Tag Archives: Debts


Payday Loans Paid Enter the UK Payday Lending Market

Paydayloanspaid.co.uk has entered the payday loans online market in the United Kingdom. With a team of financial experts who bring with them an inordinate amount of experience in the unsecured loans sector in the UK, they aim to bring something different into the challenging internet, payday lending sector.

Head of online operations, Jenny Statham explained, ‘’Many payday loan applications are declined from a number of the main lenders in the United Kingdom due to their reliance on passing one application. Our payday loans are slightly different in that we can use our strong relationships with some of the payday lenders to ensure the majority of the applications are approved.”.

Payday loans are a somewhat sensitive subject and have featured heavily in the mainstream British press in recent times, but it appears they could be featuring in the UK lending sector for some time. With some APR’s of payday loans surpassing 4 figures, they have – in some quarters – been rightly criticised. Jenny Statham added, ‘’ we try to make sure any potential applicant are fully aware of the associated costs that come with the payday loan agreement they enter into.  Our advice to people who are considering entering into a payday loan agreement with  a lender they have sourced through Paydayloanspaid.co.uk is to primarily focus on the repayment terms, if they are unable to meet the repayments costs then it is important they do not take on the payday loan.”

With a plethora of payday loan operators frequenting the internet it can be difficult to decide what lender to choose from.  Jenny Statham advised, ‘’if you are looking to secure a payday loan, it is important not to use the first lender you find. Spend some time researching the different providers to ensure you get the very best deal. As there are so many in competition with each other now, there could be some great deals to be found out there”.

Paydayloanspaid.co.uk is one of countless payday loan lenders in the United Kingdom in what some commentators are calling a ‘’saturated market”. They hope, however, to hit the ground running with an easy to use online portal, quality customer service and modest acceptance rates for new applications. Jenny concluded, ‘’we hope to attract people to our online portal who may not have used a payday loan, but have the capacity to service the loan, as new applications will typically have a greater chance of being accepted for a payday loan through our approval system”.­­­­­

Via EPR Network
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Paydayloansavailable.com Aiming to Decrease Application Times

Paydayloansavailable.com is the latest online payday lender to have adapted an online lending portal to service UK residents who may be in need of an unsecured lending facility. With the onset of broker style lending,  payday loans are now being processed online in the UK by many service providers using state of the art ‘’Pingtree” technology, working in unison with the UK’s leading payday lenders, and the application facility now being operated by Paydayloansavailable.com is certainly no exception.

The application harnesses secure technology to enable new and existing applicants to push their details through to a panel of lenders after submitting one application form online. The details are transmitted through to the lenders via the application and the subsequent decision is made by one of the chosen payday loan lenders. Jenny Davis, applications manager at Paydayloansavailable.com explained, ‘’we have decided to integrate a Pingtree style application within the site to give applicants a credible opportunity to access funds. The main advantage we have is that all of our applications are submitted to different lenders. The payday providers will then either accept the loan application based on the data that has been submitted, or it will be declined. Either way there is a reduced time implication which can only serve to benefit our customers”.

Online payday lenders are now entrenched within the UK’s unsecured finance sector and it is evident the increased competition has not always culminated in an improved service provided. But, Paydayloansavailable.com aims to at least serve their customers quicker than ever before, as well as giving them increased opportunity to secure short term, unsecured funding online. Jenny Davis added, ‘’there is still a real need in the UK for short term loans and unfortunately there is not the availability of funding through the mainstream lending channels. Whilst we do not condone irresponsible lending, it is important to acknowledge there is a need for credit and we hope to be able to provide an opportunity for finance”.

Paydayloansavailable.com is aiming to make an impact on the lending sector in the UK. Despite their relatively short time operating online, by implementing cutting edge technology into their service provision, they may well be making a positive statement of intent.

