Need to know financial information
If we were asked what our current account balance was, the average consumer could probably provide a reasonably accurate answer. Here in the UK there is a whole host of variance in terms of how ‘well’ we manage our bank accounts and subsequently our financial concerns in general. Where most of us would actively ensure we are ‘aware’ of the activity which takes place on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis within our accounts, this does not automatically suggest we are fully aware of our financial concerns in a general level. As consumers, here in the UK there are many different ways and methods of managing our money in a sensible and effective matter; whether or not each of us are doing this, is a completely different manner. A recent discussion in The Guardian dived into the true extent of this further when it pointed out 24 personal finance facts that each and every one of us should not only be aware of but also, using and maximising to their full extent at every possible opportunity. With this discussion in mind today we will be looking at some need to know financial information which could be of benefit to each and every one of us.
First up is your existing credit cards APR and what this means to you in monetary terms. Understanding what the APR is will greatly improve your chances of managing the resource better. Many credit card providers will offer an introductory rate of as little as 0% but these normally only apply for a pre-determined period of time. After this time period, the rate will increase and therefore your remaining balance will be subject to this rate of interest. Therefore, understanding the APR and what it could (and subsequently does) cost you is vitally important. In instances where the introductory rate has expired, then is the time to look at possible balance transfers and the lower rates which could possibly be obtained as a result. Whilst we are on the subject of rates and periods of repayment, it may be time to consider your savings in greater detail. By this I mean, have you considered how long your savings would last you if you were to find yourself out of employment unexpectedly. Although this is a circumstance we would all like to avoid, unfortunately this is a reality which any one of us could face. With that in mind, it may be worth making efforts to boost your savings and in doing so increase the level of cover you have should a rainy day arrive in the future.
Understanding the state of your finances could also mean the requirement to review your Credit Rating if you do not already do so. Many consumers have previously admitted to either not knowing their ‘score’ or simply being afraid to check it in the first place. Nowadays checking your Credit Score is actually very simple and straight forward. There are several online services which can give you access to this information for absolutely nothing. This means you can review and check your score or rating on a monthly basis without having to pay a fee to do so. Keeping track of your Credit Score also means you are maintaining an awareness of your Credit File and its contents. This is really important as it gives you the opportunity to ensure all of the information which is present is both correct and up to date. This will not only help to ensure you have a Credit Score which is reflective of your true financial circumstances but also gives a regular opportunity to dispute entries which are incorrect. Unfortunately, we now exist in an economy where online fraud is a increasing concern and often goes undetected. By signing up to a free Credit Score service; such as Noddle, you can ensure you are not being defrauded on a regular basis; a sensible choice for each and every one of us.
Alongside all of the above, being financially aware means needing to be fully informed of your finances in a general sense. This means maximising saving opportunities, which may mean knowing when your local supermarket reduces the price of their goods or signing up to a discount voucher site to ensure you pay the best possible price for your online purchases for example. As well as these simple tricks and tips, why not visit The Guardian for many more great ideas for how to become a more financial savvy individual for the year 2017.
Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems - For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk
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Author: Internal Customer Services Agent