Debt news – pensions, housing, funerals, mortgages etc


Lots of interesting news items caught my eye last week - no single theme but a wide spread from cradle (local authority responsibility for homeless children) to grave (the rising cost of funerals). 13/04/15 HMRC has now provided new forms to reclaim overpaid tax on pensions withdrawals. 14/04/15 Money Advice Trust have been making election candidates aware of their local debt … [Read more...]

Not enough money this month?

bills thumb

If money is a problem this month - or most months - then it's important to know what your most important ("priority") payments are. It also helps to think about whether bills are fixed this month or if you can reduce them. Here is one way to divide up some of the most common expenses: Priority, fixed These are usually hard or impossible to change in the short-term: rent / mortgage car or … [Read more...]

Paying a defaulted account & your credit score

improve credit score thumb

A reader asked if starting to pay a defaulted account will help his credit score. This is a complicated area, as it depends when and how much you pay, so let's look at some of the different situations. With all of these, if you want to know what is going to happen to your credit record, you need to know exactly what it says now by checking all three credit reference agencies. For the rest of … [Read more...]

Debt news – from cash back cards to pensions – April 12th


Only a four day working week but there was lots of debts news. In the long run the quiet announcement by Capital One that it won't offer any new cashback cards and will reduce perks on existing accounts may prove to be the most significant - apart of course from pensions reform going live on 6th April! (Sorry to anyone who missed last week's news round up - I was in hospital for most of the … [Read more...]

Helping your mum or dad with their debts

mums debts thumb

Have you seen the news about Tyrone Mings paying off his mum's debts? It's a lovely story, and as a successful professional footballer he can no doubt afford it. But for everyone else, is paying your mum or dad's debts really a good idea? There isn't a simple answer as every case is different, but I've put together some pointers for you to look at the options. I'll talk as though it's your mum's … [Read more...]

Will my pension affect my DMP?

DMP pension

The pension changes that have just come into force have given many people over 55 a new option for paying off their debts, by taking money from their pension pot. I've looked at whether this is generally a good idea in Should you use your pension to pay your debts? but in this article I want to focus on people who are already in a Debt Management Plan (DMP). This article is relevant for people … [Read more...]

Should you use your pension to pay off your debts?

Pensioner with glass of beer

On April 6th 2015, major pension changes went live in Britain. These enable many people to access the money in their pension pot from aged 55. So if you are wrestling with a debt problem and you are over 55 or coming up to that age, you may soon have a new option - but is this a good idea? This is complicated, with possible tax and benefits problems involved. The changes From April … [Read more...]

Debt news round-up – Mar 29th 2015


A week that has been dominated by FCA announcements (including their business plan for next year) and articles about pensions reforms, now only a week away including two key announcements, one from the Insolvency Service and one from the DWP. Here is my personal selection - did you miss anything? 23/03/2015 PwC’s published report Precious Plastic: How Britons fell back in love with … [Read more...]

Is your pension safe in an IVA?

Is your pension safe if you are in IVA?

The pension changes in April 2015 mean that many more people aged 55 and over will be able to take some or even all of their pension pot in cash. You need to know how this may affect you if you are considering an IVA. If you already have an IVA, you may be wondering if your pension is safe. I'll look at these two situations in turn. First a warning: IVAs are individual arrangements and it is … [Read more...]

New Insolvency Service guidelines on pensions

New Insolvency Service guidelines on pensions - a new can of worms?

On 26 March 2015, the Insolvency Service published Undrawn pension entitlements: Summary of guidance for insolvency practitioners and debt advisors. With "pensions freedom" now only days away, coming into force on 6th April 2015, the Insolvency Service's aim was to clarify the murky situation around bankruptcy and pensions. Some bits of it are certainly clearer, but others aren't; indeed a whole … [Read more...]

Are you worried about a charging order?

Worried about a charging order?

Can your house really be at risk if you get into difficulties repaying something like a credit card bill? You might think the answer is "no", but there are some rare situations where this can happen. It helps to know the facts, so you can make good decisions about how to deal with your debts. This article looks at unsecured debts - credit cards, unsecured loans, catalogues, payday loans etc. It … [Read more...]

Debt News roundup 22 March


The saturation media coverage of the budget means that some other important personal debt news stories this week received less attention than they would otherwise have got.  Did you see these articles on pensions, two important Supreme court benefits decisions and an announcement about delaying the 7 day waiting period for Universal Credit? And on Friday the long awaited review of MAS was … [Read more...]

Splitting up – how to separate finances


For some people financial concerns are absolutely top of the list of things to worry about when you and your partner/husband/wife separate - how will you be able to manage with only one income? are there any benefits that you are entitled to? etc. But even if emotions and coping with the children's concerns are your immediate priority, it's a good idea to try to sort out any money problems and get … [Read more...]

How can my creditors find me?

map creditors

If you are very worried about your debts, you may be wondering how easy it would be to disappear and leave them all behind. Will your old records be linked with new ones on your credit records? Can your creditors find you if move, go abroad, change your name? Most of these sorts of ideas aren't very sensible - and you almost always have much better options! - but let's see what the problems … [Read more...]

Debt news round-up 15th March


Another varied week for debt news: PPI reclaims after an IVA, payday lending, the direction of FCA regulation, EU rules and credit card charges and lots more. Did you miss something interesting? Here is my personal selection. Starting with one from two weeks ago that I missed: 02/03/15 A potentially important insolvency case - High Court in Manchester rules that PPI reclaim after IVA … [Read more...]