By: Kate Logan – Last updated: April 2015
Many of us have been in the following familiar situation: there’s an item you’d really like to purchase, but you just don’t have the cash on hand to do so right now. Whether it’s the latest phone for yourself or new clothes and shoes for your growing children, it’s something you’d prefer to have sooner rather than later.
In the past, the only thing to do was to wait until you got the money. But these days, thanks to shopping catalogues which offer credit accounts, you can have the things you want and need exactly when you want and need them, regardless of the current state of your bank account.
What’s it all about?
Shopping using a credit catalogue allows you to pay for your goods over several weeks or months, rather than paying for them upfront. This type of shopping is also known as:
- Buy now and pay later
- Spread the cost personal accounts
- Buying on finance
How does it work?
You purchase items from either a company’s website or from their paper catalogue. Simply pick your preferred items and they are delivered to your door without you having to leave your home.
You can open up a credit account (sometimes known as a ‘personal account’) and spread the cost of payment using finance over a number of months or years.
Account statements are typically sent monthly, and a minimum payment must be made to keep the account in good standing.
Where can I shop?
Whether you are looking for clothing items, electrical appliances, consumer electronics, gifts, or items for the home, you can find it in a shopping catalogue listed below.
Need to replace essential items such as a broken washing machine or your kids’ shoes? Want to splash out on a home cinema system for your living room? Shopping catalogues offering credit accounts are an ideal way to get the items you want now with affordable payments.
Everyone has heard of this popular catalogue company who have over 700 stores around the country offering over 45,000 different products.
Apply for an Argos Card and you can buy now and pay later. Right now you can pay nothing for 6 months every time you spend £99 or more. Pay 3 months later every time you spend £50 or more.
Visit website: www.argos.co.uk
With thousands of fashionable items online Ambrose Wilson offer expert fashion advice and clothes for all occasions.
It’s not just ladies fashion they sell though, Ambrose Wilson also stock a variety of home and garden items, gadgets, toys, some of the most played and sought after video games, gifts and a wide selection of jewelries.
Visit website: www.ambrosewilson.com
This catalogue offers a variety of well known brands at discount prices. Bargain Crazy stocks a wide selection of products such as clothing for women, men and children as well as other everyday items including homewares, garden tools, electrical goods and appliances. Top brands include Nike, Adidas, FCUK, G-Star RAW, Superdry and many more. Bargain Crazy offer big savings on their products and are not to be missed.
Visit website: www.bargaincrazy.com
BrightHouse is one of the biggest rent-to-own companies in the UK and provides a wide selection of household items payable on a weekly or monthly basis. With over 250 high street stores across the country, BrightHouse currently have over 250,000 happy customers.
You will find a huge selection of products such as home entertainment devices, audio equipment, computers and laptops, mobile phones, home cleaning appliances and a range of home furniture. All purchases are both delivered and installed at your home within 7 days. If you are suffering from poor credit, BrightHouse are more sympathetic than some of the other catalogue companies listed here.
Visit website: www.brighthouse.co.uk
This company revolves around the idea of giving a huge variety of selection to every customer that is in need of plus size fashion. Offering a very comprehensive selection of fashion clothing such as dresses, tops, skirts, trouser, coats, jackets, lingerie, swimwear, footwear, a huge variety of accessories and clothing for special occasions, Curvissa offers its customers a huge range of items at an affordable cost.
Visit website: www.curvissa.co.uk
Offering a hassle free shopping environment, Daxon is able to give its customers the luxury to choose from widest variety of ladies wear, plus size fashion clothing, menswear, shoes, lingerie, home appliances and equipment, healthcare products and even the latest news about the today’s fashion trends.
They have a collection for mature women who struggle to find their ideal clothes and they remain a popular choice for females over 50. Daxon pride themselves on their ‘all sizes, one price’ policy and offer not only plus sized clothing including lingerie but also tall and petite ranges, footwear in sizes 2-9 and wide fitting shoes.
