How to get a car and cut debt

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Credit card users can wipe hundreds of pounds off bills and use their remaining debt to get large car discounts by taking advantage of a rare offer, writes Nic Cicutti.

This unusual opportunity comes because two issuers - Halifax and the new Ford Barclaycard - offer to cut existing debt if it is transferred to a new account with them.

In the case of Ford Barclaycard, available from April, the rebate will be 5 per cent. Halifax is offering customers who transfer a debt of pounds 300 or more, a credit of pounds 25.

Card users can take advantage of both offers. Barclaycard said it would accept transferred debt from any other card, subject to normal checks. A Halifax spokeswoman confirmed it was theoretically possible for someone who had already had their debt reduced by another issuer to take advantage of its offer.

This means a person with pounds 2,000-worth of debt with, say, Access could switch twice, reducing the overall amount they owe to pounds 1,875.

The order in which it is done depends on which card you want to end up with. One route would be to start with Halifax's offer, available now. Then move to the Ford Barclaycard. You could then transfer your debt to the GM Card from Vauxhall. GM cardholders get a pounds 200 voucher entitling them to an immediate discount off any Vauxhall vehicle. The price of the new car will be discounted by a further 5 per cent of transferred debt.

Finally, having bought your new car with the GM Card, you should have racked up a mountain of debt and can start again.

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