Get £20 for making your credit card repayments on time

Get £20 for making your credit card repayments on time

New cardholders of the Barclaycard Initial can enjoy £20 cashback just for making their repayments on time.

The new deal on the credit builder card means that so long as you make at least the minimum repayment every month, and don't go over your credit limit, you'll enjoy a £20 cashback payment after three months with the card.

It is another selling point to the Initial card, which is designed for borrowers with little or no credit history. It already offers a 0% period on spending for three months and a credit limit of between £150 and £1,200. It has a representative APR of 34.9%.

The Initial is not the only credit builder card that comes with an interest-free period on purchases though. There's also the Lloyds Bank Classic, which has its own three-month 0% period and offers a credit limit of at least £500. It has a representative APR of 25.9%.

For a full run-down of credit builder cards, read The best credit builder credit cards.

New low-fee card

Barclaycard has also launched the Barclaycard Platinum 24 month credit card. It comes with 0% on balance transfers for 24 months and six months interest-free on purchases. It also has a competitive 18.9% APR. The main selling point here is the low balance transfer fee of 1.25%. So you can avoid paying interest on your balance for two years and only pay a fee of £25 on a £2,000 debt, for example.

Here's how it measures up against the best low-fee balance transfer credit cards.
Credit card0% periodBalance transfer feeFee paid on £2,000 transferRepresentative APR after 0% period ends
Tesco Clubcard with No Balance Transfer Fee12 monthsNone£018.9%
Nationwide Select Low Balance Transfer Fee Visa*15 months0.55%£1115.9%
Nationwide Low Balance Transfer Fee Visa15 months0.65%£1317.9%
Santander 17-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee MasterCard17 months0.9%£1818.9%
Barclaycard Platinum 24-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card 24 months1.25%£2518.9%
Halifax 28-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee MasterCard28 months1.5%£3018.9%
Bank of Scotland Platinum 28-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee MasterCard28 months1.5%£3018.9%
Lloyds Bank Platinum 28-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee MasterCard28 months1.5%£3018.9%

*Nationwide current account customers only

As you can see, for just 0.25% more on the transfer fee you can get an extra four months of 0% interest on your balance transfers. That's only £5 on a £2,000 transfer. However, if you are confident you can clear the debt in two years then the Barclaycard Platinum is still a very competitive card.

If you need a longer period in order to clear your card debt, you can get a whopping 34 months from Barclaycard. For a round-up of the longest 0% deals, check out The best 0% balance transfer credit cards.

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How to dispute your credit record
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Get £20 for making your credit card repayments on time

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.


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