Visit website: www.daxon.co.uk
Dial a TV
Dial a TV provide a range of household products on low cost weekly or monthly payments. Repairs are included in the price and saves on the potentially high cost of repair in LCD panels or a high cost of call out for kitchen appliances. You can choose from a range of TV’s, laptops, tablets, washing machines, cookers, freezers and more.
Visit website: www.dialatv.co.uk
Offering major deals and promotions with its products such as clothing, accessories, lingerie (including 45 different brands and sizes from 28-56, cups A-L), footwear, sportswear, swimwear, maternity wear, menswear, home decorations and appliances, gadgets and equipment, gifts for all types of occasion.
Fashion World have a number of exclusive ranges and can offer next day delivery to your home or workplace. They also have a 14 day ‘try before you buy’ offer and you can spread the cost of your purchases with a personal account.
Visit website: www.fashionworld.com
This company was founded in 1875 by J D Williams and Company Limited and aims to please the mature woman who is still very much young at heart. Fifty Plus is a great place to shop for that special occasion; they even have mother of the bride outfits.
Customers can feel assured they’ll be satisfield with up to 14 days to ‘try before you buy’, detailed sizing guides, easy returns and a helpful and friendly customer service team.
Visit website: www.fiftyplus.co.uk
House of Bath
The company offers quality products for every room in the home including furniture, decorations, textiles, outdoor appliances and equipment and electrical needs. They are specialists in home solutions including storage, cleaning and utility products. Their online site has a large selection of exclusives that are not shown in the catalogue as well as a constantly updated ‘new in’ section.
Visit website: www.houseofbath.co.uk
From suits that fit beautifully to cool casuals and everything in between, Jacamo can keep your wardrobe up to date at an affordable price. They provide big name brands in a big range of sizes; any man can be well dressed with Jacamo.
The catalogue mainly consist of menswear, accessories, sportswear and footwear but also includes some home appliances, electrical tools and gadgets, gifts, and more. The perfect catalogue for acquiring new and fabulous designs in men’s apparel. Next day delivery is standard for orders placed before 5pm and you can spread the cost with a personal account.
Visit website: www.jacamo.co.uk
The company was founded in 1875 by J D Williams and Company Limited, and offers a wide selection of affordable ladies fashion items and wide fitting footwear. They have a variety of styles in sizes 12-34 and offer top brands such Anna Scholz, Carol Spenser and Regatta.
JD Williams is mostly aimed at women over 40 but also includes clothes for men, home and electrical products, gifts and beauty products too. You can spread the cost of your shopping with a personal credit account and have upto 14 days to try before you buy.
Visit website: www.jdwilliams.co.uk
With a variety of products like fashion clothing, swimwear, gifts, toys and home and garden items, Julipa offer a wide selection of products, but their main focus is in providing stylish fashion for the more mature lady. They offer a range of fashionable items in sizes 10-30 and provide good value for money for their target market of over 40’s ladies.
Visit website: www.julipa.com
From fashion to footwear, furniture to kitchenware, Kaleidoscope offers a big selection of everyday items that will suit everyones budget. Featuring an extensive range of fashionable items for women and children, you can also pick up items such as swimwear, shoes and various items for the home and garden.
Visit website: www.kaleidoscope.co.uk
This catalogue has a unique French flavour and everything they sell has a touch of chic French style. Offering a wide range of women’s fashion clothing, La Redoute stock everything from simple plain white t shirts to exclusive items by international fashion designers.
You can also pick up shoes, accessories, lingerie and plus size clothing. Men, children and babies will not be left out as this company has a range of clothing to suit the family. With brands such as Nike Tipster and Adidas, La Redoute offer a variety of items at an affordable price.
Visit website: www.laredoute.co.uk
Look again is a company that features stylish items for women. Fashion is their main forte and they offer over 100 items of new styles every week which all come with 10% discount in the first week of release.
