Q: I’ve overspent this Christmas – how can I sort out my finances fast?

A:The first thing to do is sit down and work out exactly how much you owe. Go through your bank accounts, credit card statements, store card statements and loan information.

Once you have a clear idea of your level of debt, work out what interest you are paying on each one. Any on a 0% interest, keep paying at least the minimum amount required each month and make a note of when the 0% interest period ends.

Any debts on a high rate of interest try to consolidate and move to the same or new 0% interest credit card. Even though most 0% interest credit cards charge a transfer fee (normally around 2-3%), you’ll still save money in the long run.

There are some very long deals at the moment, such as the Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer, which offers 2 years 0% interest on balance transfers – hopefully giving you more than enough time to pay off your debts.

Once you have minimised the interest you’re paying on your debts, work out how much you can afford to repay over and above the minimum payment. The more you can pay, the quicker your debts will be paid off.

Andrea Ventress, money expert

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