Ms F asked: "I have been in debt management for five years after my marriage breakdown. After an inheritance, I want to pay off my DMP as it will carry on for years. I could pay in full but my house needs some urgent work and my car is on its last legs. I asked about my credit score if I offer a partial settlement and was told this would show as partially settled on credit score file. Will I … [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!
UPDATE - September 2020 - now Credit Ladder are proposing to charge you £60 a year to report to both Experian and Equifax. I suggest you don't bother! As a means of paying to try to improve your credit score this seems unnecessary, reporting to two is very little better than reporting to one. Do yourself a favour and pay that £5 a month off a debt instead. Or add it to your savings account if … [Read more...]
Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) are arrangements that allow friends to save together and withdraw lump sums from the scheme. ROSCAs are unregulated, relying on trust. The Money Advice Service says "those who use [ROSCAs] say they encourage savings and allow people without bank accounts access to credit." They have different names around the world, including tanda in South … [Read more...]
Having a cheap holiday at home may not sound a lot of fun. If you are trying to blitz down your debts (is that one of your New Year resolutions?) it can be a huge gain. If your credit card is maxed out you may not have an option - but you can make a deliberate decision about what you do instead. By "at home" here, I mean in your own home! Not what the newspapers have taking to calling a … [Read more...]
Should you have money left each month but it just seems to vanish? If you are paying off debts, you may still want to put a bit aside so it's easier to cope with unexpected problems. This article looks at Plum and Chip, two apps that take the hard work out of saving. They move small amounts that you won't miss from your bank account into a savings account several times a month. I like them … [Read more...]
Funerals are expensive. The average funeral now costs £4,000 - that is an 80% increase in the last ten years. This article looks at ways of covering all or some of the funeral costs if you have to organise a funeral, let's say for Sally as I don't want to keep writing "the deceased". Funeral Payments can help if you are benefits If you get certain means-tested benefits including Universal … [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. But they may know nothing about the current … [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...]
Giving to charity is a great thing to be able to do, but if you have a lot of problem debt or you are trying hard to save up a house deposit, you may think you just can't spare any money. It's fine to put your own family first - but that doesn't mean you stop caring about and wanting to help other people. And many parents want their children to grow up thinking giving to charity and … [Read more...]
If you want to cut your expenses, food should be high up on your list. Food shopping is a large part of most people's budgets and it's also one that you have a lot of control over. It's not easy or quick to cut what you spend on rent, council tax or transport costs, but adopting a few new food habits can help you reduce your grocery bill and still eat well. Plan, plan, plan Planning is the … [Read more...]