Switch and save £672 annually as lower interest credit returns in 2024
  • Savvy Brits are already taking advantage with searches for balance transfer credit cards up 8% year-on-year

  • Pre-approved eligibility is up 11% in January vs December, making now a much better time to search for lower interest deals

  • The average cardholder could save £672 a year by switching their existing balances to a balance transfer card (BT card)

UK, 24 January, 2024: New analysis from Experian shows that despite limited credit options in recent months, now may be an ideal time to switch, with eligibility for debt consolidation products increasing by 11% from December to January.  

Pre-approval rates for those in lower score bands have increased by 25% on average, meaning that those most impacted by the tightening lending environment now have increased access to credit options. For those looking to save money on existing borrowing or even pay off their debts quicker, Experian data suggests that the average credit card holder could save £672 a year on average by switching their existing balances to a 0% balance transfer card. 

Many have taken advantage of these changes as searches for debt consolidation products have increased by 8% compared to January 2023, accounting for 33% of all searches on Experian’s marketplace. 

For those facing increased financial strain following Christmas spending, new analysis from Experian reveals that January is one of the best months to search for debt consolidation products. On average consumers that use the Experian marketplace are seeing 0% deals lasting 1.5 months (or 6 weeks) longer than in December.  

Consumers looking to better their finances this month could benefit from brand new and longer deals available, such as Barclaycard’s 29 month 0% Balance Transfer Card (with £20 cashback), Santander’s 28 month 0% Everyday Long Term Balance Transfer credit card and HSBC’s 27 month Balance Transfer credit card which are all available on the Experian website.  

James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian said: “January is one of the best times for people to search for new debt consolidation options as lenders offer a variety of new deals, such as longer balance transfer or purchase durations. Our data suggests that people are starting the year off on the right foot, exploring ways they can pay off their debt quickly by reducing the amount they spend on interest. 

“The festive season can be expensive. As people look to plan their next holiday and save for exciting plans in the year ahead, it’s important to think about how any credit can be repaid back, in line with your circumstances and goals."

“We always encourage people to first check their eligibility for a product before making an application, as searches don’t affect your credit score. And if you are struggling with a debt repayment plan or would like support with an approach then we recommend contacting a free debt advice service such as National Debtline, Citizens Advice or StepChange. Talking to a debt adviser does not affect your credit score and the sooner you seek help the better.” 

James Jones shares his five tips to help you maximise the benefits of debt consolidation to kick start the new year on the right foot:  

  1. Consider switching providers                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As we step into the new year, do your research and take advantage of any new offers or promotions that may be available. Switching to a provider with better terms or incentives can contribute to a more cost-effective debt consolidation plan. 
  2.  Check eligibility before applying for products                                                                                                                                                                                                  Before applying for a debt consolidation product, check your eligibility criteria with different providers. Focus on lenders whose criteria align with your financial situation, to ensure minimum impact on your credit score.  
  3. Think about your financial goals                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Use January to set your financial goals for the year ahead. Whether it's paying off debt by a specific date, saving for a major expense, or building an emergency fund - align your goals with these objectives. This will ensure that your financial aspirations are not only purposeful but also directed towards your desired outcomes.  
  4.  Cutting back in January and assessing what's realistic                                                                                                                                                                           January is an excellent time to re-evaluate your spending habits. Identify areas where you can cut back on non-essential expenses and redirect that money towards debt repayment. Assessing what's realistic for your budget and making adjustments early in the year will set a positive tone for your financial future.  
  5.  Improving your credit score                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Commit to improving your credit score in the new year, whether it’s through timely payments, or reducing credit card balances – a higher credit score will increase your eligibility for better debt consolidation terms as well as position you favourably to future lenders.  


Notes to Editors: 

  • All data referenced is Experian data, 1st - 10th January 2022 
  • Eligibility improvement data is a comparison of average pre-approved eligibility on Dec 1st 2023, vs January 1st 2024 .
  • Saving claim is based on Experian data showing that the average credit card balances per person in the UK are £2,870, with an average APR of 27.5% according to Experian marketplace data (average based on period between September 1st 2023 to Jan 1st 2024). With a typical 1.4% balance transfer fee and assuming that the minimum repayment of 5% is met each month, the average saving on interest repayments over 12 months would be £672 per individual. 
  • Lower scorebands include Poor, Very Poor and Fair scorebands 


Media contact: 

Brands2Life for Experian 

Tel: 0207 592 1200 / Email: experian@brands2life.com

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