Make sure you get the most
out of your finances.

Sarah Audrain, Client Relationship Manager, Equipment Rental Finance

Credit is on the up with UK consumers borrowing an extra £318 million ? that?s the latest report from finance facts website Moneybasics UK.

At Equipment Rental Finance, (EQR) we understand how easy it is to lose track of your finances, especially if you have several credit cards and loans with different lenders. The temptation to sign up to the glossy credit card offers that land on your doormat each week, offering you zero balance transfers and interest-free credit is often too difficult to resist.

Research before you decide to commit to any borrowing
Credit card companies often emphasise how easy it is to apply for credit cards, but it?s worth doing a little research before you commit.  Moneybasics UK states that the average interest rate on credit card lending is currently 17.09%, around 11.85% above base rate. Yet if you were to apply for a personal loan locally, you could benefit from a much lower rate of interest.

Personal loan rates are often much lower than credit card standard interest rates
Lenders like EQR offer personal loans with different interest rates, so always ask for a quotation ? it?s free and you?re not obliged to proceed. A good lender will create a repayment plan that suits your budget ? we offer repayment terms from 6 to 84 months, so we can calculate a loan to suit every lifestyle.   As with any agreement, always make sure you check the small print.  Ask your lender about their charging structure, interest rates and any extras like late payment fees or early settlement charges. As an ethical lender, EQR will be able to provide you with the interest rate and if requested, the total interest payable over the course of the loan. If you are provided with a rate, ask for the APR equivalent, as it?s much easier to compare this with other quotations.
There are more credit cards in the UK than people!
Credit card use also appears to be growing steadily – according to APACS (the UK trade associate for payments), there are more credit cards in the UK than people!   Average consumer borrowing via credit cards, motor and retail finance deals, overdrafts and unsecured personal loans rose to £4,525 per average UK adult at the end of February 2007.

Credit Cards: Beware of the minimum payment trap
If you own a credit card and are opting to pay the minimum amount stated on your bill ? did you know that it could take you many years to settle your outstanding debt?  Credit cards are a popular way of borrowing money, but using them to pay for the cost of everyday living may leave you with mounting monthly payments and rising debt that could take years to repay.

Plan to repay what you owe at the end of each month
If you?re going to take out a credit card, plan to repay what you owe in full at
the end of each month.  If this is not an  affordable option, then we?d recommend you consider consolidating your credit card balance and any other outstanding debts into a consolidation loan.

If you have several debts then you?ll be paying varying rates of interest
If you use a number of credit cards, or have loans elsewhere, you may be paying different rates of interest on each one. Why pay more than you need to? You could consolidate all your outstanding debts including credit card balances and household bills into an affordable personal loan with just one rate of interest that could be a lot lower than you currently pay.   Instead of paying several lenders each month, you?ll be making just one fixed payment, and a lender like EQR should also be able to reduce your monthly outgoings.

Don?t let your personal finances spiral out of control. Talk to the professionals and discover the options available to help you manage your money and debt more effectively.