Full of expert fashion advice, Look Again will show you how to wear the seasons latest trends using their unique interactive tools. It’s not only fashion though, as Look again also offer electrical appliances and gadgets, stylish items for the home, sports equipment, electrical tools and more.
Visit website: www.lookagain.co.uk
The company was founded in 1875 by J D Williams and Company Limited, and aims to provide the latest fashion clothing for women in a wide variety of styles and sizes. You will find a selection of clothing from jeans, skirts, dresses, knitwear, coats, lingerie, accessories and outfits for special occasions.
Marisota is popular with women over 40, but also stocks an extensive range of electrical goods, home and garden items, gifts and even clothing for men too. With hundreds of exclusive offers, you can receive next day delivery and have up to 14 days to try before you buy.
Visit website: www.marisota.co.uk
This is the catalogue with a large selection of men’s clothes and footwear aimed at the larger man. Ranging from items such as trousers, suits, shirts, jeans and tops, Premier Man provides a wide variety of items for the modern stylish man with sizes upto 5XL.
You can choose from suits to casual wear along with a selection of shoes and accessories. It’s not all about men though, as they also stock a selection of clothes for women too and also provide top branded electrical goods, home and garden items and a range of gifts at affordable prices.
Visit website: www.premierman.com
This catalogue specialises in fashion for the curvier confident lady and offers a selection of clothing in plus size range. As featured on TV, Simply Be focuses on helping plus size women look their best with clothing in sizes 14-32 featuring items from big brands and famous name designers.
As well as items for women, Simply Be also offer mens clothing, children’s clothing, electrical goods, gifts, sports equipment and items for the home. Next day delivery is available and a mammoth 28 days to try before you buy.
Visit website: www.simplybe.co.uk
Swimwear365 offers an exclusive range of swimwear items including, swimsuits, bikinis, tankini style items to suit a range of bodytypes. They are the UK’s largest online swimwear provider offering a wide range of items which are trendy, flattering and affordable.
With hundreds of different styles available for all seasons, you can be sure to find some suitable swimwear whatever the occasion. They stock exclusive brands such as Buffalo, Lascana and S. Oliver as well as French Connection, Marie Clarie, Adidas, Converse and many more.
Visit website: www.swimwear365.co.uk
The Brilliant Gift Shop
The company started as a simple gift shop with the purpose of giving the customers the freedom to choose and buy unique gifts, but has now grown to provide over 20,000 different gift ideas and boasts of providing something for everyone.
From toys for youngsters to special gifts to grandparents, The Brilliant Gift Shops allows you to shop from gifts for him, for her, for children and by occasion. This catalogue has regular sales and special deals of the week and provides next day delivery direct to your home or work.
Visit website: www.thebrilliantgiftshop.co.uk
This company prides itself on a large collection of high quality UK and European fashion items for both men and women at affordable prices to suit everyone. The range is constanly being updated and added to and you are sure to find something stylish to wear.
It’s not just clothing though, as Witt International also have a good selection of home and garden items to help give a stylish touch to your home.
Visit website: www.witt-international.co.uk
How do I apply for a credit account?
Once you have found the items you want and are ready to checkout, you will need to apply for a credit account (sometimes known as a ‘personal account’). You will be asked to submit some details and you will be provided a decision (usually) instantly if you have been approved and what your initial credit limit is.
Will I be credit checked?
Yes. All companies providing credit have a legal obligation to check your identity (that you are who you say you are) and your credit rating before providing you with finance. Remember that you have to be over 18 and a UK resident to apply.
How much can I spend?
Once your application has been approved you will be provided a starting credit limit. This amount will be the maximum that you can spend using your credit account. Catalogue companies look at a number of different variables when determining how much credit to extend to a new applicant. Things like whether or not your are employed and where you live will be considered. Your current credit score will also be assessed, but it is not the sole determining factor.
What If I have a bad credit rating?
Each company has a different credit checking criteria and some are easier to be approved for than others. Click to view the recommended catalogues for bad credit.
What if my application is declined?