Via EPR Network
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Make Overpayments To Lower Cost Of Credit Card Debt

Financial solutions company Think Money has welcomed a report from Moneysupermarket.com advising that credit card borrowers could significantly reduce their overall repayment term and the amount they pay by making more than the minimum payment.

Make Overpayments To Lower Cost Of Credit Card Debt

Moneysupermarket claimed that the difference between the average interest earned on savings and the interest payable on an average credit card debt (currently £1,989) is £308 a year – meaning it may make good financial sense to use savings to pay off debt.

The price comparison site said with this level of credit card debt, making just the minimum payment could mean the balance takes 22 years and 10 months to pay off. By contrast, paying just £20 more each month would reduce this by 17 years, and would reduce the overall interest paid by a third.

A Think Money debt expert said:

“Making any payments above the minimum, even below Moneysupermarket’s suggested increase, can help the borrower to clear their balance more quickly and reduce the amount of interest they pay.

“Making only the minimum payment may be a tempting option for some people, as it frees up cash in the short term – but it is likely to cost the borrower much more in the long run. As such, we advise people with credit card balances to try and budget for higher repayments where possible.

“But of course, this is not an option for everyone. Some people may find they’ve got to the point where they simply can’t afford even the minimum repayments – and anyone in that situation should speak with a debt adviser about debt solutions that could help.

“Even if the borrower can’t see any way of repaying their debts in full, there is help available – in the form of an IVA [Individual Voluntary Arrangement] or bankruptcy, for example.”

Via EPR Network
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Debt Management Could Help Borrowers Approaching Retirement

Responding to new research suggesting that more than half of over-50s in Britain carry non-mortgage debt, debt management company Gregory Pennington has warned of the risks of carrying debt while approaching retirement, adding that good debt management is essential for anyone with problem debts.

Debt Management

Research from Moneysupermarket.com found that more than half (51%) of Britain’s over-50s population hold non-mortgage debt, at an average of £6,734.

Over the past 12 months, 17% of over-50s in debt have reduced their non-mortgage debt, according to the research, but 22% have taken on more debt in this time. 5% said their debt had increased “a lot”.

48% of over-50s whose debt had increased said they had gone further into debt in order to pay bills. 15% of those in debt said they believed debt would always be part of their life.

However, 48% of over-50s had reduced their outstanding borrowings over the past year, with 21% claiming to be in a lot less debt than they were a year previously.

Tim Moss, head of loans and debt at moneysupermarket.com, said: “… It’s encouraging to see that a good number of Brits aged over 50 are taking active steps to reduce the amount they owe.

“However, the fact that half of the people in this age group are still in debt above and beyond their mortgages is alarming. Those aged over 50 have to factor how long they can continue earning, and begin thinking seriously about their finances in retirement; debts that are currently easy to service could become a millstone round their neck in later retirement years.”

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington said that trying to pay down debt in the run-up to retirement could affect the borrower’s ability to save adequately for retirement.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Credit Conditions And Debt Consolidation Options

Commenting on the Q3 2009 Credit Conditions Survey from the Bank of England, Debt Advisers Direct noted that the ongoing credit crunch was still restricting access to credit – and therefore to the debt consolidation loans that could help many people stay in better control of their finances. Nonetheless, the debt specialists stressed that there were other debt solutions available, and that borrowers struggling to clear their debts should talk to an expert adviser and explore their options.

“The latest Credit Conditions Survey revealed that UK lenders, on average, anticipate further reductions in unsecured credit over the final quarter of 2009,” said a spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct.

“As for secured credit, they expect ‘some increase’ in overall credit availability over the next three months – so they clearly don’t anticipate any changes that would really alter the state of the market at the moment.

“For many of the people currently ‘juggling’ multiple debts, this is a pity, as it means they can’t access the debt consolidation loan that could simplify their finances and reduce the monthly cost of servicing their debt.

