With the onset of some beautiful spring like weather it seems to have encouraged a lot of us to clean and de-clutter, especially in regard to our finances. So is it now the perfect time to shop around and switch, or bag yourself a low rate unsecured loan?
Consumer affairs spokesperson at Money Supermarket Rachel Wait: “Spring is a season that’s often associated with cleaning and decluttering your home – but it doesn’t have to stop there. This is the perfect time to look at your finances and take control – whether it’s coming up with a plan to clear your debt or making sure you know what payments are due to leave your account and when.”
Check your credit card interest
Moving between credit cards is a much more simple process these-days. If you’ve got a 0% offer that is due to come to an end, or are using a card that costs you interest, you could consider moving the balances to a better deal. Remember though that there are transfer fees involved, usually of up to about 3% of the outstanding balance so make sure you take this into account before transferring. Longest 0% deals currently being offered are by Virgin Money and Sainsbury’s Bank at 28 interest free months. Even those with poorer or bad credit may be eligible for the Aqua card deal which offers a 6 month 0% period. Always make sure that you have cleared the balance before the end of the interest free period.
Shop around for insurance
Again if you are coming to the end of a home or car insurance policy then make sure you shop around for the best deal. Insurers always use their best price to attract new customers and on average you can save £259 if you shop around. It may be a good time to review other things too, such as breakdown cover or legal expenses cover. You may already have these as part of other policies so it’s best to check.
Spring clean those direct debits
It may seem a fairly simple task, but lots of us never cancel old direct debits. Check your bank statements; you never know there could be an old on-going payment that you forgot about that is no longer required.
Improve your credit file
It is always a good idea to get a copy of your credit file so that you know what is on it, and more importantly is there anything that you can do to improve it. A simple administrative task, such as registering on the electoral roll can have a positive impact almost straightaway as proof of address id checked as part of your credit file. Also, ensure there are no spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. You can also add a ‘notice of correction’ if you spot anything incorrect, which allows you to explain why a payment was missed.
Use incentive and reward offers
There are many accounts that offer good financial incentive schemes if you switch, so it’s always a good idea to bear these in mind. Also some current accounts pay far better interest rates than others, and may offer good customer only incentives such as reduced mortgage or unsecured loans rates. Might be time to switch?
Switch to save
Speaking of switching, it may be time to shop around for a better energy deal. There are always deals and offers and some quite hefty incentives to switch, which could see you saving up to £250 per year on your energy bill.
Is your money working as hard as it could be? Check what rate of interest your current provider is offering. Savings rates are gradually starting to shift upwards, so you may find you can switch to something more competitive.
Consolidate with an unsecured loan
Ok so you’ve switched, swapped and saved, and it will all help save money in the future, but what about an immediate impact. Have you considered an unsecured loan to consolidate all existing payments into one? Rates are still very low starting at just 2.9% APR so a good consolidation loan could really help you to spring clean your finances.