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Harcourts' fantastic plastic

By Campbell McIlroy

Friday 28th April 2000

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Real estate firm Harcourts is launching a credit card that will give homeowners up to 100 days' interest-free credit.

The Harcourts Card, a venture with finance company AGC, allows homeowners to borrow $500 to $10,000 to put toward marketing campaigns or making improvements to the property before sale. An average marketing campaign in Auckland can cost $2000-4000 and $1000-2000 in other centres.

The scheme is based on an Australian model which Harcourts says has enjoyed great success.

Research shows most properties sell within 100 days, after which the vendor can either pay back the debt, avoiding any interest charges, or pay off the balance in instalments.

The card has an application fee of $35, with approval taking as little as an hour and funds available within 48 hours. After 100 days, interest is charged at 21% with a minimum monthly repayment of 3% of the balance.

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