It can be very easy to overspend at Christmas, but with the festive season now over many of us are turning our thoughts to dealing with the January bills and credit card statements. Here are some tips on how to get on top of your finances and tackle Christmas debts, to ensure you start 2018 as you mean to go on.
Draw up a budget so you know where your money is going each month, making sure you include all monthly credit commitments. Look for areas where you can make cutbacks – the spare cash can help pay your January bills. There are plenty of free online budgeting tools that can help too.
Consider a 0% balance transfer card
If you have a credit or store card debt that you’re paying interest on you may be able to transfer it to a 0% balance transfer credit card. This means that you won’t pay any interest on this debt for the agreed period. If you’re considering this option, make sure you can pay off the debt in full before the interest-free period comes to an end, to avoid any high interest charges and take into consideration any fees that may apply to the transfer.
Pay off more than the minimum each month
Credit card companies often set minimum repayments at low levels, which could mean that it will take you longer and cost more to repay your debt. If you can afford to, consider paying off more each month.
Sell unwanted Christmas presents
Been given two copies of the same celebrity cookbook? Unwanted Christmas gifts are often stored away and forgotten, never to be seen again. If you’re unable to exchange or return them, try selling them online and use any money towards your Christmas debt.
Consolidate your debts
If you have more than one credit card or loans in place, you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan. This involves taking out a single loan that rolls your existing debts into one monthly repayment. Although this may reduce your monthly repayments, you could pay back more in interest, if the new loan is taken over a longer period of time.
Five debt consolidation tips
1) Use our debt calculator to see if a personal loan could help you reduce your monthly outgoings
2) Check the rate – get a rate and terms that suit you, but remember that you might not get the advertised rate due to your personal circumstances
3) Read the small print – look for any hidden fees or added charges, as this can have an impact on what looks like a better offer
4) Set a limit – don’t borrow more than you need, as adding more to your debt means it will take you longer to pay it off
5) Be disciplined – if you take out a personal loan, pay off your other debts as soon as you’re able to and cancel the associated credit cards
To find out more about how personal loans work and what Police Mutual and Neyber could offer you, click here. We also offer a free professional debt advice service via Payplan, for anyone who needs additional help.
Before applying for a loan, compare rates from different providers to find the best deal available to you. Police Mutual and Neyber, its trusted partner, offer personal loans to the Police family. Personal loans are available from £2,000 - £25,000 over 1 to 5 years – 4.9% APR Representative (fixed).
You could borrow a loan amount of £7,000 with a monthly repayment of £209.15 over a term of 36 months at a 4.9% (fixed) rate of interest per annum. Administrative fees are £0. Total amount repayable is £7,529.30. This is equivalent to 4.9% APR Representative.
PMGI Limited, trading as Police Mutual, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England & Wales No. 1073408. Registered office Alexandra House, Queen Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6QS.
Neyber Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register number 718709. Registered address: First Floor (East), Tabernacle Court, 16-28 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4DD, United Kingdom, Company registered number: 08806631 Data Protection Registration Number: ZA039009.
Article published on 4 January 2018
James Heaney is a Marketing Manager in the Brand team, responsible for PR and advertising. He is based at the Lichfield office, and likes skiing and writing for children in his spare time.Read more of James's articles