If you’ve ever thought about taking the time to audit your personal finances, then this article is a sign to do so. There are many benefits to doing an audit of your personal finances, and as we enter a new year, it might be worth getting everything in order before you start setting your 2023 goals!
Setting achievable financial goals could help you plan for the future, as well as give yourself some security in the short-term. While the mere mention of the word audit might make you nervous, it doesn’t have to be a scary experience.
How can you review and improve your credit score?
Decided you want to access your credit report? You’re entitled to access your credit report for free once every 3 months, according to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner1. You can request a report from multiple credit reporting bodies – Equifax, Experian and illion.
When you receive your credit report/s, you’ll have access to information about your current loans, debts and repayment history, as well as your credit score. This score is calculated using the information in your credit file.
Things that might affect your credit score include:
- the amount of money you’ve borrowed
- the number of credit applications you’ve made
- whether you pay on time
After reviewing your credit score, you may want to improve it. Banks, creditors, and utility companies all may use your credit report/score to make decisions on whether your future credit application/s will be successful or unsuccessful, so you may consider improving your credit score as much as possible.
There are some ways that could improve your credit score, including:
- Ensuring that you pay bills on time
- Paying your credit card balance off each month
- Lowering your credit card limit
How to consolidate and reduce debt
While consolidating debt might sound daunting, the process could be actually be quite simple (depending on your personal situation).
You may consider rolling your debts into a single personal loan that acts as a debt consolidation loan, which could make it easier to pay back your debt. Rather than having to juggle multiple interest rates and multiple repayment dates, a Qudos Bank personal loan may help you repay your debt sooner.
Another way of consolidating your debt is consolidate multiple credit cards into one. This may help you simplify debt and could make repayments easier. Having multiple credit cards can often mean you’re paying multiple sets of fees and repayments.
If you’re considering consolidating your credit cards, then you may want to think about applying for our VISA Lifestyle credit card. The card has no annual fees and a low interest rate, so this could help you start repaying your debt sooner. You’ll also have access to VISA’s 24 hour worldwide emergency hotline for when you need help the most. VISA credit cards are accepted at over 24 million locations worldwide, so your card can go wherever you go. It also has a five-month introductory rate of 4.99%.^
Why you should review your current income and spending
Reviewing your current income and spending could help you make smarter financial decisions, while also setting yourself up to have more fun. Using our budget planner calculator may help you review your finances* and set yourself up for the future.
The budget planner gives you an opportunity to understand how much money you’re bringing in each week, month and year, as well as calculate expenses like living costs, insurance and super costs, transport expenses, loan/credit card repayments and even the amount you’re spending on leisure and entertainment.
If you have a proper understanding of the money you’re bringing in and where you’re spending money, you could work towards things like buying a new house/investment property and upgrading your vehicle/s. You may also be able to work out whether you can afford to go on your dream holiday.
Getting hit with unexpected bills or expenses can create severe financial headaches, but budgeting accordingly could help you boost your confidence in making smart financial decisions.
Want to learn more about how you can improve your current financial situation? Reach out by calling us on 1300 747 747.
 Access your credit report | Home (https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/credit-reporting/access-your-credit-report)
Normal lending criteria and fees and charges apply. Terms and Conditions apply.
Rates as at 18 August 2022.
As the information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305.
* The results from this calculator should be used as an indication only.
^ Intro rate applies to all transactions (including purchases and balance transfers) for the first five months from the first date your account is approved and then reverts to the standard variable interest rate. Current standard variable interest rate is 12.84% p.a.
Published November 2022