Struggling to keep track of your finances?

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Clean up your finances

Taking out credit cards and borrowing money regularly can mean that if left alone, your finances as a whole could end up in a mess.

Every now and then it’s worth taking time out to generally tidy up and straighten out your finances. We’ll show you exactly what you need to do to get your money in order so that you can carry on spending and borrowing responsibly.

In This Guide:

Sort out your credit score

Improving your credit report is always important if you want to borrow in the future, whether it’s a mortgage, a credit card or any other kind of loan.

You can check your credit score by contacting one of the various credit checking agencies out there, like Experian, Equifax or Call Credit.

Things you can do to improve your credit rating include, but are not limited to:

  • Getting rid of any old credit cards that you no longer use
  • Not applying for too much extra credit while your rating is poor
  • Getting on the electoral role and making sure that the address you use is the same as the one you use for credit applications
  • Taking out a credit building credit card and keeping up with monthly repayments

Tidy up your credit cards

If you’ve got any active credit cards, then you’ll want to make sure that any associated debt is paid off.

If you’re struggling to pay off any remaining balance in the face of high interest rates and low capital, then you needn’t worry. You can take out a balance transfer card that comes with an introductory offer of 0% interest and thereby delay paying interest on your existing debt for up to three years if you use it correctly.

Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer your debt from one card to another, so long as the two cards are provided by different banks or building societies.

For more information on this, head over to our guide on balance transfer credit cards.

Take out a better credit card

A balance transfer card can help you alleviate existing debt, but if spending is the goal, then you’ll need something different.

If you’ve sorted out your credit rating, you’ll have an easier time applying for a conventional credit card with a high limit and low APR. You could even apply for a 0% purchase card. Any of these will allow you to spend without racking up too much interest so that you don’t end up in dire straits if you don’t manage to pay back the balance each month.

If you are certain you’ll be able to keep up with monthly payments, then you could go for one of the various cards that offer rewards for spending like cashback or airmiles.

If you are after a new credit card, whether it’s a balance transfer card or a more conventional card suited to spending, you should make sure that you shop around online. By using Money Expert’s credit card comparison service you can have your pick of some of the market leading credit issuers, giving you free reign to choose the perfect card that suits your purposes at no extra cost.

Open up a better bank account

You might also want to consider switching your bank account to one of the various accounts available that offer rewards. There are a wealth of accounts available that come with perks like cashback and interest-free overdrafts.

Not only this, but many banks and building societies will now offer you extra rewards from increased interest rates to cash bonuses just for switching to them.