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Thinking of borrowing this Christmas? Follow our six steps to saving money on interest

Financial expert and CEO of ClearScore, Justin Basini, gives his tips on improving your score and saving money this season

Christmas is approaching. Now is the best time to make sure your finances are all in check so that you can get the best deals possible.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

At ClearScore, we’ve found that 1 in 5 of us are already worried about our festive expenses, and that as many as one quarter of us will take out a new financial product – such as a credit card – to help manage these costs.

However, it’s important to take extra precautions when looking at a new financial product. Our research has shown that around 80% of those taking out a new credit card won’t check their credit rating before doing so. In addition, 42% of people are unaware that their credit score can make a £20,000 difference in extra interest repayments across a lifetime – nearly the equivalent of a year’s average annual take-home salary.

Prepare now and get the best rates you can

Our CEO, Justin Basini, says that for many people, “Christmas inevitably involves some level of short term borrowing, such as a credit card, as a way to spread the costs.” Justin goes on to say that, “The important thing is to keep borrowing under control and pay as little in interest as possible.”

We’ve found that 42% of people might be unaware that the interest rate they’re offered is impacted by their financial history. As Justin says, “Lenders reserve their lowest rates for those with better credit scores, so it pays to start improving yours now.”

So what are the best ways to improve your credit score leading up to Christmas, and what are some good habits to continue into the New Year?

Six easy steps to improve your credit score

Actively managing your credit score means you’ll get access to the best products on the market. Here are Justin’s top tips for helping your credit score:

1. Sign up to see your credit score – you can get your free score and report at ClearScore.com or through our app. You can track your progress using our handy Timeline feature.

2. Check your report thoroughly, regularly and always before applying for credit. Make sure to report and correct any mistakes or false associations on your report as these could be damaging to your score.

3. Make sure that your bank and any credit providers have your correct address.

4. Check that you’re registered on the electoral roll – this is a great, simple way of boosting your score quickly.

5. Try to get your name on some utility accounts – the greater the evidence that you borrow and repay your credit regularly, the better your credit score will be.

6. Use a smaller percentage of your available credit limit – using no more than 25-30% is ideal.

Keeping track of your finances through ClearScore and following Justin’s tips are a great way to help your white Christmas stay in the black.

 

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