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Make a clean start in 2006 and tidy up your finances

Amanda Jarvis

January 4, 2006

B&B offers range of competitive cashback remortgage deals and personal loans deals from as little as 5.8% APR_ to help with the cost of Christmas

With the usual excesses of the Christmas period, financial hangovers can often last long after the celebrations have finished. To help relieve the pressure of debt, Bradford & Bingley has teamed up with TV cleaning stars Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie to urge people to tidy up their finances in 2006 and wipe away their money worries.

The instore campaign – featuring the dirt-detectives scouring the market for the best mortgage and loan deals – starts today and will run until the end of February. There is also a competition for customers to win a cleaner for a year. Anyone seeing a mortgage adviser or applying for a loan in January or February will have the opportunity to win the prize, which has a cash value of up to £2,000.

Duncan Pownall, mortgage development manager for Bradford & Bingley, comments: “It’s always a good idea to start the New Year with good intentions and working towards a healthier bank balance should be high up on the list of resolutions. Wrapping multiple borrowings into one place – either through remortgaging or taking out a personal loan – is a good way of structuring payments and making sure the debt gets cleared. This would almost certainly save money on interest payments as well, as the rate charged is usually far lower than the standard rates on credit or store cards. However, which is best depends on individual circumstances, so if people are unsure it’s important they visit a financial adviser who can recommend the most appropriate option.

“Once borrowers have consolidated their debt though, it is vital they avoid the temptation of being lured back into the spending habit and building up new debt. If they know they can be tempted, especially around January Sales time, they should make sure their old credit and store card accounts remain closed.”

Bradford & Bingley offers top tips to wiping away money worries in 2006:
q Save money by consolidating debts on expensive store cards, credit cards and overdrafts into one place – either by remortgaging or taking out a personal loan. Which option is best depends on your individual circumstances so always seek professional advice if you are unsure.
q If you have opted for a 0% credit card, keep an eye out for when your introductory rate ends.
q After paying off your debts, save the surplus money and begin a regular savings plan so you have some security funds to cover eventualities.
q If you are a homeowner, make sure you aren’t paying over the odds for your mortgage. Find out whether it may be cheaper to remortgage to a better deal. If you are still languishing on a lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), then you are almost certainly paying more than you need to. Shop around, or visit a mortgage broker to find out the money you could save by switching to a more competitive deal.
q Seek advice from a financial adviser who will help you put all your New Year financial resolutions into practice and will assist you in budgeting and planning your finances for the year ahead.

Pownall concludes: “By focusing on your finances in the New Year and making simple improvements where you can – wrapping up existing debts into one loan, switching to a more competitive credit card or remortgaging – you will be able to reduce your debts and release extra cash. This would leave you with money in your pocket to either save or invest or help pay for your other resolutions – perhaps that gym membership you’ve been promising yourself!”

Those looking to spring clean their finances in the New Year can call Bradford & Bingley free on 0800 11 33 33 (for loan enquiries call 0800 731 3232), visit www.bradfordandbingley.co.uk or pop into any Bradford & Bingley branch


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