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Tools and tips to manage your credit card

If your credit card repayments become tricky to manage, it’s good to have a few strategies on hand to help you get on top of them.

Here you’ll find tips on reducing your balance faster, plus tools to help make it happen. 

Tips to reduce your balance

Keeping in control of your credit card could mean reducing your balance as fast as you can and paying less interest. Here are four things to keep in mind:

1. Pay on time

Not only does it help keep your balance down, paying at least the Minimum Payment on time means you’ll avoid any late fees and extra interest charges. What’s more, it could help maintain your credit score. If you’re unsure what the next due date and Minimum Payment amount are, you can find them on your latest credit card statement. Access your statement via Internet Banking or call us on 13 33 30 for more information.

2. Pay as much as you can

The higher your repayments, the quicker you’ll get on top of your balance and the more you could save on interest. So if you can, repay as much as possible above the Minimum Payment shown on your statement each month.

Want to know how this could look for your own repayments? Use our St.George credit card repayment calculator or the Australian Government’s MoneySmart credit card calculator~ to see how different repayment amounts could play out. 

3. Consider switching to a lower rate credit card

Depending on the type of credit card you have (e.g. a rewards credit card), there could be other credit cards  available with lower purchase rates that could better suit your current needs. As always, make sure you read the Terms and Conditions for any new card, so you understand exactly what to expect.

4. Use the right tools for the job

A Balance Plan&Pay or Autopay could help you pay on time, structure your repayments, and even reduce interest costs. These two features are already available to set up on your credit card account – find out more about them below.

Tools that could help make it happen

Balance Plan&Pay*

There’s a structured way to manage your balance at a lower interest rate when you need to. It’s called a Balance Plan&Pay, and it breaks repayments down into regular monthly instalments.

You can set one up for all or part of any balance over $200, and any type of existing balance – whether it’s a purchase, cash advance, or balance transfer. Choose your term (3, 6, or 12 months) and set a goal for how much you want to repay. Keep in mind, the applicable interest rate on your Balance Plan&Pay will be confirmed when you set it up through Internet Banking.

Autopay^

Want a set-and-forget way to make sure your repayments are on time each month? Autopay is a handy feature to do just that. You can choose to pay the full closing balance, the Minimum Payment, a percentage of the closing balance, or a set amount of the closing balance.

Try setting Autopay to the highest amount you can comfortably maintain above the Minimum Payment. If you set up an Autopay amount but don’t think you’ll be able to manage it, call us on 13 33 30 to change or cancel it at least 2 business days before the statement closes.

Helpful resources at your fingertips

Experiencing financial difficulty?

Chat to our St.George Customer Assist team. They’ll help you find options for managing your repayments that are right for your circumstances.

Alternatively, you can contact the National Debt Helpline from anywhere in Australia for free independent advice from a Financial Counsellor.

 

Important information

Conditions, credit criteria and fees and charges apply. Credit provided by St.George Bank - A Division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714. This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

*Balance Plan&Pay: Balance Plan&Pay plans have different interest rates. Logon to your Internet or Mobile Banking to compare Balance Plan&Pay rates against your standard rates. Subject to the St.George Bank Credit Card Terms and Conditions (PDF 303KB).

You need to register for Internet & Mobile Banking in order to use the Internet & Mobile Banking app. Read the Internet and Phone Banking Terms and Conditions available at stgeorge.com.au.

^Autopay: The Bank will only make a debit if there are funds owing on your credit card account at the time the debit is processed. If a debit on your nominated account is dishonoured, the Automatic Payment Dishonour Fee will apply. The Bank may cancel the direct debit request (amongst other reasons) if you do not have enough cleared funds available on two or more occasions. If the “outstanding balance” is less than your nominated amount, only the “outstanding balance” will be paid. If your nominated amount falls below your “minimum repayment” the Bank will debit the “minimum payment”.

~MoneySmart’s Credit Card calculator: While such material is published with permission, St.George Bank is not responsible for its accuracy or completeness. The recommendations as a result of you using this tool is intended as a guide only. It is for illustrative purposes only and is based on the accuracy of the information provided.