Many stores will have a card on offer to their customers. When you apply they will do a credit check and you will often have access to all sorts of special offers, store events and other bonuses which could mean that you will be more likely to shop at that store. They can seem to be a great way to save some money, but are they as good as they seem?
Often a store will try to do everything they can to get you to shop there. Without customers they will not survive. This means that they will have all sorts of offers and tempting events to get you shopping. If you have a store card they try this even more, not just because they now have your contact details so have a way of contacting you but because they can potentially make more money form their store card holders than other customers.
Not only will store card holders be more tempted to shop in store because they can use their card and therefore do not have to pay for their purchases right away, they also may end up paying more. This is despite the fact that they are given all sorts of discounts and bonuses. This is to do with the interest on the card.
A store card works rather like a credit card in that you will not have to pay any money until you get sent a bill at the end of the month and then you can pay it all off or you can just pay off a minimum amount and you will be charged interest on the remaining balance. This interest rate can be extremely high and it could mean that you will be paying a lot more for your purchases than you think you are. The longer that you take to pay off the card, the more that you will pay in interest and it means that you could end up paying much more for the item than you would have ever considered paying or it had it been priced that in the first instance.
The best way to use a store card is to set up a direct debit so that you pay off the full balance each month when it is due. This means that you will get to enjoy all the benefits of being a store card holder without having to pay anything for that privilege. You do need to be careful still though. You may find that the items that you are buying from that particular store are cheaper elsewhere. So do check prices and compare to make sure that you are not overpaying. Just because there is a discount or sale does not mean that you are automatically getting the best deal. It is easy to check priced online these days so you can see whether you can get that item for less elsewhere.
If you think that you are the type of person that will overspend with a store card or be tempted not to pay it off in full, then it is a good idea not to get one. If you are not sure, then just imagine what you may be like and you could always trial one for a month and see whether you think it makes a significant impact on your spending. You will need to have good self-discipline to cut up the card though, if you think that you are overspending with it. However, if you think that you will just spend as normal in the shop and use the card to take advantages of discounts but pay it off in full each month, then it will be of benefit to you.
As with all forms of credit or loans, it is wise to think hard before signing up to a card like this. Consider whether it will advantage you or disadvantage you. It will all depend on how you choose to use it and you need to think about you and how you think you will behave with it. You know yourself the best and you should know whether you can be trusted to do the right thing with a card like this or whether you should just avoid using one.
In the UK medical care is provided for free, but there are private hospitals where you can get treatment should you want to. Some people take out insurance, either individually or through their employer to have access to this private care and others will pay for treatment as and when they need it. The advantages of paying are that you can get treated more quickly and some people feel that they get a better quality of treatment as well. Some treatments such as some fertility treatments and cosmetic surgery procedures are not available for free and so have to be paid for.
We may have different reasons for wanting private medical care. It may be that we want children, want to change how we look, want to be out of pain or want to have a condition treated more quickly so that we can be well again. All of these not only have physical implications but also emotional ones and if we are emotional in a situation it can be difficult to make wise decisions. This is why if you are thinking of borrowing money for medical care of some sort, then it would be good to discuss it with friends and family first.
It is worth thinking about the consequences of being in debt as well as the consequences of the treatment. You will of course expect to feel a lot better health wise as a result of having the treatment or you will gain emotionally from having children or feeling that you look better. However, you will g into this happier phase in your life with a debt hanging over you.
Having debt is never easy. You will always know that you owe money and that you should be earning more or spending less to pay it back as quickly as you can. Some people feel it is a big burden for them and always fear the debt hanging over them until it is paid off. Others will feel more relaxed towards it but may still worry about having the money available to repay it when necessary. It can be difficult finding that extra money each month to make the necessary repayments.
