30 month zero percent, with a three percent fee.

“That’s basically £30 per £1,000 that you shift. Now, the long card is good if you need a long time to repay or you’re not sure how long, play safe, go long.

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“You can repay quicker – there are other choices including the Santander 18-month zero percent which is no fee, so it’s the cheapest.

“But, it’s the only open to all, no fee card on the market longer than five months, so that may go. So you need to basically get on with this.

“If you’re paying interest on credit cards, try this. Use an eligibility calculator to see which cards you’re likely to be able to get as well.”

Martin also reminded viewers of three important tips to take note of.

He said: “As always with balance transfers, clear the debt before the zero percent ends or the rate will rocket.

“Never miss the minimum monthly repayment or the rate will often rocket, and don’t spend or withdraw on the card because that’s not at the cheap rate either.”

Elsewhere in the show, Martin was asked for his thoughts on saving a lump sum of money.

One viewer had written into the show to ask him where he thought lump sums would be best placed at this moment in time in terms of savings options.

“A third of people have been able to save during the lockdown. But I’m afraid savings rates – I’ve never seen anything like it,” Martin replied.

Addressing the Bank of England Base Rate cuts from earlier this year, he continued: “Of course the UK interest rate is 0.1 percent.

“The top savings rate at the moment is 1.16 percent with NS&I Easy Access, likely because it is the state-owned financial institution, and have to give you at least two months’ notice before dropping it.

“Normally, I’d say try to fix your savings to lock in on a better rate, but the best rate currently is just one percent.

“But actually, the first thing you can do is pay off any expensive debts. If you have a mortgage, look at overpaying on that, and always keep an emergency fund aside.

“Paying off debts is the best and safe thing you can do right now.”

The Martin Lewis Money Show continues on Thursday on ITV at 8.30pm.



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