It’s no surprise that gym memberships rocket in January. Resolutions to shed the pounds in the new year are not uncommon, and gyms and fitness centres know full well that a high number of new members will find it hard to keep up their commitment beyond the end of the month, let alone the full year.
Even with introductory offers, gym membership can still be costly if you’re committed for a year upfront and are loathe to cancel.
Spending some time balancing out your income against your outgoings can be beneficial in the long run, and can also make you feel like you’re in control of your finances. And the start of the year is often a good time to think about if there are any costs you can do without – outgoings you may no longer need or use.
Besides gym membership, it might be satellite TV channels you never watch. An extended warranty you didn’t really need to buy. It can all add up! A budget calculator may help you work out if you could live without it.
Would a missed gym membership payment affect my credit report?
Neil Stone from our Social support team says: We’ve recently been contacted by a worried customer who was being chased by a debt collection agency over a missed gym membership payment and were concerned that it would impact their credit report.
Although credit reports these days can hold information such as utility accounts and mobile phone accounts, we don’t currently hold information relating to gym memberships.
For a company to share information with a credit reference agency they would need to have first gained your consent, which is usually part of the original agreement. If a company’s information does not currently appear on your credit report, the fact that it has been passed to a debt collection agency doesn’t mean that it can then be recorded on your report.
Without your consent to share the information, the only way it can appear on your credit report would be if the debt was taken to court and a County Court Judgment issued.
As a judgment is public record information this would then be recorded on the credit report where it would remain for six years. If the judgment is paid within a month then it can be “Set Aside” in which case it would be removed from your report.
What other ways could you use a gym without full membership?
If you only want to go to the gym when time (and motivation, and energy) allows, there are ways to cherry-pick your visits. Several well-known gyms offer free one-day, three-day or sometimes seven-day passes to attract new clients, with no obligation to continue afterwards.
There are also pay-as-you-go passes available for a number of high street gyms, offering anything from single visits, bundles of visits, or a month at a time with no contract.
Finally, a visit to a major park nowadays will often uncover outdoor group-fitness classes, or fixed bars and weights for anyone to use. It’s there if you want to use it.