Who should you tell if you have gone bankrupt?

you don't have to tell the world you are bankrupt

People often ask who they need to inform that they have gone bankrupt. The answer is usually no-one, because the Official Receiver (OR) will tell all your creditors! However this will take a few weeks, so there are some situations where you may want to tell people yourself because it will make your life a bit easier. Any debts where court proceedings are underway Bankruptcy gets rid of your … [Read more...]

Saving money with cashback – the tricks to get it right

cashback sites thumb

If you have to buy something it makes sense to spend as little as possible, so getting money back through 'cashback' schemes must be a good idea... but sometimes the money doesn't arrive. So what can you do to maximise your payouts? Topcashback or Quidco? Topcashback and Quidco are the giants in the UK cashback market, I'm not convinced it's worth bothering with any of the minnows. If you … [Read more...]

Debt consolidation? Avoid these five errors

consolidation errors

Lots of people want to consolidate their debt - one monthly payment and lower interest sounds much more manageable! But most debt advisors have seen this go badly wrong for too many of their clients... Consolidating can be a good way to reduce the interest you are paying, but you have to be careful to avoid these big five debt consolidation mistakes: 1) not closing down the credit cards If you … [Read more...]

Debt Camel is One – and it’s been a busy year!

camel birthday thumb

On 12th September 2013, Debt Camel went live. This seems like a good time to reflect on how the first year has gone and look forward to the next year. Most read pages Apart from the Home page, the most read page was the main one explaining Bankruptcy – the big questions. I think I would have guessed that correctly if I had been asked on launch day! What I wouldn't have predicted were the next … [Read more...]

Too much debt – shall I stop paying into a pension?

Should you stop paying into a pension?

If you are paying high interest on credit card debt does it makes sense to use every penny possible to reduce your debts?  You certainly shouldn't have a lot of savings whilst you are in debt, but there are many good reasons why you should continue to make pension contributions: Financial reasons Most people making pension contributions will have these increased  by employer's contributions and … [Read more...]

What happens in a DRO if my income goes up?

DRO revoke thumb

If you have a Debt Relief Order (DRO), you must inform the Official Receiver (OR) if you receive any money or other assets, or if your income increases during the twelve months your DRO runs for. If this happens, the OR may decide to 'revoke' your DRO - this means the DRO is effectively cancelled and your creditors will once again expect you to pay your debts. This won't always happen - the OR has … [Read more...]

Advance planning for a great Xmas on the cheap!

Tips for a cheap, fun Xmas

September isn't too early to start thinking about Christmas! MoneySavingExpert put out this great list of presents for under £5 last year on the 16th December, which was way too late to organise some of them! If you have debts you need to tackle, then some advance planning will help keep the costs down so December will be less stressful and more enjoyable. And there won't be a debt hangover in … [Read more...]

Trapped in an unsuitable debt solution?

trapped by debt solution thumb

If you started a DMP or an IVA a while ago, you may be currently feeling very trapped. Your creditors may not be hassling you any more, but a combination of rising rents, food, utility and transport costs and stagnant wages may mean that what seemed manageable at the start is now proving very difficult. A failing IVA? In an IVA, there is a fixed point to aim for. If you are in the fourth or … [Read more...]

How to help someone with debts – coffee, biscuits and a stapler

debts coffee biscuits stapler thumb

Your friend or a relative is very worried debt and doesn't know what to do... you could just tell them to read Debt Camel, but  if they seem in a real mess, you may want to give some practical help.  This article looks at the best ways to do this. The answer isn't money You probably shouldn't lend or give them money. Certainly not at the beginning until it is clear what they need to do. If they … [Read more...]

What to do when a creditor won’t freeze interest

What do to if creditor doesnt freeze interest

A reader has asked if there is anything you can do if  you have asked a creditor to freeze interest on your debt and they have refused. Yes there is - it's not guaranteed to work, but this article has a template letter you can use. Why should a lender freeze interest? In a Debt Management Plan (DMP) creditors are asked to accept a lower payment each month, freeze interest and not add further … [Read more...]

Going to uni – should you get a credit card?

uni credit card

If you are off to university soon, you may be reading articles with useful money tips for students. Many suggestions (get a job in the holidays, get insurance etc) are very sensible. But some articles are recommending you should get a credit card - not a good idea! Student loans are tricky to manage This isn't because they are too low, although of course it would be easier to manage if they were … [Read more...]

Council tax and the different types of insolvency

council tax insolvency thumb

In December 2013 there was a judgment in Kaye v South Oxfordshire District Council  that business rates for the current tax year should be included as a debt in a Company Voluntary Arrangement even though the company had made all payments to date. The judge commented that the ruling would seem to be equally applicable for council tax bills in personal insolvency.  As a result, this year the … [Read more...]

Ten warning signs of a debt crisis

10 warning signs of a future debt crisis

Do you have a debt crisis looming? You don't have bailiffs knocking at the door or creditors taking you to court...  but you may be headed in that direction. If you can spot the early warning signs that your debt is becoming a problem, then you will be able to take action now to stop things getting worse. Check these ten signs: How many of these apply to you? are you using your credit card … [Read more...]

Debt and mental health problems

man in darkness thumb

Even a "mild" problem with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues can make it harder to manage debts - taking decisions and dealing with creditors may feel like impossible tasks. Financial problems can also be worse for people with mental health problems who may find it hard to carry on with their job or to navigate the benefits maze. … [Read more...]

The secured loan clause in IVAs – a potential timebomb?

IVA time bomb

The IVA Standing Protocol Committee meets about three times a year.  Part of the committee's remit is to identify problems/issues arising in the operation of the Protocol at an early stage. I understand that the CAB's representative on the standing committee raised the issue of secured loans at their July meeting but no amendments were considered necessary by the majority of the … [Read more...]