A reader asked: My credit score isn’t following the rules you described on How much will my credit score change if...? I cleared a default two months ago and my score hardly changed. And four days ago another default should have gone but I can see it's still there on ClearScore. What do I have to do? Should I complain to ClearScore or the creditors? Trying to sort out a poor credit score can … [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!
What are your New Year Resolutions for 2019? Ones about money are common - how to save more, clear debts, improve your credit record etc. Some people scoff these resolutions. But it's a good idea to take a step back once a year and ask yourself what you would like to change in the next year. If you know where you want to get to, there is a better chance you will end up there! Though you do … [Read more...]
Want to be better with money in 2019? If you eat and drank and sat on the sofa far too much over Christmas, you may be thinking of detoxing your body and making 2019 the year you get fit. A Money Detox is the same approach for your finances if your bank balance is looking sick and your credit cards bill looking bloated. You want to track and then reduce or get rid of the things that are … [Read more...]
Want to lose weight or get fit in 2019? Millions of people will have that as their main New Year's Resolution. Don't rush out join a gym... It's the most expensive of all the options and most people give up after a few weeks. Here are some suggestions, all free or low cost. The aim is to spend as little as possible until you find out what will suit you and fit with your life. Walk your way … [Read more...]
How do you spot the real bargains and avoid buying things you will later regret? The human brain is very good at processing lots of information fast by grabbing hold of important facts early on and letting them dominate decisions. That was perfect when we were out hunting for food and living in caves, but in a shopping mall or online it can go badly wrong! Lots of shouty Sale signs and money … [Read more...]
Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) helps people with the cost of their mortgage if they aren't working. It has been paid as a benefit since 1948, but in April 2018 this changed and now it is only given as a loan that is secured on your house. Here is the DWP leaflet describing the new loan: DWP SMI Factsheet (6 April). You may see LMI (loans for Morgage Interest) used as the new name for this, … [Read more...]
Affording school uniforms can be very difficult for any parents on low incomes - if you are in debt it can be a nightmare. A Citizens Advice survey found that a quarter of all parents have to borrow money to afford uniforms. This isn't just a financial problem. Children who aren't wearing "the right uniform" are at risk of being stigmatised or bullied. Government is making the right … [Read more...]
A reader asks: Help! I have just been made redundant and I don't know how I am going manage, especially as we have debts. I'm only getting a few weeks redundancy pay. What should I do? Every week seems to bring more news of businesses closing down completely or chain stores and supermarkets shutting branches. It's not just the big names like House of Fraser, Carillion and now Thomas Cook. When … [Read more...]
Paying off debt can feel like a long war with your creditors - you may have a good few months and then some setbacks. But what if this battle was a game of tennis? Listening to the Wimbledon commentators gives clues about how the top players approach training and big matches ... Here are five ideas that can also be applied to clearing debt. 1) Improve your skills "She's been working … [Read more...]
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and other deals promising no interest sound so appealing. And so sensible if you are short of money. But very often you end up being charged large amounts of interest. The retailers offering these "bargains" know this happens and that they will make a lot of money from them So what goes wrong? Here are three things to look out for if you see one of these … [Read more...]