My weekly round-up of your personal finance questions.
I love hearing from you, whether it’s on the blog, social media, YouTube or on email. Often you’re asking me questions about your finances, and I’m always glad to help if I have the time.
But I realised that my answers could also be useful to other followers. So I’ll be putting my responses to the best questions into regular articles here on the blog.
Keep reading for some of the questions I’ve been asked, plus the video live from last week with even more!
Watch the latest Q&A
Watch my answers to questions in the weekly Q&A on YouTube
Can I get £100 for leaving First Direct?
What might be a good reasons to leave First Direct to get the £100 mentioned on their webpage? https://www1.firstdirect.com/banking/switching-bank-accounts/
Paul via email
Hi Paul. Sadly this offer ended when FD brought back the welcome £100 bonus in mid-February. I double checked with the bank and this was confirmed.
Of course, people who opened the account when the offer was running could still be eligible as they would need to have waited at least six months (but less than a year) to take advantage. In that case, you don’t need to give a reason to quit. But you do need to contact the bank to let them know.
How do I stop paying Chip’s monthly fee?
You get £10 bonus for £10,000 if you sign up until to Chip+1 with AI. But lets say you reach 8 July and want to stop paying £1.50. How do you get out of that – withdraw £8000 to go to free?
Chapanery via email
You need to downgrade your Chip membership from Chip AI to Chip Lite. In the app, go to Profile, then Your Plan.
That will stop the monthly payment. Then you can withdraw the excess money in the account if you don’t want to keep earning the interest on it.
Can I automate my Halifax Reward card payments?
Andy could you advise please how do you set up a card payment of £500 a month for the Halifax Rewards account that is not a standing order or transfer?
FG, via YouTube
Hi FG. So you’ll need to manually make the payment each month. You can use your debit card to make a payment on your credit card, or use it to top up a Monese or Revolut current account. Here’s more on the account and the hack.
Is it worth reducing my mortgage term?
Can it be worth reducing the mortgage term when you come to re-mortgaging? I am already overpaying by £250.00 a month so having looked around, I can reduce the term by 3 years when my fixed rate finishes and still pay £25.00 less a month on my current obligatory payment. My overpaying has reduced the “term” from 16yrs remaining to 8yrs 9 months so far
MiniMad, via YouTube
So it depends on the flexibility of the mortgage. For example, if you can make unlimited overpayments there’s no need to reduce the term. You overpay now, and if there’s a penalty to close your mortgage early you can always reduce the monthly payments later to spread out over the rest of the term. But if for some reason things get tight and you need to reduce what you pay, you can do that no problem based on the longer time!
Will a Cifas marker hurt my chances of a mortgage?
I applied for a virgin Atlantic card and they sent me a letter saying that they’re sending my details to cifas because they believe the application is impersonating me. If I have a cifas I can’t apply for financial products for 6 years? I wanted to take out a mortgage this year
AD, via YouTube
Really sorry to hear this. Though it doesn’t mean you will get rejected it could make things harder. Get in touch with Virgin Money and question this as to why. Ask them to recind the Cifas marker. If they don’t do this you can appeal to the Financial Ombudsmen.
Will the Apple Card come to the UK?
Any news on the Apple Card?
Fahad, via YouTube
Sadly there’s nothing about a UK launch for this so I don’t think it’s likely to happen any time soon, if at all.
How important is a low credit utilisation?
Thanks Andy, just wondering by what percentage credit card utilisation has to be reduced before impacting on your score? i.e. if at 90%, would reducing to 80% or 70% make a difference, or would you have to reduce to 60% or 50% to increase your score? ThanksREPLY0 replies
S34 via YouTube
So Experian say that 25% per card is a good thing to aim for. I’d imagine that the closer you get to it the better it will reflect on your report.
Is my credit score good enough for Amex?
What sort of credit score/report is required for AMEX?
Andrew, via YouTube
It’s impossible to say as this information is just something available to American Express. But you can go via eligibility checkers on comparison sites or direct with Amex to get a sense of how your personal credit report matches up with what they require.
When will my credit card charge interest?
At what point do you pay the interest on credit cards? Obviously from what you said paying it off straight away will avoid this but what is the usual timescale is it the end of every month if not payed up what was used in that month?
Ryan, via YouTube
Hi Ryan, you’ll have a monthly credit card statement period, and that’s what the interest will be based on. You’ll have a date to clear that before the interest is charged, and if you don’t do that, or only do part of it, you’ll see interest added.
The statements will probably be a month after the date you opened it rather than a calendar month.
How to ask me questions
The best ways to get in touch is in the Andy Clever Cash Facebook community
Just post your question any time, or ask me live in my weekly Q&A each Thursday (which is also on Instagram and YouTube).
You can also comment on individual blogposts and videos or ask me questions via these channels:
I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer all questions but I’ll do my best.