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Boost in long-term 0% transfer deals

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Credit cards offering balance transfer deals of 12 months or more now make up nearly half of all such deals available, according to Moneyfacts.  

Data from the price comparison site has revealed credit cards allowing holders to transfer balances at 0% for 12 months or more now make up 47.7% of all 0% transfer deals available, compared to 36.3% this time last year. Balance transfer deals of six to eight months are the second most available, at 33.9% of the total available.

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts, said: “This is great news for consumers as they can have longer to reduce their debt and as a result less marks on their credit file as they won’t need to switch as frequently.

“Balance transfer deals are a fantastic way to reduce outgoings as well as reducing the overall interest paid and cutting the time it takes to repay the debt.”

However, Slade pointed out that this increase in longer term balance transfer deals has come at the expense of introductory purchase deals. Just 6.7% of cards offer 0% on purchases for nine months or more, compared to 15.6% in August 2007.

Slade continued: “Consumers may also run up against another hurdle if they have less than perfect credit histories. It is not known what percentage of customers are accepted for these deals. Also, with the majority of cards offering typical rates, of those that are accepted, customers may find they are paying a higher rate of interest once any deal ends.

“It may be worth checking your credit rating before applying for deals as applying for numerous deals and getting rejected will likely cause you problems in the future.”

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