Over the years, businesses and in particular lending institutions have discovered that the phrase “free” carries a very positive meaning to Australian consumers. So many of these companies have sought to incorporate free gifts, rewards and even financing in order to have more people try their services. One of the most attractive offers is the interest free consumer financing option that is now available with many credit card companies.
For many Australians, the idea of borrowing money with no interest rates has a considerable amount of appeal. However, just what is this type of financing and what kind of benefits and drawbacks are part of the program?
The interest free consumer finance program is generally a part of an introductory rate for obtaining a new credit card. For a pre-selected period of time, purchasing items and sometimes pulling cash from the card will incur no interest rates on payback. This means that if you spent $20 on an item, you only need to pay $20 back to your credit card company based on that purchase.
In some cases, this introductory rate may be used on transferred debt from another card, although that practice may fall under another type of program. In any event, a customer with one of these cards can enjoy interest free payments for a pre-selected period of time.
Other finance companies use a different approach to interest free financing such as direct debit repayments. These companies do not issue a credit card or any other type of charge card; instead they work on a revolving credit basis, similar to a Business Overdraft.
The initial advantages are considerable for Australian consumers who are looking to pay less on their credit cards. Most such programs will last for at least six months and up to 5 years in some cases which provides plenty of time to pay for items or pay down debt without worrying about an interest rate.
Plus, many of these plans allow you to pay out early without any penalty which means that you can pay off a considerable amount over that period of time and by the end suffer no additional fees or payments due based on the interest free period. When used wisely, this can be an excellent card to have in your possession.
However, one of the biggest disadvantages is that such cards will often have a higher than normal interest rate kick in once the free period is over. Add to this the additional fees and charges and you will have a card that is not as good as most low interest credit cards that have no such interest free period. Plus, there may be monthly payments and fees required for its use during the interest free time on your card as well.
Basically, the interest free consumer finance is a short term option designed to lure you into trying a particular credit card. This is basically for those who can transfer debt to the card and pay it off in the pre-selected period of time. Otherwise, the card is not really worth it in the long term for a consumer who has no accumulated debt. You will need to go over your own finances to see if this type of card will work for you.
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