If you are recovering from medical treatment, whatever it might be that you paid for, you may not be able to work. You may be able to take some sick leave, but you may not get sick pay or only statutory sick pay which may mean that you are short of money. It could be that you miss out on overtime extras or on call money which would mean that your pay is lower until you have recovered. This means that you will need to be finding extra money to make repayments on a loan when you have a lower income and so it could be extremely difficult for you to manage financially.
Stress is also a really important factor to consider. When you are recovering you will not want to expose yourself to unnecessary stress. There is evidence that stress can slow healing, can lower the immune system and cause inflammation in the body. This will not be good for anyone who is trying to improve their health and so it is best to avoid it if you can. If you have a loan to repay and you are concerned about the cost of borrowing and how you will manage the repayments then you could easily become stressed. Therefore you need to consider how you will feel about borrowing and how you will manage the repayments before borrowing the money to make sure that the stress does not cause problems for you.
It can be very difficult deciding whether to borrow money is the right thing to do in any circumstances. In this situation it can be even more difficult to make a decision as you need to think about whether you could wait and have the medical treatment for free and whether you think you could cope better with that than the stress of borrowing money. If you are having a treatment that isn’t available for free then you have to decide whether you can wait and save up or whether you want it right away. Think about whether it will be better to wait and not have the stress of the loan or have the treatment and try to manage the stress.
When interest rates are high it means that loans will become more expensive. This is because loan interest rates are determined by the Bank of England interest rates and if these are high all interest rates tend to be high. The higher the rates, the more expensive the loan as you will have to pay a higher percentage of what you are borrowing back to the lender.
If you are doing any sort of borrowing, whether rates are high or low you should think hard about your decision. Consider whether you want to pay extra for the privilege of having this money. Calculate how much you will pay in costs for the loan and think about whether you think that it is worth it. Think about what you are spending the money on and whether you still think it is worth buying and will offer good value for money even considering the extra money that you will be paying for it.
With a long term loan, such as a mortgage, the current rates of interest may not have much of an influence on the final amount that you pay. This is because interest rates fluctuate and if you are borrowing over a twenty-five year period then what the rates are when you take out the loan is not an indication of what they will be on average for the term on the loan. This is true of any long term loan and so it is less relevant. However, if you are taking out a short term loan or an open ended loan (such as an overdraft or credit card) then it is much more relevant. You are more likely to be repaying in the short term when interest rates may not change that much and more importantly are unlikely to get much cheaper. Therefore the term of the loan could have an impact on the decision that you make with regards to whether you should wait until interest rates change.
Of course, delaying borrowing could mean that interest rates may go up or that you will have to wait a very long time for them to fall. This is a risk that you may be willing to take as you may be happy to wait if you can borrow at a cheaper rate. While you are waiting for the rates to fall, you could take the opportunity to save up money. You may find that you can save up enough, to be able to borrow less or not have to borrow at all. It is also worth using the time to think about whether you really need to borrow at all and whether you need the items that you are saving up for.
If you already have loans and the rates are high they will be costing you more money. It can be wise to see whether you can think of ways that you can pay back those loans more quickly so that you can save money, rather than taking out more loans. Payday loan firms such as Emu.co.uk offer quick and easy repayment options with no additional charges. This means repaying overdrafts and credit cards, personal and car loans and even mortgages that much more quickly. You can save significant amounts of money by doing this and so it can be worth looking at your spending and seeing if you can cut down as well as at your earnings and see whether you can increase them.
It is always wise to think hard about any type of borrowing whether interest rates are high or low. Think about whether you really need the money and look at how much it will cost you to borrow. Think about whether you can save up rather than borrow or go without. Then think about how you will afford to repay the loan, whether there are monthly repayments or not you will still have to pay back the money. Repaying a loan can be extremely stressful especially if you have financial difficulties while you are doing it. You may find that you have other stresses and the stress of the loan really gets on top of you. Consider how you might cope if you lose your job, need to borrow more money or just have very high expenses and what will happen if interest rates rise even more and you have to find more money to repay. It all sounds very negative, but it is better to address these questions before taking out the loan and making sure that you are well prepared.