Blue Monday: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted by Sam Griffin in Personal Finance on 2 January 2020

Once Christmas is done and dusted, tree packed away or sent for shredding, and decorations retired for another year, a powerful mindset seems to swiftly grip the UK, leaving everyone convinced that January is the worst time of the year. The Christmas spirit has floated out the window as quickly as it arrived, and we’re left with cold, rainy days and the inevitable mountain of credit card bills.

Whether or not it’s fair to chalk up January as the worst month isn’t usually considered. It seems self-evident. Yes, Christmas is over. The days are still dark for the most part. Time with family and friends is less frequent. The bills need paying. Any period that directly follows the holidays is going to have some serious competition to prove itself - summer feels unreachable and next holiday season is but a distant dream.

But January can’t be all that bad, can it? Sometimes a little help is all it takes to dispel the mournful mindset of Blue Monday (which in case you didn’t know is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year).

The positives of Credit Card bills

Credit card bills are among the most universally dreaded things to drop through your letterbox or into your inbox – especially when they start replacing Christmas cards and present deliveries that you were getting used to during the holidays. We’re not going to convince you to jump for joy every time you receive a credit card bill, but that doesn’t mean they’re all bad. There is some genuine good that comes from those dejected little envelopes.

The most important point is that every payment you make towards a credit card will contribute slightly to your overall creditworthiness. Payments are a good thing – each time you demonstrate you can keep to your agreed repayments, a positive marker will be added to your Credit Report to prove this.

Over time, you can build up years of repayment history on credit card accounts and, as long as all the payments were made on time, you’ll have a healthy body of evidence that shows you’re a reliable payer. Credit Scores are largely based on the individual’s ability to repay what they borrow, so receiving a credit card bill and paying it on time always goes in your favour.

That’s not all. Google search volume for terms like ‘credit card’ and ‘consolidation credit card’ rise sharply in January. It’s undoubtedly a time when people are occupied with getting their finances in order. To meet this interest, credit card providers offer new year products to entice those focused on managing their money. Special new year deals are routinely offered in January by credit card providers, whether it’s with a lower than usual APR, cashback, or other rewards. If you’re thinking of ‘getting your finances into shape’, January’s a good time to start.

The Electoral Roll is all sorted

After the Annual Canvass last August, everyone’s new Electoral Roll information should be refreshed and fully up to date following the December publication. If you’ve moved to a new house or changed your name in the last year, this should be one extra bit of admin work you don’t have to worry about as the Annual Canvass sorted this already.

Even better, the new Electoral Roll entries from the Annual Canvass start featuring on Credit Reports in January, so the information should also help boost your Credit Rating. Electoral Roll information is vital for a strong Credit Report as lenders, landlords, and employers (to name just a few) will assess this information to determine your stability. Essentially, the longer your Electoral Roll listing has been active, the better. This means the newly added Electoral Roll information from last year’s Annual Canvass works to make things better for you.

If your Electoral Roll listing isn’t showing the latest update when you check your Credit Report in January, you can contact the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) directly to have any missing Electoral Roll information updated.

Raising disputes with all four CRAs on behalf of customers is a service only checkmyfile provides. If you have an active subscription and are looking to correct any missing Electoral Roll information, please let our team know through your account. If you haven’t already, you can try us free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month, which you can cancel whenever you like.

The World is getting better

It’s not just your Credit Score that improves with time, but statistics show that the world is improving too. Here’re some fast facts to quickly brighten your day:

According to the BBC, home repossessions have been falling ever since 2014 and the trend doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.

Absolute poverty across the globe is plummeting. US AID, a US federal agency, confirmed that in 1990 43% of the world lived in poverty. As of 2011, the number dropped to 21%. Economists predict that, if we continue on the same trajectory, absolute poverty will be absolutely gone – globally – by 2035. And now we’re one January closer.

Access to clean drinking water is springing up around the world. Data from World Health Organization shows that over the last 25 years, the average number of people gaining access to an improved water source increased by 107 million each year.

According to data curated by the National Philanthropic Trust UK, the most popular reasons for charitable donations are medical research, animal welfare, and young people. Numbers of volunteers, numbers of donations, and amount donated have all increased year on year in the UK.

Everything’s a little bit calmer

Everyone loves the holidays but, if there’s one downside, it’s the chaos. Roads are busy. Supermarkets are packed. People are charging around and they’ll only stop to take a breath on Christmas day itself. January ushers in some much-needed peace and tranquillity. The holidays will be back before we know it, so enjoy the down time.

While you’re relaxing, you can check out your Multi Agency Credit Report to see exactly how your Credit Rating stands. You can try us free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month, which you cancel easily at any time with no obligation. Our Multi Agency Credit Report is the only one in the UK to show your complete information from all four CRAs in one easy-to-use format. Don’t miss a thing this January with checkmyfile.

Happy Blue Monday.

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