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Barclaycard sets the pace with 17 month interest free offer

The marketing departments for the credit card and personal loan companies have once again clicked into overdrive as they try to tempt us to revamp our finances.

It’s a busy time of the year for lenders as they try to get us to sign up for credit as we look to fulfil those New Year resolutions to be smarter with our money.

With regards personal loans, there have already been half a dozen rate cuts from high street lenders before we’ve even got to the second week of 2011, however don’t get too excited as most of the cuts are reserved for existing customers only and targeted at larger loans of around £7,000 plus.

Checkout the latest personal loan deals today.

If you’re looking for a loan of around £2,000 to £3,000 the rates are untouched and in most cases remain well into double figures with some lenders charging almost 20% APR.

The most eye catching deal I’ve seen so far is the 0% credit card balance transfer offer from Barclaycard, sitting pretty at the top of the best buy tables with a staggering 17 months interestfree.

The Barclaycard Platinum card does charge a one off 2.9 per cent transfer fee, although it is currently offering a £20 rebate on this for anyone transferring £3,000 or more by the end of this month.

As you can imagine, in the current financial climate there is likely to be huge demand for this card, but a quick read of the Barclaycard website and it’s clear that this card won’t be available to everyone.

To qualify you’ll need a regular income of at least £20,000 per annum, a 4 year clear credit history, no missed repayments and not be an existing Barclaycard customer.

If you do meet the criteria and you’re struggling to shift a balance on your existing card, then it makes perfect financial sense to take advantage of this offer. For example if you’ve got a balance of £3,000 at say an average rate of 18% APR, by moving it to 0% for 17 months would save you £654 in interest charges in return for a one off £67 BT fee (including £20 rebate).

So whilst credit conditions remain tight, if you’ve got a decent credit record, there are still some good savings to be made.

If you’re not fortunate enough to be able to transfer to interest free and are struggling to clear your card debt, try and pay an extra £10 or £20 per month off your balance if you possibly can you’ll clear the balance years earlier and make a big dent in your interest charges in the process.

Published: 11/01/2011

The information in this article was correct at the time of publication and contains time sensitive data and links, it may not be accurate at the time of reading.