Top Tips For How To Handle Those January Bills

”Make sure those Red Bills don’t make you Blue”.

Many of us will have enjoyed a good time, but will soon hear the unhappy thud of the credit card, or other bills hitting the doormat....  But if money is tight, what is the best way to tackle the headache caused by those Christmas bills?  One thing not to do is hide the bad news away behind the clock on the mantelpiece!  Some lenders will love you to do that as that means they can charge more and more interest each month.  You need to sit down and work out a plan - and the quicker you pay, the less it will cost you....

Here’s some tips from the Campaign for Fair FinanceTM:

Pay bills off same month if you can - if you're able to pay in full by the due date in most cases you will pay little to no interest at all. Try not to be still paying for this year’s Christmas by the time Santa comes round again.

If you have to spread it out, have a plan to pay it in two or three instalments max - the quicker it's paid, the less you'll pay in interest.

If you're unlikely to be able to pay off bills quickly, your only option may be to borrow money. PLEASE REMEMBER easy money is usually expensive money - pay day lenders and high street money shops tend to have very high interest rates and are best avoided, if at all possible.  That's why they're lining up to loan you money may be best to walk on by!

Prior to making the decision to borrowing money ask yourself the following questions:

Who is lending me the money? Use comparison websites. After all that’s what they are there for. Also Research each lenders own website.

Can I afford the repayments? This is one of the most important questions. Sit down and take the time to work out what you can afford to pay each month. Only borrow if you have the available cash each month to make the required payments. Obviously circumstances can change during the term of the loan, so only take out a any loan if you are sure you can afford the repayments from the outset.

Do I like this Lender? It is important that you get on well with the lender. Only borrow from those companies that you like. There is no science behind this, simply go on your gut feeling. Do you get on well with the staff? Will they listen to me? These are important sub-questions that you need to also ask, because if for any reason you might find it difficult to make any of the payments throughout the term of the loan; then you need to make sure you have borrowed from a lender that is there to help and assist you.

Do I intend to pay this loan back? Sadly some customers take out loans with no intention of paying them back. These customers are the reasons why some rates are so high.  Lenders charge at rates that will not only cover the risk of your own credit history, but also the credit history of others. Please do not enter into any financial agreement if you have no intention of making the repayments. It only affects others.

If you have answered “Yes” to all of the above then please remember to shop around.

Compare, Compare, Compare. Also, read reviews, look at each lenders website, feel free to pick up the phone and speak to each lender. Most Lenders are also contactable via email. Ask questions and make sure you are happy before you decide that you are ready to take out the loan. Loans range from 1 month to 25 years. Your chosen lender may very well be with you for a substantial amount of time. Therefore making the right decision is of utmost importance. It doesn’t take time to get it right, it just takes a little patience.

Those worried about their debt were also urged to contact charities such as StepChange Debt Charity or the Money Advice Service.