The first Help to Buy mortgages were given in April 2013, so they are getting to the five-year point when the government's 20% share stops being "free". If you have used the Help to Buy scheme, this article looks at what your options are at five years. And if you are thinking of buying your first home with Help to Buy, read this so you know what happens in five years time - don't assume it … [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!
Here are some questions I have seen recently about how long it takes to improve your credit score to get 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. … [Read more...]
With mortgage rates so low, 2019 should be a great time if you want to remortgage or move house. But the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published research showing there are 800,000 people in the UK who could benefit if they switch to a cheaper mortgage. Most of these are people whose fixed rate has ended but who have stayed on their lender's variable rate for more than six months. And … [Read more...]
A reader asked: I have a debt with a default date 30 April 2013. I was paying the debt for about a year then stopped as the default would always be on my file in any case. Will the debt drop off in 2019, or will it extend to 2020 as I was paying it for a year? Do settled accounts affect your credit score? The simple answer is that all defaults drop off your credit record after six years, but … [Read more...]
It sounds like common sense to say that if you have paid £900 rent a month for a couple of years then you can obviously afford a mortgage costing £900 a month. And if you live in London or the south-east, you will probably add that rents are so high you can't afford to save much for a deposit, so you need your good rental payment record to be taken into account in a mortgage application. This … [Read more...]
You have the right to get a copy of the information that an organisation holds about you. But before May 25 2018, you were usually charged £10. On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force and this £10 charge has ended. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which regulates this area, tells organisations that after 25 May they: must provide a copy of … [Read more...]
Here is my pick of apps and other #FinTech (Financial Technology) products that help you budget and save if you live in the UK. They are aimed at people who are short of money. It doesn't include apps getting you to invest in the stock market. But if every month is a struggle, you find it hard to manage on the money you have, leave enough in your account to pay the bills and have a small … [Read more...]
Mrs M asked: I have an interest-only mortgage of £91,000 with 11 years left, with no plan to repay it at the end. It was originally a repayment mortgage, but when I couldn’t afford the payments the bank suggested I switch to an interest-only mortgage. I went through with my bank an option to change to repayment but they didn’t accept me. Can I pay extra each month? Will it reduce the debt and … [Read more...]
LOQBOX is a new product that aims to improve your credit score as you save regular amounts of money. And there are no fees at all. Which sounds good, doesn't it! I'm tired of suggesting that people with poor credit scores should get a "bad credit card", use it each month and repay it in full each month. That works work well if you can stick to the plan... but one 24 year old I was talking to … [Read more...]
Open Banking – never heard of it? Or seen the headlines but your eyes glazed over? It started on 13th January 2018. Over the following months and years, it’s going to change banking and payments in Britain forever. It is going to take a while - months or even years - before we know the full implications but find out what it might affect so you know what to look for. It may be brilliant, it … [Read more...]