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...]
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: 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 without being charged. On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force and the previous typical £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 the … [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 clever product that can help 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 … [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...]
Finding something negative on your credit record is bad enough - but it feels a lot worse if you think it is wrong or unreasonable. You have the legal right under the Consumer Credit Act to add a "Notice of Correction" to your credit report if you feel something is misleading or you want to provide an explanation. What is a Notice of Correction? A Notice of Correction is a something you … [Read more...]
A reader asked: I want to terminate my PCP car finance. The car's fine, good condition, but we now need a bigger car. According to my contract I can hand it back. But I am going to need to get another car, so I am worried this will harm my good credit record. Would part exchange be better? Your right to end a PCP contract early Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) is the most common way to buy … [Read more...]
If you have decided to take control of your expenditure, you may get depressed when it doesn't all go to plan. But improving your finances is a journey – one that takes time and planning. And as with all journeys, there can be stops and starts along the way. Don't let these derail your plan! I'm talking in this article about a plan to clear your problem debts. This could be forced on you if … [Read more...]