“Equally important, debt consolidation loans can help people make their payments on time, avoiding the charges, legal problems and damage to their credit rating that can come with making payments late (or not at all). This isn’t ‘just’ because a debt consolidation loan can reduce the actual size of monthly payments. It can also make those payments far easier to organise and – perhaps more important – budget for, on a monthly basis.”

Even so, a debt consolidation loan is by no means the only approach to debt. In many cases, it’s not even the most appropriate one – people whose debts have become truly unmanageable should not even attempt to consolidate them with a loan, as this would be unlikely to make enough of a difference to their finances.

People who’ve lost control of their debts should discuss their situation with a professional debt adviser, who can take them through their alternatives and make sure they understand the pros and cons of every potential approach.

“For some,” the Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson continued, “a debt management plan can be the best way forward. It’s an informal (not legally binding) agreement with their unsecured lenders, often arranged by a professional debt management company. The aim is to reduce the individual’s monthly repayments to a level they can afford – once they’ve taken their essential expenditure into account – giving them an affordable, realistic way to clear their unsecured debts without ‘eating into’ the funds they need to stay on top of their mortgage/rent, utility bills, food bills, etc.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Debt Advice Could Help Relieve Money Anxiety

Responding to a survey which found that two thirds of 18-24-year-olds frequently feel stressed or anxious – with money worries being cited as a main cause – insolvency specialists the IVA Advisory Centre said that anyone feeling anxious about their money problems should seek financial advice.

The company added that anyone facing debt problems should speak with an expert debt adviser about ways of clearing their debts.

A survey carried out by YouGov found that 66% of people in the 18-24 age group felt stressed or anxious at least once a week, with money and job concerns cited as the main cause.

Over all age groups, 45% of respondents reported money worries as a main cause of anxiety, with 33% saying the same about their job prospects.

Some said they would seek support from friends or family in this situation, but almost a third (31%) said they kept their worries to themselves.

The survey is by no means the first to link money worries with anxiety. Earlier this year, the London Health Forum estimated that 250,000 Londoners suffer from mental health problems as a result of debt, at a cost of £450m a year to the NHS.

A spokesperson for the IVA Advisory Centre said that anyone feeling anxious due to money problems should seek advice on ways to improve their finances as soon as they can.

The spokesperson added that if financial difficulty leads to debt, the borrower should not hesitate to get debt advice at the first sign of problems.

“Being in debt can be an extremely worrying situation, so it’s no wonder that this has contributed to a lot of worry and anxiety.

“For many people, part of the worry is that they feel like there is no way out. However, there is a lot an expert debt adviser can do to help people in debt, even if the borrower can’t see any way of ever repaying the debt in full.

“In some cases, a few words of advice might be all it takes. Some people find that they can make more room for their debt repayments by keeping to a strict budget, while others might be able to find areas in which they can cut back and reduce their outgoings.

“Of course, not everyone’s problems are as easily solved as that. For people who simply can’t afford to repay their debts, a debt adviser may be able to recommend a debt solution that could help them to reduce their debt repayments to a manageable level.

“For people who can’t afford their existing repayments but can afford to repay the debt in full over a longer period of time, a debt management plan could help. Or, for people who can’t see any way of ever repaying their debts, an IVA could help them to avoid bankruptcy and its potential downsides, such as the repossession of their home.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

The Japanization of Financial Markets

Saxo Bank predicts that monetary stimuli and government deficits are likely to continue, fostering a “Japanization” of financial markets, whereby the market will see higher price-to-earnings ratios and lower yields on both corporate bonds and treasuries.

Chief Economist at SaxoBank, David Karsbøl, commented: “Because Western economies are more flexible and able to embrace the necessary changes, we do not think that things will get as bad as was the case in Japan. However, it is increasingly evident that the current scenario in the West bears a close resemblance to post-1990 Japan, and it looks progressively like we have entered a new regime in which everyone assumes that large companies will be bailed out. This means that default risk is ‘priced out’, and we see higher price-to-earnings ratios and lower yields on fixed income.”

