Advice please on clearing my credit cards

KITT2000KITT2000 Forumite
9 Posts
Fourth Anniversary First Post

So this is my dilemma, over the last 5 years I have unfortunately had to take out a number of credit cards on a 0% interest-free rate and a loan to cover my expenses due to personal circumstances. I have 5 credit cards at the moment, 4 of them I do not use and just pay the minimum amount off each month which is what I can afford. The other card I have I also pay the minimum amount each month but unfortunately I have to use it for other living expenses, i.e petrol, and food shopping as I simply do not have enough funds in my bank account to cover the costs, especially during these current times. Over the years I have been transferring the balances, or as much as possible to another card when the 0% promotional rate comes to an end which so far has been working fairly well thus avoiding having to pay any interest. 

However, one of the credit cards that I have and use for purchases (Sainsbury's) has come to the end of its 0% promotional rate which means that I am now incurring monthly charges. 3 of the other cards that I have are Virgin Money, Capital One and Marbles will also be coming to the end of it's 0% rate, and the other card, Tesco Bank ends in April 2024. That aside, as mentioned I also have had a 3-year loan which comes to an end in August 2022 so thankfully that is almost finished.

Now, I was wondering if I should apply for another loan once the current one has come to an end so I can at least pay off 4 of the credit cards that are coming to the end of their 0% rate, or do I try to apply for yet more credit cards with a 0% interest-free rate and transfer the balances, or at least as much as I can over to them? 

The problem is that the Virgin Money card has quite a lot left on it (approx £4,000) so it will be very unlikely I will be able to transfer all of that over, possibly half of it if I'm lucky depending on how much credit limit I get. The other cards, Capital One, Marbles and Sainsbury's have a combined amount of approximately £4000 left on them and the Tesco card has about £2500. So in all, I have approximately £10,500 spread out over 5 different credit cards, 4 of which are coming to the end of their 0% promotional interest-free rate.

So I was thinking about applying for a £10k loan which will I can use to pay off at least 4 of my cards that come to the end of its 0% rate, that way I will have a bit more money in my bank account to keep me afloat and I have almost another 2 years to pay off the Tesco Bank card.

What do you think my best option is please or is there another way that I have not thought of? Thanks


  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Debt consolidation rarely works, especially when you're having to reborrow credit each month.

    If you can provide income and expenditure details we may be able to offer more appropriate suggestions.
  • BrieBrie Forumite
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    You need to get down to the problem of why you have so many debts.  That will be essential for resolving this.

    Meantime - someone will suggest you post a statement of accounts so others who've been through this can help advise on specifics so that you can dig yourself out.  

    How likely do you think you will be to get a £10k loan?  It may be difficult if you have been only paying the minimum.  And you will need to be able to prove that you can clear about £20k debt as there's no guarantee that if you got a loan you will actually use it to get rid of the other debts. 

    I wish you luck on sorting it - it's good to see that you are at least aware that something needs to be done. 
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  • edited 27 June 2022 at 4:33PM
    sourcratessourcrates Forumite
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    edited 27 June 2022 at 4:33PM
    Time and time again most people who look to consolidate existing debts, have a history of previous attempts at the same thing, was your existing loan an attempt to become debt free also ?

    It seldom works, as they simply carry on the reckless spending behaviour they practiced previously, and before long, they are up to their necks in more debt.

    You admit to moving money around 0% deals, and yet your first thoughts are still to look to borrow even more money to yet again move the debts sideways, you need to stop this financial madness, and take a good long look at your situation, you cannot go on like this forever.

    A statement of affairs is usually the place we will ask you to start at, you can find the calculator in the sticky section of this forum, you need to list your essential outgoings and your income, what`s left is for debt repayment, if that is insufficient, and you cannot increase your income, and/or lower your outgoings any further, then some kind of debt solution may be required.

    Which option you take depends on your individual circumstances, but you can safely assume that consolidation is not a recommended choice on this forum.

    Fill in the SOA, be honest, not aspirational, post it on this thread, and we can take it from there.
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  • BlueJ94BlueJ94 Forumite, Ambassador
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    Don't take a loan to pay off a debt. It very rarely works and you get sucked into more debt.

    Sit down, work out your expenses for the month as best as you can and start contacting the loans/credit card companies and explain your situation. It honestly seems scary at first but you'll be greatful to not have to worry 24/7.

    As above, post a SOA and go from there.
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  • AndyjfletAndyjflet Forumite
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    Please don't consolidate, you think you are paying your debts off but your not, your just moving debt around as it gets larger and now it has caught up with you. Happens to us all.
    What you need to is list you SOA and then start paying them off. We can help with this. So search for the SOA on here, dont borrow another £10k please.......
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  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Ambassador
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    The rule is when you  are in a hole then stop digging.  Borrowing more to sort out debt problems never works and almost always makes things worse.  I would guess you have been in this position for a while taking out more and more credit cards then consolidating on to a loan then building up the credit cards again. Was the original loan due to finish in August for debt consolidation too?  My guess is that if you take out a loan for £10k to consolidate it will not be a decent interest rate so you will be resorting to credit to live as you will have an expensive loan repayment to make each month.  I think your options are either transfer on to 0% deals and budget and stop using credit altogether until your finances are under control or explore a DMP.  If you fill out an SOA it will be more obvious which would be better for you.  A debt consolidation loan is never the answer though. The link for the soa is below.

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