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Are you an ostrich when it comes to your finances?

Are you an ostrich when it comes to your finances?

Category: Money

Updated: 24/06/2010
First Published: 24/06/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
UK adults have been likened to ostriches after it was suggested that people are not as good at keeping their personal finances in check as they might think.

Despite almost nine out of 10 adults claiming to be on top of their money matters, new research from Capital One suggests that such confidence might be misplaced.

Many people were found to be slightly confused over the state of their finances, with most likely to benefit from some simple positive steps to be more in control of their cash.

For starters, half of credit card holders said they had not reviewed their monthly payments or balance in the past year, with the figure rising to 82% for people with overdrafts and to 86% for customers with personal loans.

People were also found not to be taking proactive steps to ensure they stay on top of their money, with 53% of consumers having never checked their credit rating, despite it being possible to do this for free.

Around one in five people were unaware that missing a credit repayment could harm their credit score.

However, of even greater concern was the quarter of people who thought that ignoring a County Court Judgment would not affect their ability to access credit.

"This is a classic manifestation of the 'ostrich syndrome', where people choose an out of sight, out of mind approach to their finances where the less you know, the less there is to worry about," said Dr Roger Henderson, senior medical practitioner and stress expert.

"Often people kid themselves they're in good financial shape but in reality it's a different story, which is only revealed when bigger problems occur further down the line."

If you're looking for a 0% balance transfer card, there are a number of great deals around at present.

Virgin Money's BT Card offers 0% on balance transfers for 14 months, while BT's card from MBNA Europe Bank offers 0% on balances for 13 months. AA's card offers 0% on balances for 12 months.

If you're after a credit card offering a preferable rate on purchases, then Virgin Money also has a card charging 0% on purchases for 12 months.

Find the best credit card rates - Compare credit cards

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