Are you one of the 14% seriously worried about finances?

Brits are worried about the state of their finances, according to new research from Gocompare.com Credit Cards[1].

14% admitted to being concerned about their finances, with 15% saying they often run out of money before the end of the month. In fact, 6% rely on credit cards to cover their costs.

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s likely the situation will get worse for many. YouGov revealed at the start of the year that the average amount people spend during the festive season on gifts, food, drink and socialising increased by 8% in 2015 from the year before[2]. To cover the cost, 31% said they relied on a credit card.

Credit cards and your finances

Credit cards can be a great way to manage your finances if used in the right way. However, some people stumble into trouble when dealing with credit.

13% of surveyed (6.7 million adults) told Gocompare.com that they have credit card debt that is 3-years-old or more. In fact, 1 in 10 said they have persistent debt of five years or over.

These figures illustrate the importance of making sure that any credit you take out is affordable and manageable.

Getting finances back under control

Luckily, it’s not too late to start sorting out your finances if you’re one of the many who are concerned about them.

Take stock of your debts – You need to have a complete view of how much money you have coming in, what your outgoings are and how much debt you have. Your credit report can help, as it shows you your financial account information and short-term loans you have in place.

Put a plan in place Once you understand your financial situation, you can start to explore different ways to fix it. It might help to prioritise your most urgent debts and see if you can pay them off in full or start to meet monthly repayment targets. Step Change Debt Charity and Debt Support Trust are just two free advice centres that could help you work out a strategy for dealing with any debt, whether that’s budgeting, consolidating debts with a credit card or loan, seeking help elsewhere or a combination of the 3.

Only borrow what you can afford – If you’re planning to use a credit card or loan to consolidate your debts or simply spread out the cost of your purchases, make sure that you look for the best APR deal you’re eligible for and check you can afford the repayments while covering all of your other expenses. Our Credit Card and Loan Matchers can help you find cards and loans you’re eligible for based on your credit rating, so you can increase your chances of being approved[3].

 

[1] On 18 July 2016, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2002 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.
Read more at http://www.gocompare.com/press-office/2016/credit-card-time-bomb/#qHEKJBH6Ky4LroEC.99

[2]  Total sample size was 2,352 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st and 2nd February 2016.

[3] Noddle is a credit broker and not a lender