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When it comes to borrowing, there are a few options available, depending on factors such as your credit rating, income and age. Credit cards are probably the most accessible to most people and there are usually several options available. Though reckless use and failing to keep track of spending can lead to serious problems, providing you keep your borrowing to within manageable limits, using credit cards for life’s little emergencies and even every day spending is something many people do.

Balance Transfer Cards

If you already have existing credit card debt and are looking for a way to reduce your monthly payments, this is the type of card you will need. They are not designed for spending and many often feature very high interest rates fur purchases, so do be aware of this before you sign up. What balance transfer cards allow you to do is move existing debt from one creditor to another. Providing your credit score is ok, many of the main lenders will be willing to offer you low interest rates or even special 0% offers so you can pay off the amount you owe at a significantly reduced cost. A word of warning, though. These cards do not last forever, so it’s important to keep track of any introductory rates so you can either pay off the balance in full or switch to another creditor before they run out.

Poor Credit Rating Cards

There was a time when having poor credit precluded you from further borrowing, but this is no longer the case. The debt economy is thriving and providing you can afford to repay what you owe, this type of card can be a useful asset, especially towards the end of the month when your pay-check can’t come soon enough. Generally, the APR on these cards is very high indeed, so they should only really be used as a short-term solution. Large purchases that you can’t afford to pay for from your bank account can be made using this type of card and providing you remember to pay the full amount when you can, you can still enjoy the benefits of having credit, without getting in to further financial trouble.

Travel Cards

Travelling with cash can be inconvenient, expensive and even dangerous, so many people are switching to credit cards as a means of funding their vacations or business trips. There are a range of cards available that have designed specifically for travellers. Many of them offer cash back and other benefits such as discounted vehicle hire or money off at selected international retailers. Like poor credit rating cards, you can usually expect a higher interest rate, though if you have a good credit score, you may be eligible for lower APR offers. Convenience and security are the two main reasons you might like to consider this as an option for your next holiday. Cards can be cancelled or reported stolen in seconds and you also have a clear, traceable record of any transactions you make while out of the country.

Business Credit Cards

For business owners, this type of card can be a life saver. Office supplies, essential equipment and day to day expenses such as dining with clients can all mount up and put a serious strain on your cash flow. Using a business credit card is a great way to keep your own finances totally separate from those of your business. Rates can vary and credit limits will depend on previous financial activity but for short term purchases and expenses you can write off against your tax, this is one of the best options available.

Cashback Cards

These cards are generally expensive if you don’t pay off the full balance every month, but if you can afford to clear what you owe, they can also be a way of earning a little extra money. When you spend on your card, then pay off the balance, you are generally given a small percentage of the total. So, for example, if you spend 100 pounds on a card that offers 3% cash back, then clear the balance in time, you will receive £3 in return. It might not seem like much, but this is literally money for nothing, providing you can manage to pay off what you’ve spent quickly.

First Time Credit Cards

When lenders decide if they can offer you a credit card, they need to check your financial history. If you they don’t have any records for you, it can make it more difficult for them to decide if they can offer you anything. First time credit cards generally have a small limit and mid to high rate of APR. As a way of learning to use credit effectively, they can be a very useful tool. If you prove you can manage this type of borrowing, the chances are, creditors will approach you with offers of higher limits and lower percentage rates.

Student Credit Cards

Studying is expensive and many creditors now offer special, low interest rate cards for students to help them meet the cost of learning materials and day to day expenses. To be accepted for this type of card, you will need to be in full time education and meet other, specific criteria. As a way of building a good credit rating and establishing yourself as a responsible borrower, they can be a great option, but do be aware that missed payments can cause overall debt to multiply very quickly.

Rewards Cards

Like cash back cards in principle, this type of credit card offers users rewards in return for spending and making regular repayments. Air miles, amazon vouchers and many other useful products are available from most major credit providers. Used properly, this type of card will allow you to enjoy a range of rewards, simply for making regular payments. Interest rates can vary and the quality of the rewards on offer generally improves with your credit rating and age.

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