Credit card use falls 13% as shoppers avoid debt

Credit card use fell last year as people turned to cash and debit cards to avoid borrowing, shopkeepers say.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) which represents 90% of the UK’s stores, say transactions involving credit cards dropped 12.9%

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Mortgages: How to get the best deal

Qualifying for a mortgage can be a complicated affair and some first-time buyers may find it daunting.  It is important to choose the correct lender and not to pay a higher rate than necessary.

By getting to know the process of how a mortgage works and what is required by the lenders, it is possible to secure a lower interest rate and to increase the chances of being accepted for an appropriately sized loan.

A recent BBC article outlined the key tips for getting a mortgage:

  • Ensure you are on the electoral roll
  • Make sure you do not miss any financial commitments – missing a credit card or loan repayment will count against you
  • Reduce your personal debt as this will enable you to borrow more
  • Ensure you do not apply for credit while a mortgage application is going through
  • Keep payslips and P60s
  • Check your credit rating to make sure that you know what your credit score is
  • Do your homework to find out what the lender requires from you


Need help with budgeting?

The Moneybasics Spendometer from Credit Action makes day to day budgeting simple and practical.

As one in four Brits have no idea how much they spend in a week, a budgeting tool that is accessible and easy to use is vital.

The Moneybasics Spendometer allows you to:

  • Set budget limits so that you don’t overspend
  • See your ‘spending speed’ – see where, and how much of your money has been spent so far in a given week or month
  • Log spending in under 10 seconds
  • Set a special ‘going out’ function to help to limit overspending on an night out

Read more about the tool at

Mortgage rates at lowest level for 23 years

According to the financial information service Moneyfacts, interest rates on new mortgage deals have fallen to their lowest level since 1988.

It says this is due to lenders finding it cheaper to raise funds in the financial markets.  However, most mortgage deals still require buyers to put down at least 20% deposit.

Until recently, a rate rise had been expected as soon as September but following a set of weak economic data, as well as the decision by a new member of the Bank’s rate-setting committee to vote for no change in rates, markets now do not expect a rate rise until well into next year.

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Gazumping ‘pushing up rent costs for tenants’

Gazumping is pushing up rents in England and Wales as the average cost to tenants reached £696 in May, according to a survey.

Rising tenant demand has led to some offering above the asking price to rent a home, LSL Property Services said.

The average cost of renting a home has risen for four consecutive months, its analysis suggested.

But more than one in 10 tenants in the UK missed or were late paying their rent in May, it also found.

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