Advantages Gives credit to those who wouldn't otherwise get it.
Disadvantages Very high interest, terrible customer service.
|Competitiveness of APR|
|Quality of Customer Service|
|Security and Privacy|
|Ease of Application|
A couple of months ago we made the mistake of getting a credit card "for emergencies", it was meant to be...but as always happens, it was used when it wasn't necessary (mainly by my husband!!!!).Vanquis Bank are a company who offers credit to people with a bad credit history (i.e. CCJs, missed payments etc and just no credit history). Anybody who has ever tried to get credit for the first time will know its sometimes very difficult, if you have never had any kind of credit given to you, companies won't take you on, as they don't know if your a risk or not...and so Vanquis offer a "credit score boosting card"...basically they give a credit card with £300 limit on it to people who have never before had a credit card and probably don't know how to use them correctly. (Before you start...I'm not calling everyone with no credit history stupid, but most people with no credit are young people, sometimes people who have come sraight from college, and need something to help them get by.)
Vanquis will give you this card, but at a VERY high interest rate, around 45% interest...this is to make them money, and to cover their backs money wise should you have any late payments in the future.When we got the card through the post we were told we had a £300 limit, and that it would improve over time as we paid off the £300 once it had been spent, although at first we said the card would be for emergencies, it started been used as our wedding card, and covered the costs of our wedding which we hadn't anticipated would get so much, as we were only having a very small wedding; but this turned into a larger wedding, with more people coming, and then a big reception needed...though in the end we wished we'd just had a nice meal with close family and not spent the unceccesary costs!!! BUT anyway....
We used up our £300 credit limit, then realised we actually couldn't pay anything more than the minimum payment that month, so it got paid, with an interest fee...of exactly the same amount as we had paid...we soon realised if we were to pay off minimum payment each month, we would never ever ever pay off the card as obviously if the interest is the same as the minimum payment, it counteracts the payment you are making!!! But, we couldn't afford anymore at the time, we had got into financial struggle, our car started costing us £320 a month whereas it had only been £90 previously, and so our incoming was dwindling.In the end, we had to set up a payment plan with a company Express Debt Solutions, these take on your debts and you pay them a fixed amount each month, and that gets divided up between your creditors, and they can either accept it, or reject the payment, if they reject it, then well they're not very nice people, and they can try to take you to court, but they'll end up getting paid less then monthly ANYWAY as the court see's you don't have the money to pay it. But, all our debts got passed onto them, there wasn't that much really, a £5k loan from when we moved home, a £1k loan from the wedding, and a couple of credit cards and an overdraft.
Everything was great, we stopped getting letters, stopped all the phone calls...until...Ring ring ring, "hello", "hello this is vanquis bank"...they rejected the payment given to them by Express Debt and wanted the whole payment of £300 there and then...well we don;t have £300 lying round our bank accounts to be given to a bank, we told them that what Express were offering was all we could afford, and phoned up express who told us just to ignore the call.
Then the debt was passed onto "impact debt collections", who as far as I can see are a branch of Vanquis bank...these people phone us around 15 times a day, we never gave them our mobile numbers...yet somehow they managed to get the numbers, and now we get calls at 8am through til 8pm, the most annoying thing is, we try to answer the calls so that we can get it sorted, but as soon as we pick up, its disconnected or somebody says hello, and then when you reply they put down the phone, I know its Impact Collections as I have typed the number into a search engine, and it comes up as their company!!!My recommendation would be; if you must get a credit card (think very very hard first!!!) do not go with Vanquis, their interest rate is HUGE! And they WILL phone you morning, noon, and night, they'll find numbers where you ahve never given the number to them, they will hassle you until breaking point trying to get money from you which you do not have.
If you can afford to pay off the amount you spent each month, then the card is fine, but if you can afford to pay it off completely on the day your statement comes...then you don't need a credit card...just a little patience! If you can pay off your full balance each month...then the things you have bought can wait! If your paying your bills on a credit card, your very very silly. As your bills end up been alot more than they should be!I suggest not getting a credit card! And especially not with Vanquis!!!! The only good thing about this company is that they can give you credit when you really do need it, when you can't get it anywhere else!!! If I could do it all again, I would never have gotten any credit card, I would have never taken out any loans, and I would not have got into uneccesary debt. And so I am warning you, to think long and VERY hard about taking out any credit whcih you do not need.
These debts were all in my husbands name, and so his credit history is now completely shot apart, and he'll probably not get credit again for at least 5 years when his credit file is hopefully clear!
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