You have the A level grades - well done! There are now just a few weeks to get organised for uni in September 2019. 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...]
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!
Do you find it hard or impossible to save? many people feel they ought to be able save but always fail when they try. others are saving for a big goal but not as fast as they want. if you are struggling with money, you may desperately want a small emergency savings pot to make life a bit less stressful. There isn't a simple answer - no way is easy for everyone. What works for one … [Read more...]
You need something that puts you in control of your spending. Your grandparents used to budget using a pencil and paper. But they didn't have contactless cards and mobile bills and overdrafts and credit cards and takeaways... Now many people find it harder to budget and feel they have lost control. For a budget to make your life easier, it has to be simple, not time-consuming and … [Read more...]
Have you heard that a guarantor loan is a good way to improve a bad credit score? That isn't good advice. There are big problems with guarantor loans and there are much better ways to improve a bad credit rating! If you already have a guarantor loan, or you are the guarantor for someone else's loan, see the bottom of this article where I look at what your options are. Many people want to … [Read more...]
If you have too much debt, you may not want to do anything that will harm your credit score. But do you have any better alternatives? That depends on three factors: what is your credit record like at the moment? If it isn't good, then it isn't worth trying to protect! Check your credit score now, so you have accurate information. can you make the monthly payments to your debts? The … [Read more...]
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...]
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...]