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Get to grip with debt

The UK’s collective credit card bill stands at £61 billion, and according to research from Gocompare.com 7% of us will still be paying for Christmas beyond June.

The burden of debt can be terrible – so what can we do about it? Rising costs, mortgages and unexpected payments mean that the promises we make to ourselves about clearing the debt don’t always wash.

One idea to ease the pressure is to change cards. If you have a good credit record this can get you a good deal. Barclaycard offers 18 months interest free, though you have to pay 2.9% of the balance as a transfer fee. After the introductory rate subsides, the rate will revert to 16.9% APR.

If you’re not honestly going to be able to pay back the debt in time, you should opt for a low interest rate deal across the life time of the debt. MBNA has a ‘Rate for Life’ card at the rate of 5.9%. It comes with a balance transfer fee of 1.5%.

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