%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Barclaycard has almost immediately responded to Halifax's new 30-month 0% credit card by extending its own top deal to a record-breaking 31 months.
Barclaycard has increased its longest 0% balance transfer period on a credit card to a record-breaking 31 months.
The change follows Halifax's launch of a 30-month card and means Barclaycard now tops the 0% balance transfer card best buy table – at least for length of interest-free period.
It has also increased the length of interest-free period on its 29-month card to 30 months.
Let's have a look at the small print of these new Barclaycard offers.
New Barclaycards in detail
The Platinum 31-Month card has a balance transfer fee of 2.99%, although borrowers will initially be charged 3.5% and then paid the difference via a refund.
The card also offers six months interest-free on purchases. The representative APR (the annual combination of interest and charges) if you don't repay your balance transfer and/or purchases within the interest-free period is 18.9%.
The Platinum 30-Month card has a slightly lower balance transfer fee of 2.89% and also has a 0% period on purchases of six months. Its representative APR is 18.9% too.
Similar to the 31-Month card, the balance transfer fee is initially 3.5% and then reduced to 2.89% via a refund.
These cards are only available to people with good credit ratings. Even if your rating is pretty good, you may find you're offered a shorter 0% period than the one advertised. You don't have to take this, but be aware that if you apply for lots of cards your applications will be recorded on your credit rating and could prevent you from being accepted for any card.
Ideally, you should pick a card that will give you sufficient time to pay off your debts in full and not need another balance transfer. There's no point saving a bit of money on the fee now, only to end up having to pay interest once your 0% period runs out.
You should ensure you make at least the minimum payment each month, otherwise your 0% offer will almost certainly be withdrawn.
Barclaycard increases 0% credit card offer to 31 months
Don't wait until you need to apply for credit to view your credit record – do it now so you know where you stand and can deal with any disputes. When applying for credit, you give the lender permission to view your record, so it makes sense to view it yourself first.
You can access your record via any of the main credit agencies in the UK. By law, all the credit agencies are required to provide you with a one-off copy for just £2 so don't be hoodwinked into signing up to pay a monthly fee.
Your report shows what credit accounts you've had and whether you've made repayments on time and in full. According to Experian, items such as missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least three years, while Court Judgments for non-payment of debts, Bankruptcies and Individual Voluntary Arrangements stick around for around six years.
Your credit report shows the current address at which you are registered to vote as well as details of other addresses you've been linked to in the last six years. Another section lists people you have a financial connection with, such as a joint mortgage. When you apply for credit, lenders are able to look at their credit history as their circumstances could affect your ability to repay what you owe.
Scrutinise your record to make sure there are no mistakes. Even a minor error such as an incorrect address or wrongly linked account could hinder your chances of being approved for credit so make sure all your details are correct and that all your borrowings are on record. If there is a discrepancy, contact the three main credit agencies to get it corrected.
A default notice is note that a lender puts on your credit file if you fall behind with your payments. It is a warning sign to future lenders about your reliability to repay credit and could mean that they will be less likely to lend to you or will increase the interest rate.
If the default notice is incorrect, perhaps because you have repaid the loan in full or did not take out the credit and suspect that you have fallen victim to fraud, you can apply to have a default notice removed. A default notices will only be removed if it is factually incorrect – not simply because you are embarrassed by it.
Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.
Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.
You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.
If you are unhappy with the response or would just like to explain a missed payment on your file you can send a Notice of Correction. This is a statement of up to 200 words that will be added to your file. Although lenders don't have to take this information into account, it at least gives you the chance to tell your side of the story.
Experian states that agencies will also help you escalate the dispute to a third party arbitrator if necessary, such as the Information Commissioner's Office.