Martin Lewis issues urgent warning for credit card users as coronavirus crisis unfolds
Martin Lewis regularly appears on the small screen, sharing his expertise on the topic of money. And, as the coronavirus pandemic has hit Britons not only in terms of health but also finances, the Money Saving Expert has upped his appearances in a bid to help answer questions from members of the public.
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Elsewhere this week, Mr Lewis has published his latest weekly MoneySavingExpert.com email, in which he has highlighted a number of money tips during this unprecedented time.
Among them was an urgent warning on the topic of credit cards.
“Shift to a top zero percent credit card NOW as acceptance criteria are rapidly being tightened,” he warned.
The financial journalist said that lenders are starting to “severly tighten” acceptance criteria due to the coronavirus financial crisis.
Unfortunately, as such, this will mean that zero percent cards will become more difficult to get.
However, these cards can be very important for those who are currently paying interest on existing credit or store card debt.
Specfically addressing these people, he told them to try to grab a zero percent balance transfer now.
He explained that more information including the best deals can be found at Money Saving Expert’s zero percent debt shift help, as can a list of Balance Transfer Golden Rules.
He also signposted Money Saving Expert’s Balance Transfer Eligibility Calculator.
What is a zero percent credit card?
Mr Lewis explained that this is where a person gets a new credit card to pay off other credit or store cards, so the amount is owed to the new card instead, but at zero percent interest.
“This means more of your repayments clear the actual debt, so you get debt-free quicker (just don’t borrow more), saving you £100s or £1,000s,” he explained.
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On Monday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce draconion measures in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Addressing the UK from Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.
“Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.
“That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes – shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible, one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household, any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
“That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home.
“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say, ‘No’.”
“You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.
“You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.
“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
As of 9am on March 24, 2020, 8,077 people have been confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, of which 422 patients have died.
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