Here is a checklist of some of the different forms of borrowing.
Bank credit cards
Examples are Amex, MasterCard and Visa.
� Limit set to total credit allowed
� No interest if settled in full by the specified date following the date of the statement
� Minimum monthly repayment of £25 or 5 per cent (whichever is the larger) of the amount due
� Interest on credit outstanding expressed as a percentage figure for the month
� Can be used vary widely in the UK and overseas
� There may be automatic insurance when used to buy travel
� The Consumer Credit Act offers some fall-back protection if the suppliers of the goods or services fail. www.oft.gov.uk/about-the-oft/legal-powers/legal/cca/
Charge cards and gold cards
These are offered by some bank and credit card organizations, e.g. Diners and American Express.
� Joining and annual fees are usual; it is a privilege to be accepted
� Extended credit not offered; accounts must be settled monthly
� No limit to the spending which can be run up each month
� No Consumer Credit Act fall-back protection
� Increasing number of member privileges being developed, such as insurances
� Automatic bank overdraft facility offered in some cases, at advantageous interest rates.
Airline cards, hotel cards and others
Examples are Air Plus, Hertz, Avis and Trump card.
� Basically charge cards
� Usually special advantages for booking journeys, cars, hotel rooms online etc.
� There may be extras such as insurance
� Can save time on arrival or departure.
Examples are John Lewis, Harrods and Marks & Spencer. Various types are offered by different stores and chains.
� Most work like credit cards - you buy at the store without cash and pay on receipt of statements.
� You may agree to pay a fixed sum each month, and can then acquire goods up to a set limit - perhaps twenty times your monthly payment.
� Interest rates range from just below those of the bank credit cards to rather higher than, them.
� They are restricted to use in a single store or chain of shops.
� Member privileges are being developed, such as special late shopping evenings and previews of new fashions.
Pay day loans
Often the most expensive form of borrowing. Companies offer quick and hassle-free online payday loans between £100 and £1000. No fuss and repay on your payday or face ruinous interest that should be made illegal (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/25407).