Credit cards Updated:
Many of us will have lumbered ourselves with more debt than we should have done last year, and made a New Year's resolution to sort out our finances this year. Moneyfacts can help you stay true to your word and help you get back in control of your finances and make more
1) It may be hard, but sit down and write a list of all the money you owe (credit cards, loans, overdrafts, friends/family). Many people know that they have money problems but are either too scared or not prepared to face up to them
2) Draw up a list of your monthly expenditures, excluding your debt repayments. Make sure you factor in all the monthly essentials such as car tax, TV licence, insurance, groceries and utility bills. You should be left with a monthly 'disposable' income.
3) Once you have come to this figure, you know how much you can afford to pay towards all of your debts each month. Don't be down heartened if you find that you can't put your entire disposable income towards paying it off.
4) Work out what your most expensive debt is, and concentrate on paying it off first.
5) Make sure you know how much interest you are paying on your debts. Check against what it out there at the moment to make sure you are always getting the best deal.
6) Be realistic about how much you can pay off each month. Don't ever overstretch yourself or neglect paying for the essentials.
7) If you are paying existing credit card debts, ALWAYS destroy the cards and close the accounts. You may be tempted to use them at a later date.
Helpful Hint #1 - Credit Card Balance Transfer Deals
If you have built some debt on credit cards and store cards and you are paying interest rates of 20%+, you could be paying a great deal less. 0% balance transfer deals can work well for those with expensive debt to switch over.
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Helpful Hint # 2 - Personal loans
If you are paying high rates of interest on numerous credit cards and store cards and want to pay it off and be left with a more manageable single monthly repayment, then an unsecured personal loan could be the best route for you.
If you find that your financial problems are more severe, the worst thing to do is to bury your head in the sand. You can seek free confidential advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or telephone the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000
Once you know exactly what you need to borrow, look at the refinancing solutions that are out there to help you to regain control your finances.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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