A reader asked: "A friend said not to pay my defaulted debts off but save money towards a deposit for a mortgage - is this a good idea?" It's often unwise to rely on friends for debt advice... They may be guessing, their situation may have been quite different from yours, or they may be assuming what happened to them years ago is still useful today. And in this case, the friend may know … [Read more...]
I write about a lot of Personal Finance that isn't directly about problem debts. Those articles are gathered here.
Spending - reducing or controlling it is usually essential if you want to reduce your debts. So Budgeting is another big topic.
Your grandparents used a pen and paper, but now we have Apps to make all this easier.
Mortgages - sometimes thought of as the only good sort of debt!
Credit ratings - important if you have too much debt or very little!
Equifax used to calculate credit scores for consumers out of 700. But in April 2021 it switched to calculating scores out of 1000 and has changed the bands used to describe your credit rating. Oddly Equifax hasn't made an announcement about these changes. The Equifax Credit Report & Score has been updated but hardly anyone uses that. Most people see their Equifax score using the … [Read more...]
95% mortgages vanished with the pandemic At the beginning of 2020, this article started by saying "95% mortgages are back in fashion". It pointed out many more 95% mortgage offers there were compared to a few years ago. The interest rates were a bit higher than a mortgage with a 10%5 or greater deposit. But with the pandemic, mortgage lenders ran scared, concerned that house prices may fall … [Read more...]
Here are some questions I have seen recently about how long it takes to improve your credit score for a mortgage: I was foolish with credit cards for years but now I am determined to buy a house - how long will this take? My credit score is dreadful. My new partner has a good credit record and we want to get a mortgage. I have a poor credit rating but I have now inherited a deposit. How … [Read more...]
How much will my credit rating go up or down? That is a very common question. But it's often tricky to answer! This article has some guideline numbers from Experian that may help. These are only indications - your credit score may not go up or down by this much. They assume nothing else has changed on your record. They also apply to single issues. If you have two defaults already, getting … [Read more...]
Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) helps people with the cost of their mortgage if they aren't working. It was paid as a benefit from 1948, but in 2018 this stopped. SMI is now only given as a loan that is secured on your house, see the gov.uk page on SMI. How much help does SMI give? If you lose your job, you can't claim SMI for 39 weeks. Many people don't have enough redundancy pay, … [Read more...]
A few taps on your mobile and that handbag, those kids' clothes or this kitchen gadget is on its way to you. Very convenient with busy lives and little time to go to the shops. Or when the shops are shut because of lockdown! But when money is tight or you want to save for something important, or you are just bored with being at home all the time, it can be just too easy to overspend. … [Read more...]
Have you made some New Year Resolutions about savings, budgeting or debts for 2021? 2020 has been a strange year for many millions of people's finances. Half the country is better off, half is worse off. Some have gained from losing their commute costs and not being able to go on holiday or eat out as much. Others have seen their business destroyed or lost their job. And many are still in … [Read more...]
Want to lose weight or get fit? A depressing number of people found they were eating and drinking more in 2020 because of the lockdowns. So millions of people will have this as their main New Year's Resolution for 2021. In many areas gyms are closed. That may be good news as too many people who join a gym in a fit of enthusiasm in January go once or twice in February and then hardly at … [Read more...]
Want to be better with money in 2021? If you ate, drank and sat on the sofa far too much over Christmas, you may be thinking of detoxing your body and getting fit. A Money Detox is the same approach for your finances if your bank balance looks sick and your credit card bill looks bloated. Perhaps this isn't just a nice-to-do but you NEED to be better, because you have lost your job or … [Read more...]