What you need to know before choosing Catalogue Credit.
Catalogue Credit is the answer to many people’s problems when it comes to bridging a gap in short term finance for household items, home electronics or clothing for the family. There are many benefits for online shopping such as budgeting over the year and being able to make purchases when it suits you at whatever time you like without leaving the home and with delivery to suit yourself. Now that online shopping has become more streamlined there is such a wide-ranging choice that the customer can now decide on the best interest rates, the quickest and cheapest delivery options, and the greatest variety of brand names and designer goods available to satisfy their every need.
The financial savvy customer can really make the most of the online catalogues and the credit facilities available, and those with particularly good credit can make incredible savings when you compare home retail against high street shopping with parking and fuel costs thrown in. Online shopping is almost double the fun when it comes to the entire shopping experience, firstly the you have a vast array of goods at your fingertips. It would take a route map planned with the intelligence of an army logistic corps to get you around as many shops in a day as you could get around in an hour when shopping online, not to mention no aching feet and the queues at the till. Secondly, the joy of the delivery, when the parcel is delivered by a smiling courier to the door without having to carry them home through the busy streets with plastic bags cutting through your hands trying to outrun the parking warden. Plus, inevitably you will always spend more when browsing in the shops as you will always pick up more before you get to the till, with online shopping you tend to buy certain items, as goods are catalogued in such a way to make it easier to find what you need in an instant, shops are laid out intentionally to make you spend more.
Online shopping is really coming into its own these days and is competing with the high street and definitely holding its own, if not almost taking over. No matter what your credit situation there is online shopping available. Yes, there can be certain penalties for those with poorer credit or no credit history, such as higher interest rates and lower credit limits, but catalogue credit is also a great way to build a good credit history for the future if used wisely. Take for example, a catalogue such as Brighthouse, one of the only catalogues guaranteed to offer credit as they base their lending on references and guarantors, once their contract is paid off your credit rating will gradually improve, and you may find you would be accepted by another level of poor credit lenders and so on. With poor credit you have to rebuild your credit file and the only way you can do this is by continually lending and continually proving you can pay back your debts, smaller responsible lending, such as catalogue credit is a sensible way of doing this.
There is a myriad of catalogue credit offers that will amaze, tempt, but most of all, confuse you so this list below should help you to decide what is the best form of catalogue credit for you and your financial situation.
Personal Account Catalogue
The majority of online catalogues will offer personal accounts, some will just have one catalogue with their account, others will allow access to their affiliate catalogues with their accounts, which is very useful as you will have the same credit facilities and extra variety of products and brands.
Instant Credit Catalogue
When you open an online catalogue personal account they will perform a credit check, if you are eligible and pass their criteria they will set a credit limit for your first spend with them. Once accepted your credit is instant.
Depending on the catalogue you choose, many online catalogues are used as an online store, meaning goods are paid for in full, where customers prefer not to choose credit options, but like the options of home shopping. Some online stores do not offer credit facilities and are purely pay in full on order catalogues.
When you are offered interest free purchases, this means that you will not pay any interest on the goods if you pay the balance in the time set out in the contract, for example you order a jumper at £50, over 20 weeks, and you pay it within 20 weeks, you will only pay £50 for the jumper, but should you not pay the jumper off in the 20 weeks, you will then incur interest charges on the remainder of the £50 that is outstanding, and this could be as high as 59% with some catalogues. It is very important that you study the interest rates that your particular catalogue will charge you should you ever be in danger of not paying your statements on time. You will have to have an account to have an interest free purchase and this will depend on your credit eligibility with the catalogue you apply for.
