Ask Financially Offers new Credit Cards Guide and Calculator to Beleagured Credit Card Holders Being stung again with interest rate rises.

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Credit card holders can only look on as credit card giants Capital One and ABN Amro India (currently being purchased by HSBC from The Royal Bank of Scotland) recently announced interest rate increases, of up to 7% for some existing customers. Capital One's increases will come into effect after customers receive their March statements, continuing a trend in APR increases from most major credit card issuers both in the UK and globally. A tightening consumer credit market is not only making it harder for consumers to repay their credit card debt - just being approved for a credit card is now becoming a privilege for reducing numbers of consumers able to meet increasingly restrictive credit criteria.

Informing credit card users

"Our advice is that you shouldn't just look at the headline APR when judging whether a particular credit card is right for you." UK Cards Association

It's a fact that consumers' existing credit card debts are being compounded by rising interest rates, despite lowest Bank of England lending rates since records began. Ask Developments Ltd, initially set up in 2004 to provide free information for UK consumers to make more informed decisions about their everyday personal finances, is a well respected company now offering a new Credit Card Guide and free Credit Card Calculator from their website, in recognition of the challenges existing and new credit card holders face.

Latest figures from the Bank of England show that credit card debt write-offs doubled to £1.6bn as at the end of December 2009 and average credit card interest rates offered by banks and building societies have risen to their highest levels since June 2006, reflecting the higher risk credit issuers are facing. Finance industry research also shows a continuing decline in approvals for unsecured credit cards, with consumers who have bad debts or low credit scores being the most likely to be refused a new credit card.

UK consumers who currently have 66 million credit cards in use, are finding it increasingly difficult to walk the credit tightrope. Ask Financially addresses these issues with their new credit card guide, walking consumers through what they might potentially want from a new credit card; explaining credit card types available in the marketplace, including balance transfer, prepaid and store cards. Understanding credit card charges and where to shop around for deals including links to reputable comparison sites and what to expect when applying for credit cards.

Ask Financially recognises it's more vital than ever that prospective credit card holders should be made aware of how their current credit ratings and ability to repay affects their options, before being enticed by cheap sounding deals. Unbiased and informative, Ask Financially prepares consumers for the credit card marketplace before they get into it, avoiding disappointment and more importantly reducing the risk of escalating credit card debt.

Managing credit card debt appropriately with the assistance of Ask Financially's Credit Card Calculator enables credit card holders to take positive steps towards reducing their debt and therefore improving their own credit ratings. Users' information is securely stored and retrieved at any time. Being easily updated, the calculator becomes an essential tool for managing existing and new credit card debt. Taking a look at Ask Financially's Credit Card Guide and calculator today, means taking control of your credit card before it takes control of you.


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Nicola Young
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