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Financial health check
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Do you need a financial health check?

Do you get a queasy feeling when you look at your bank or credit card statements? If so you may need to take your money temperature.

Get a health diagnosis

If you can diagnose any of the following symptoms, you probably need to improve your money health:

1. You aren’t sure how much you owe

Symptom: Your spending is getting out of control, resulting in you struggling to pay bills, missing repayments or facing the threat of court action.

Treatment: Talk to the people you owe money to before the situation gets any worse. You may be able to come to an arrangement to spread the cost of what you owe.

Seek free and impartial debt advice. A free debt advice company will advise on prioritising your debts and may be able to arrange a solution until your financial circumstances improve.

2. You’re only paying the minimum monthly repayments on your cards

Symptom: Making the minimum repayments on credit or store cards could mean it takes years to pay off your debts and will cost you more than it should in extra interest paid.

Treatment: Try to cover more than the minimum repayment with a view to clearing the balance completely.

Evaluate what money you have coming in and what you are spending. Work out what you have left after paying your major bills, and consider budgeting for an increased payment towards your cards. You may be surprised at how quickly your balance reduces.

3. You’re often late paying bills, and you sometimes go over your credit limits

Symptom: If you don’t pay your bills on time or you’re exceeding your overdraft or credit card limit, you could be hit by extra fees and charges. This could drive you further into debt.


  • Prioritise your bills – Council Tax is a must as is your mortgage, so make sure you pay this on time and before other outgoings.
  • If you’re missing payments or you feel your debts are a heavy burden, you should seek free and impartial debt advice.

4. You’re using your credit cards for cash withdrawals

Symptom: Using a credit card to take money from a cash machine will probably result in you being charged a higher rate of interest than on credit card purchases, the interest accumulates from the moment you take the cash out and your credit card company may charge you a withdrawal fee.  

Treatment: Try to use your credit card for purchases only and make sure you pay the balance off in full each month.
Ensure you are using you credit card in the most efficient way. Our guide to managing your credit card account can help.

5. You’re borrowing to pay your debts

Symptom: Relying on further debt to pay off an existing one will get you into trouble as invariably you’ll pay a higher interest rate on the new loan.

Treatment: Use our Money Health Check tool to identify areas of your borrowing you should focus on. The tool can direct you to action plans for cutting the cost of credit card debt, personal loans or HP payments.

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