Chinese New Year: Pay off your debts

chinese-new-year-300Did you know the Chinese New Year takes place on Monday 8 February?  The 12 cycles of the Chinese Zodiac calendar are of course represented by animals, and this year it’s the Year of the Monkey.

Among several traditions surrounding Chinese New Year, one is to pay all your debts.  This is because there is a belief held by some that if you don’t pay off debts ahead of the New Year, then you might find that you’ll end the year in similar shape.

One place to start dealing with debt is to check what’s on your credit report. The data & information held there summarises your credit history, so it can be a good idea to review it on a regular basis, and make sure it provides an accurate and up-to-date picture of your credit history.

It can help you in the long run if you stay within your credit limits and pay your credit bills on time. Missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years, and this can have a big impact on your score.

The lower your overall balances (not including your mortgage) – the better. If you can afford to pay off a bit more debt and you want to improve your Experian Credit Score, reducing the balance on your credit accounts can be useful.

Everyone has an Experian Credit Score. Looking after it, nurturing, growing and improving it can help you get a better rate on loans, credit card or mortgages.

The Experian Credit Score is a guide to help you understand your credit report, and how the way you’ve managed the credit you’ve had in the past might affect applications you’re making now.  Repaying your debts should mean a higher credit score – and potentially better deals in the future.

Help is available
If you are struggling with your finances you can get free advice from bodies such as National Debtline, Citizens Advice Bureau and the StepChange Debt Charity.

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