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...]
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!
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...]
Do you have money problems because you get paid at different times to when your bills need paying? Or does your pay burn a hole in your pocket so you can't save? Here are some typical things I hear: "I get paid every 4 weeks and it's hard to make sure money is in the account when monthly direct debits come out"; "We spend too much at the start of the month and have nothing left for the … [Read more...]
So you have graduated - you may be excited or apprehensive about your future. Sad because you will miss your uni friends or know it's time to move on. Or harassed and hungover as you try to get things packed up to leave. But whatever you choose to do next – a job, an intern position, go travelling, or more studying - there’s some financial admin you should deal with now, to stop big problems … [Read more...]
The first Help to Buy mortgages were given in 2013, so in 2019 and 2020 many 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 … [Read more...]
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...]