Buy Now Pay Later
With larger items, or for higher limit personal accounts you can sometimes be offered buy now pay later accounts, this can delay payments for up to a year or even 18 months in some cases. It is found that only those with a very good credit rating or a good ongoing history with that particular catalogue will be accepted for this type of credit. The way this works is that payments will be delayed for a period of time agreed on order, and then the good can be paid in full, with no interest or in installments with interest added. In some cases, the final payment options can be decided once the payment is due, to pay in one go or installments. This is a great way of having the goods you need now and spreading the cost over years. The ideal situation would be to pay the balance in full before the due date and incur no added interest charges, as it only at this point that catalogue credit becomes an expensive option against other repayment solutions, such as credit cards and bank loans when you look at the interest rates incurred. JD Williams, Freemans and John Lewis are some of the major catalogues that offer buy now pay later terms on their larger and more expensive items, some catalogues will allow the entire balance of a personal account to be delayed over a period of time, thus making a purchase of a capsule wardrobe for example possible on buy now pay later terms. These offers tend to be available on special offers overs spread throughout the year.
Bad Credit Catalogues
Bad credit catalogues are catalogues that are based on your ability to repay the goods in the terms set out on applying. The majority of bad credit catalogues base their lending criteria on guarantors or references, and their goods are mainly household and electrical items and are rented rather than owned. It is very important to know that there is no such thing as a guaranteed acceptance any you should never be tempted to pay or give card details to any website offering this. All lending is based on your credit history and your ability to repay, you will be offered all catalogues should you have a good credit file, most catalogues with a medium credit score and a few catalogues with a poorer score, but the poorer your score the more you will be penalised with higher interest rates and lower credit limits. There are lots of Bad Credit Catalogue brokers on the internet, they will promise you guaranteed acceptance, but in reality, they will not make the decision, the catalogue and their own decision makers do, and the possibility is that every time you apply you will leave another negative search on your already damaged credit file. Dial-A-TV or BrightHouse are probably the best online catalogue to start a bad credit history, as these will offer credit based not just on your personal credit file but on your current situation and will take guarantors into consideration. Once you establish a good contract with them, this will show on your file and then future lenders will see that effort is being made to rebuild your finances.
How to get clever with online catalogues
If you have decided to give online shopping a go, then get ready to have a good few hours researching the right one, or ones for you. Firstly, be honest with your finances and look at checking your personal credit score before applying for any form of credit, as purely applying for credit can have a detrimental effect on your score whether you receive the credit it or not.
If you have a medium to good score, then you should always look at the catalogues that offer the lowest interest rates, as these catalogues do tend to reward those with better credit history, you will also find that along with lower interest rates you will find that these catalogues offer free delivery or yearly delivery packages and first-time order discounts. The lowest of interest rates start at approximately 18% variable APR and this is with a credit card especially for the John Lewis Catalogue and Department store, next in line is Next with 22.9% Variable.
For an all-round first time start into the world of catalogues you would not go far wrong with a Freemans catalogue, this catalogue gives you the freedom of an online catalogue plus the beauty of a paperback catalogue that the whole family can look at and enjoy as well as order from and have their own sub accounts with if you so wish. This is more like the traditional catalogue that we are more used to. It is worth knowing that when using the catalogues such as Freemans and Grattan’s with sub accounts, you do earn commission against your own orders as long as your sub accounts are kept up to date.
For those with no credit at all, or those who are rebuilding their credit a catalogue can be a perfect start, you may find you have a low credit limit and the interest will be high should you default but paid on time you will start to build a history that shows you are a capable and responsible lender. A good catalogue to start a credit history would be Fashion World, they will have a low credit limit initially and a very high 58.7% APR variable but are quick to reward loyal customers credit increments.
Over time you will be offered higher credit limits and your credit rating will also increase. This will be on view to other future potential lenders should you be looking for longer term finance like a mortgage. A healthy credit score will benefit you not only short term but can save you thousands in interest payments over longer term financial commitments as you will be able to choose the better options to suit yourself rather than having to put up with poor credit penalties. There is never a better time to start building a good credit history than NOW!
Online shopping should not be thought of as purely a way of solving a cash crisis or for those with poor credit, they offer a solution for the time strapped worker, the busy parent who has better things to do or the shopper who has a budget in mind and does not like to be distracted by the glitz and glamour of the sale rows that the high street stores throw in your face. Catalogue credit has its place in modern life and if used wisely is a great way of balancing the family budget and keeping up to date with everything that is current in both home electronics and mobile phones together with the latest trends from that catwalks fashioned for the everyday wardrobes.