4.5Million Brits to transfer credit card balance as New Year resolution

4.5 million to transfer credit card balance in the New Year

  • £3.2 billion pounds will be moved to new credit cards in first three months of 2010
  • Total amount of debt being transferred has fallen by more than half since last year but number of Britons transferring a balance has risen
  • Average balance transfer sum will be £1,140

The number planning to transfer a credit card balance has risen by a third compared to this time last year as savvy borrowers look for ways of managing their finances more effectively. However, the total amount of debt being transferred has fallen by more than half, from over £7 billion pounds just 12 months ago, as Britons pay back record levels of unsecured credit.

The research found that cardholders planning a balance transfer in the New Year will transfer an average sum of £1,140, compared with £2,290 in 2009. Those over 55 years old are least likely to transfer balances between credit cards, with just five per cent planning to do so, compared to seventeen per cent of those under 55 years old.

Emma Roberts, Director at Santander Cards, comments: “The number of people transferring balances has risen year on year, whilst the amount being transferred has fallen dramatically; this is a clear sign that consumers are becoming savvier when it comes to managing their finances. It’s encouraging that so many Britons are planning to take control of their finances in the New Year by transferring an outstanding credit card balance to a 0 per cent deal.”

The research also highlighted considerable regional disparities when it comes to New Year balance transfer plans. Those in the South East of England will be shifting the largest balance (£1,807), compared with those in the North East who will transfer an average of just £149. Interestingly, the North East also has the lowest proportion of switchers, with just eight per cent planning to shift their debt to a new card. In contrast, 34 per cent of borrowers in Northern Ireland are planning to switch their balance in the New Year.