The first thing you should do is check your credit report to verify that all of your credit information is correct, and take measures to correct any errors you may find. Credit reports can sometimes contain errors or inaccurate information which can impact your rating. Click here for more information on your credit report.
Are you registered to vote?
Check you are on the electoral roll and register to vote here. Many people assume they are automatically registered, but it is not always the case. Not being registered can have a big impact on your ability to get finance.
Is there a County Court Judgement (CCJ) on your credit file?
These will stay with your for six years, even if the debt has been repaid.
Are there any defaults on your credit file?
Again, these remain on your file for six years. Since some catalogue companies will not extend credit to applicants with a CCJ or a default on their credit files, you may be automatically rejected for these reasons.
Do you make all of your payments on time?
These include utilities, mobile phone bills, and other financial obligations. If you are not in the habit of paying your bills on time, now is the time to start. This will improve your credit rating immensely.
Do you have a lack of credit history?
Some people believe that having no credit history is an asset, as it means that they have never had to borrow money. However, having no credit history at all can be bad when applying for any form of credit or finance as there is no record of how you handle your financial commitments.
How do I pay?
Each month you will receive a statement; a record of your shopping.
You will have two options for repayment:
1). Pay for your items in full using a credit or debit card.
2). Spread the cost of your items on finance using your credit account.
Using your credit account means that you can spread the payments over a certain period of time and avoid having to pay for your items in full upfront. The payment periods can be spread to cover several months or even over the course of a number years depending on the overall cost of the item you buy.
You can choose to pay your bill monthly, make partial payments every week or even fortnightly (this varies according to different companies).
Using a credit account means that a small interest is leveraged in each payment, which is basically how these companies make their profit. The APR rate in which interest is applied will vary, so make sure you check the terms and conditions of each catalogue to determine what options are most suitable for you.
How much will my repayments be?
The exact amount varies from company to company, but typically the minimal monthly repayments are around 5% of the balance owed. For example, if you bought items to the value of £100, you would need to pay off £5 a month. The quicker you pay off your debt, the less you will pay in interest.
If you maintain these monthly repayments on time, you could qualify for a credit limit increase allowing you to increase your spending and increase your credit rating too.
What happens if I miss a payment?
When you make purchases on catalogue credit, it’s important to keep up with your payments. Making your payments late or missing them altogether can start to negatively impact your credit score. Also, keep in mind that late or missed payments will stay on your credit report for six years and can potentially impact your ability to borrow money in the future.
Should you know that you will have trouble making a payment, it’s always smart to call the catalogue company and let them know. Usually it’s not a huge problem if it happens once in a while; they can often work with you to keep your account in good standing while you work through your financial issues.
However, chronic late or missed payments can result in a substantially lower credit score, removal of your line of credit, late fees, or a request for payment in full. As a worst case scenario, your delinquent account can go to a debt collector, which can lead to more financial problems as well as a County Court Judgement (CCJ) to pay back what you owe.
What happens if I can’t pay?
Don’t ignore the problem. Letting the non-payment build up may well increase the amount of interest you pay and can ultimately result in debt collectors becoming involved, court action and a severely damaged credit rating.
Contact the company and explain. Often they can work with you to come to some sort of arrangement for repayment over a longer period, or freeze your account so that you can’t make any more purchases, just pay back what you owe.
Home shopping is ideal for the modern consumer. With time and finances at a premium, being able to shop online with the ability to buy now and pay later has made them an extremely valuable for many.
Purchasing items on credit can be an easy and convenient way to get the goods you want when you want them. However, it is important to think long term before making your purchases. Just remember that you are still purchasing and spending money.
Many catalogue purchases get paid back over 100 or 150 weeks (or two to three years). Will you be able to make your payments on a regular basis for the entire duration of the account? If you’re not sure, you may want to hold off on using credit catalogues for your purchases. If it seems feasible, however, you can buy what you need and enjoy all of the conveniences that catalogue shopping can afford.