In its fourth quarter outlook, the Copenhagen-based investment specialist predicts that the American economy will return to positive GDP growth in the second half of the year, but warns that the sustainability of this growth is questionable and will be largely due to government spending and inventory restocking. US unemployment will continue to rise over the coming months, and that this will further hinder debt repayments and consumption.

David Karsbol believes a USD short seems to be a vote for the global recovery and has become the, newer and better carry trade. “The very low US’s yields and need for external financing and increasing reluctance from China to buy greenbacks is a toxic cocktail that could drive the currency even weaker in the near term,” Karsbol said.

Looking towards the end of the year, market dynamics indicate a shift from this year’s equity market rally. Global equity markets rallied 59% from the March lows through to August, and looking ahead, dynamics indicate a shift in performance towards micro trends and sector-specific growth and valuation stories.

Karsbol added: “Most indicators of economic activity are stabilising, but at very depressed levels. We believe investors should continue to take cyclical risk through regional allocations, with particular emphasis on emerging markets over Europe and the US, where it will be difficult to maintain and improve growth.”

Via EPR Network
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Three Unsecured Personal Loan Providers Have Implemented Rate Hikes Of Up To 1.2% For New Customers

This product ‘tweak’, although seemingly small, could cost personal loan customers an extra GBP322 in interest paid on a typical loan of GBP10,000. With UK consumers currently forking out GBP181 million in interest daily, this will only add to an already hefty bill.

As consumers struggle to manage their debts in the current climate, their chances of consolidating to a low cost loan have also been vastly reduced compared to this time last year. There are currently 36 personal loans available to consumers, this is compared to 57 loans that were available this time last year, a drop of 37%. At the same time, the average loan rate has increased from 9.04% to 9.08% in the last year.

Providers that have increased rates since the start of September include:

1. Marks and Spencer Money – selected rates increased by 1.2%

2. Egg – GBP3,000 to GBP20,000 increased by 1% to 14.9%

3. Alliance & Leicester – GBP5,000 to GBP7,499 increased by 0.1% to 8.9% and GBP7,500 to GBP15,000 increased by 0.8% to 8.7%

However, it seems the trend for offering the best deals to “brand new customers only” does not currently extend to the unsecured personal loans market, with the best deals currently being offered to existing customers. The average interest rate in the Best Buy table for existing customers is currently 7.94%, with Nationwide topping the table with its Existing Customer Personal Loan Plan at 7.7%. However, new customers can expect to be hit with an average interest rate for a Best Buy loan of 8.08%, 0.14% higher.

Louise Bond, personal finance expert at uSwitch.com, comments: “As consumers struggle to make ends meet and manage their finances, loan providers are looking to offer the best rates to those who financial behaviour they can closely inspect – which are their existing customers.

“Last year 1.3 million consumers used an unsecured personal loan for debt consolidation purposes. However, with the number of personal loans available dropping by 37% this year and rejection running high, it would be highly unlikely that a similar number of consumers would be able to consolidate their debts this year. However, for those that are thinking about or attempting to do this, it would definitely be worthwhile finding out what rates existing providers can offer, as it seems loyalty is one of the only aspects that could win consumers better interest rates at the moment.”

Via EPR Network
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Debt Levels Amongst Pensioners Are Increasing

Responding to a new report claiming that debt levels amongst pensioners are increasing, debt management company Gregory Pennington said that finding the right debt solution is important for anyone struggling with debt, regardless of age.

The company added that in particular, anyone approaching retirement age with debts that they may not be able to repay in time should contact a professional debt adviser to discuss the best way to clear their debts.

The research by pensions and investment provider Scottish Widows found that around 34% of retired people have ‘non-mortgage’ debts, such as credit cards and personal loans, with each owing an average of £7,344.

The figure is 9% higher than at the same point last year, and almost 25% higher than it was in 2007, suggesting that the problem has become no easier for pensioners as the economic downturn has progressed.

