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Rate Tarts – What Are They?
Author: Joseph Kenny

According to leading market analysts, rate tarts are costing the UK lending industry over one billion pounds a year. This is pretty much the same as saying that rate tarts are saving themselves one billion pounds a year. So what, or who are they, and why have they gotten the lending industry’s attention.

0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Well, most people are reasonably familiar with the balance transfer and other offers that lenders are putting out to try and entice customers to come over to them from other lenders. Offers such as zero per cent interest rates on balance transfers are now viewed as a matter of course and there are even credit cards coming out now that give zero per cent, not only on balance transfers, but on new purchases also. This is truly astounding. Never before have such offers been available on the market and customers are right to snap them up when it suits them. They are the product of increased competition in the industry and everyone’s right to take advantage of. These rates are typically sweeteners to entice you over to the new company, where you will enjoy them for a limited period of say six or nine months, before reverting to more typical levels depending on the nature of the credit.

Surfing the Net for Credit

What rate tarts do however is they follow and take up on these offers. They then enjoy the zero per cent interest rates for the period allowable, and instead of sticking with the company at the end of the period; they simply jump ship to another company offering similar incentives. In this way they manage to keep their debts interest free for as long as possible.

A Word of Caution

While these customers are well within their rights to do so, they should exercise care while doing it or they will regret their action. First of all, if lenders can find out that you are one of these customers, they may decide not to make their incentives available to you. This is not very common at the moment but who’s to say what the future holds if the problem continues to grow. Another risk is that if you jump from credit card to credit card without closing any of the accounts, you will actually have access to a huge amount of credit, and lenders who see this may worry that you are planning on spending all this credit with no means of paying it back. Therefore it is a good idea to close each account after you leave it, rather than simply throw away the card.

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Joseph Kenny is the webmaster of the UK credit card comparison sites www.creditcards121.com/ and CardGuide.co.uk. For more info visit credit card articles.

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