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A new year means a fresh start, and one of the best things you can do is take a cold, hard look at your finances – particularly when it comes to your credit score. Your credit card could well have taken a bit of a battering over the festive period and your credit rating could be suffering as a result, so it's time to take action!
Why you need a good credit score
Unfortunately, far too few people give their credit score the attention it deserves, and many aren't even aware of how important it can be. According to research from aqua, over three-quarters (79%) of respondents have no idea what their credit score is, while over half (53%) don't know how to improve it – but this could have a long-term impact.
A low credit score can not only reduce your chances of being accepted for traditional forms of credit in the future, but it could have more unexpected consequences, too. For example, did you know that a poor credit rating could affect your access to the cheapest utility tariffs, or that it could prevent you from being accepted for direct debits (often a cheaper form of payment)?
If not, you're not alone – a worrying 83% aren't aware that a poor rating could affect their access to cheap utility tariffs and a further 75% didn't know that it could revoke their direct debit privileges, which could have a significant impact on everyday household finances.
The ultimate resolution – and how to keep it
Considering how important a decent score can be, taking action to improve it will be a great way to start 2016. Happily, 22% of survey respondents said that they'll set a New Year's Resolution to better manage their money, while 18% have vowed to place more importance on their credit score, but just how can you stick to these resolutions?
Remember that a good score needs to be built up over time so you won't notice instantaneous results, but if you stick to your guns and commit to better money management, you could end the year with a far better score than when you started.
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