The government wants people to work more to replace the £20 Universal Credit (UC) cut coming up in October. Many people would love to earn more but can't get the hours. Others can't work for health reasons or caring responsibilities. But let's look at the situation for people who may be able to earn more. Usually, extra income reduces their UC because a taper of 63p in the £ is applied. … [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!
You have the A level grades - well done! There are now just a few weeks to get organised for uni in September 2021. What should your top priorities be for managing your money? And what should you avoid? Living on a student loan is hard You will probably get more money in your bank account than you have ever had before. But most students find it harder to manage than they … [Read more...]
Are you worrying about how to afford the heating this year? There are some very big price rises coming in 2021, see Energy bills to rise by at least £139 for millions of households Millions of people on benefits or a low income can get £140 off their electricity bill through the UK's Warm Home Discount scheme. All the large electricity suppliers and some of the small ones offer this. There … [Read more...]
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...]
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...]