Dreading the Christmas credit card bill?
Make today the day you sort out your finances.
Lee Barnes, a 25 year old from Halifax, Yorkshire, knows more than most the strain that an excessive Christmas can have on your finances - he is currently £60,000 in debt.
Back in December 2006 he was living the perceived high life, taking advantage of his overdraft facilities and spending up to £1000 a week on partying.
Of course this type of extreme behaviour meant that his debts quickly racked up, but Lee, like many, chose to ignore his mounting bills. It was only when Lee's mother mistakenly opened a letter relating to the amount that he owed, that the extent of just part of his debt was revealed - in fact when she first saw the £30,000 figure she initially thought it was a serial number rather than the outstanding debt.
So in 2007 Lee took the first step of checking his credit report with myCallcredit to get an accurate look at his financial situation. He then managed to cut back on his spending, though the amount of debt he is in is still giving him sleepless nights. His vow for 2008 is to confront his fears and work out his repayments either through his lenders or the Consumer Credit Counselling Service.
"I want 2008 to be the year that I sort this whole thing out and really get back on my feet," says Lee. "In fact, I've actually written a play about my experiences which I am hoping to get produced. The aim is to highlight the dangers of getting into debt and the steps people can take to manage their spending before their situation gets as critical as mine."
Owen Roberts, Head of myCallcredit adds:
"It's great to see Lee really seizing the New Year as an opportunity to take control of his finances and sort out his debts. A lot of people bury their head in the sand when they receive their credit card and bank statements, but facing up to your financial situation early on means that you can tackle your debts before they become overwhelming."
Callcredit's top financial tips for facing
1. Seize the day - make today the day you sort out your finances.
2. Take control of your financial situation by checking your myCallcredit credit report.
3. Contact lenders and work out exactly how much you owe.
4. Create a monthly budget - and stick to it!
5. If debt gets too much, talk to a charitable organisation such as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service for practical help and advice.
• Callcredit (www.callcredit.co.uk) is the UK's most innovative, state-of-the art credit reference agency, with an extensive range of information and value added services for businesses and individuals.
• MyCallcredit is the is the consumer arm of credit reference agency Callcredit and provides consumers with online access to the details of their credit file at http://www.mycallcredit.com/
• Callcredit has harnessed state-of-the-art information technology with an unrivalled knowledge of the industry's needs to develop a range of innovative information solutions. Solutions that are enabling major lenders and a host of other blue chip companies to address regulatory requirements, make better credit decisions, target new customers more effectively and manage existing customers more profitably.
• Callcredit forms part of the Skipton Information Group, and is one of three core businesses along with database management company EuroDirect and market analysis firm GMAP Consulting.