Debt news – student loans, Brighthouse, ESA etc – Aug 2nd

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From Brighthouse's extortionate "bargains" to the cost of PhDs - it's another varied week for personal debt news. My pick of the week is CPAG's online guide to ESA problems - definitely one to bookmark. Debt Sutton Trust report on Student Fees " while the number of students applying to university has not been significantly affected by the new fee regime, certain groups within the system, … [Read more...]

Should I keep paying an old debt?


People often ask if they have to carry on making payments to an old debt. This can happen as it's too easy to get stuck in a long-term Debt Management Plan (DMP), paying little each month so the debts are take forever to repay. This article looks at questions about debts in long-term DMPs. Do I have to pay a debt that has dropped off my credit file? A debt drops off your credit file six … [Read more...]

How PPI can get you out of debt

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Debt advisors don't usually encourage clients to dream about winning the lottery or inheriting a fortune from a long-lost aunt... but for many people there really could be a pot of PPI gold and they just have to claim it, not hope for a rainbow to appear! Often having PPI loaded on top of borrowing was what turned manageable debt into difficult debt, resulting in more borrowing and often more … [Read more...]

Debt news – welfare reform, payday loans, credit card tricks and more – 26 July

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Housing and Benefits dominate my selection of last week's news - but my pick of the week is the piece on Citbank US credit cards and the things it tried to get away with. Debt Loan shark fear amid payday lending crackdown or, to put it another way, desperate payday lenders try scare-mongering.  This Independent article has a series of good quotes from debt charities. From America: Did You … [Read more...]

The 0% deal that actually costs 11.25%

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I've got a Barclaycard, so I was interested in the news of a new facility they sent me: the Barclaycard Purchase Plan. This offers a 0% deal on a single new purchase for an up-front fee, all run as part of your normal credit card account. It's not yet live - it's probably being launched in August - but I've found out a bit more about how it works and there are a couple of things to be be careful … [Read more...]

Debt news – budget analysis, interest rates, PPI, parking and more – July 19

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Rumblings about interest rate rises grow louder, but for me last week's debt news was still dominated by budget analysis - and if you only have time for one article, I suggest The Homelessness Budget. Debt “Don’t just do something, stand there”… (and think) speech by David Miles reflecting on his time on the Monetary Policy Committee. Attempts to quantify "the new normal" for base rates: … [Read more...]

Frugal Finances or Increasing Income?

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If you have a pile of debt you need to clear, is it better to increase your income or cut your expenses? Obviously either can be a big help, which is why they are both included in Debt Camel's Toolkit for Improving Your Finances. But I asked two of my favourite personal finance bloggers in Britain to write about which approach feels more important to them. Jane Clark is the blogger … [Read more...]

I’m in a DMP – can I get a mortgage?

Cn you get a mortgage if you are in a DMP?

A reader asked about applying for a mortgage when she is in a Debt Management Plan (DMP): "I have been in a DMP for 8 years and still have 6 to go as I still owe £16,000. With hindsight I should have gone bankrupt! My parents will give us a generous deposit next year, but they don't know about my debts so I can't use their money to end the DMP. Will I be able to get a mortgage ? On my credit … [Read more...]

Debt news – mostly budget related – July 12

debt news 28 Jun

Unless you were out of the country you can hardly have missed the Budget or the million articles that followed it - but here is my pick of the most interesting ones, plus a few non-budget related that may have got less attention than they deserved. Only time for one article? Make it the "Rent cut pushes social landlords towards crisis" because that budget measure hasn't made the headlines. Or, … [Read more...]

Budget – help with mortgage interest is cut AGAIN

budget cuts mortgage help

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) provides help with mortgage payments to some people getting benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance and Pension Credit. In the July 2015 Budget, two significant changes were announced that will reduce this for new claimants: from April 2016, you will have to wait 39 weeks, up from 13 weeks, to get help; from April 2017, this benefit will be replaced by a … [Read more...]

Game, set and match – how to ace your debts!

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Paying off debt can feel like a battle with your creditors - but what if it was a game, a game of tennis say? Here are five things listening to the Wimbledon commentators tells you about clearing debt. 1) Improve your skills "She's been working on her backhand all year and it shows!" Top players don't say "Oh, I'm no good at xxxxxx", they identify areas that could be improved and work on … [Read more...]

Debt news dominated by pre-budget fears – July 5

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The news this week was largely dominated by pre-budget speculation, hopes and fears. But there were other interesting articles you may have missed - if you only have time to read one of the links below, I suggest you choose "The Ballad of Steak Pants Man". First the news that wasn't... A couple of weeks ago the June DRO Unit newsletter said Intermediaries should stop including Child Benefit as … [Read more...]

Using bankruptcy to collect council tax arrears


More councils are using bankruptcy and charging orders as a method for collecting council tax arrears according to research by accountancy firm Moore Stephens. In 2013/14, 32% of councils used bankruptcy for some council tax debts - a sharp increase from 20% in 2009/10. It is estimated that councils petitioned to make 1,100 people bankrupt in 2013/14 because of council tax debts. But is … [Read more...]

PPI claims after your IVA has finished

PPI claims after an IVA has completed

In February 2015, the High Court in Manchester heard an appeal relating to PPI refunds after an IVA has satisfactorily completed: the original decision was that the PPI compensation should go to the debtor not the IVA's creditors; the IVA supervisor appealed this decision - this appeal was rejected - here is the full Green v Wright appeal judgment; there is a summary here: Setting a … [Read more...]

Debt news – regulator slams DMP firms and more – June 28

debt news 28 Jun

No doubt about the top debt story this week - the FCA's thematic review of DMP firms makes uncomfortable reading for the whole industry, with unacceptable levels of poor debt advice and misleading advertising from the fee-charging sector. The free DMP sector was generally of a higher standard but there was still room for material improvement. Debt TR15/8: Quality of debt management … [Read more...]