Is it time for a financial health check?

WITH every new year we celebrate we make time to check in on our physical and mental wellbeing, making plans and adjustments for the year ahead – but what about our finances?

Poorly managed finances impact not only your lifestyle, but your mental health too, so, in a world where our spending habits have changed dramatically, it’s a great time to perform a financial health check.

Whether you’ve managed to save more during the pandemic, or you’re worse off, there are plenty of tweaks and changes you can make to help you Get Credit Confident in 2021.

Keep on top of your spending

Keeping on top of your spending is really helpful when it comes to creating an attainable budget, or when setting savings goals.

If you feel like you’ve spent more money than usual this year, or less than usual, keeping on top of how you’re spending it can help you feel more in control, and is a great habit to develop.

Many credit card providers, will let you set up weekly alerts that can help you keep on top of your spending and remind you when your payment is due.

Get on top of your debt

For some of us, the pandemic has meant we have more money to spare due to more time at home and reduction in daily expenses. If this is the case for you then it could be a great time to take a look at your credit card debts and work out how you can pay them off faster.

A repayment calculator, like the Barclaycard Repayment Calculator will show you how paying more than the monthly minimum could help you pay less interest and clear your credit card balance much sooner (T&Cs apply). Small changes can make a big difference.

If, however, you have found yourself with less in the budget over the past year, then getting on top of your debt in an affordable way is very important.

is when the money owed on one credit card is transferred to another credit card. Since balance transfer credit cards usually come with a 0% interest-free introductory period, they can be a good way to pay off your debt faster.

If you have multiple credit cards debts, consolidating them on to one credit card that offers a 0% balance transfer (a transfer fee usually applies) can help you avoid interest and give you more time to pay off your balance too.

They are a great way of ensuring you’re not spending your hard-earned cash on interest, and also help to simplify your payments if you owe money across multiple cards.

However, you need to remember that once the interest-free period ends you will be charged interest, so you need to be sure you can afford it. You can find out more about Balance Transfers and how they work here.

How has your credit score changed?

A good credit history is one thing that helps lenders to say yes to your application. That’s why it’s useful to know what things can affect your credit rating – and how you can improve it.

There are many free services online which will allow you to check your credit score for free, and see how it has changed over the past year.

If your circumstances Impacted your credit score recently, there are a few easy ways to help build it back again.

Firstly, ensure you’re making your credit card payments on time and staying within your credit limit, this will make a big difference.

You should also check that you are registered on the electoral roll, as this can boost your score.

Of course, you may find that your score has gone up over the past year, which could mean you’re eligible for better deals on financial products and loans.

And it’s not just banks that look at your credit score. Mobile phone providers, utilities, insurance companies, rental agencies and lots of other service providers rely on it. That’s why it’s really worth your time to find out and improve your credit score.

You can find many other ways to boost your score here.

Barclaycard has launched a new programme of videos, tips and tools to help make using credit simple and easy.

Discover everything from budgeting to building your credit score.

To find out more, search Barclaycard Get Credit Confident.

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