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...]
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!
A reader asked: My partner and I have a combined income of £54,000, We have a deposit of £20,000 (inheritance) and are looking to become first time buyers in a new build property at a price of £210,000. We have defaulted debts that are being paid off, and previous history of payday loans from over 2 years ago from a time when our financial situation was much more difficult. The defaults are … [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...]
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). There are about 100,000 people eligible for SMI in 2018: about half … [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...]
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...]
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...]