Meanwhile, the research found that almost one in six (15% of) retired people in the UK are still repaying their mortgage, with an average remaining debt of £50,100 – £8,000 higher than 2008’s figure.

In total, Scottish Widows claimed that pensioners owed a collective £90.4 billion – up from £72.3 billion last year.

Ian Naismith, Head of Pensions Market Development at Scottish Widows, said: “The situation for retirees in debt is not getting any better, and an increase of eight thousand in the average amount of mortgage debt is alarming.

“The recession has seemingly done nothing to encourage retirees to cut their debt, and with the possibility of the value of their property dwindling, they could be leaving themselves in a vulnerable position.

“Those in retirement should be able to enjoy life and not worry about the financial burden of debt, as well as their retirement income.”

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington said: “Some people might assume that debt is a ‘young person’s problem’, but in a difficult economic climate we are all at risk. Pensioners, who often live on a much lower income than they did while they were working, can be particularly vulnerable.

Via EPR Network
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24% Of Students In The UK Expect To Graduate With Over £20,000 Of Debt

Responding to a report that found that 24% of students in the UK expect to graduate with over £20,000 of debt, Debt Advisers Direct has advised students that with the right financial planning, the amount of debt they take on can be reduced.

The company added that students should avoid taking on debt (i.e. any debt outside their regular student loan) wherever possible, as this could increase their risk of debt problems in the future.

Research by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) looked into the financial expectations of UK students. It found that 24% thought they would leave university with more than £20,000 of debt – although the picture varied between countries.

In Scotland, Scottish-born students are not required to pay university tuition fees. This is reflected in the AIC’s figures: only 26% of Scottish students expected to take out a student loan, compared with 55% across the entire UK.

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct commented: “Debt is a big concern for many students. The introduction of top-up fees in recent years has added a significant amount to the debt many students will be expected to repay once they graduate.

“However, it’s very important that we distinguish between student debt in terms of an official student loan, issued by the Student Loans Company (SLC), and other forms of debt.

“Government student loans are designed to be paid back once the student graduates and is earning enough to meet the threshold – currently £15,000 a year – and only as a small percentage of earnings above this amount. In that respect, a student loan is not likely to cause significant financial hardship.

“However, students who have borrowed money in other ways could find themselves in more difficulty. Things like personal loans and credit cards, for example, usually require regular repayments and tend to carry higher interest rates. This is not ideal for students, who usually survive on a relatively low income.

“The risk is that the more debt students take on, the more likely they are to have trouble meeting their repayments. For that reason, we advise students to steer clear of taking on additional debt wherever possible.”

The Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson added that while most students experience financial difficulties at one stage or another, there are other things they can do to improve their situation.

“There is plenty of advice available, both online and from expert financial advisers, on ways for people to manage their finances well. For example, we have just released a guide on ways to cut back without compromising their social life – which is particularly relevant to students.

Via EPR Network
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Debt Recovery Specialist Red2Black Collections Limited Is Hoping To Maximise Recovery Rates For Its Prospective Clients By Launching An Innovative New Product To The Market

Debt recovery specialist Red2Black Collections Limited is hoping to maximise recovery rates for its prospective clients by launching an innovative new product to the market.

Red2Black Collections, which offers outsourced collections at every stage of the debt collection life cycle, has launched ‘Loss Prevention Plus’, a one-stop solution designed to make the debt collections process a quicker and easier process for many of its clients.

Nick Cherry, Director and General Manager of Red2Black Collections commented: “All customers will still have access to our full end-to-end service, but our new ‘Loss Prevention Plus’ product has been introduced as an off-the-shelf solution for clients, which combines as one offering the services which we receive the greatest demand for – early and late day collections, asset recovery and litigation.

“This tailored service has already proven to deliver results amongst our existing clients, emphasising how a seamless escalation through each of these important collections functions is a winning formula. In the current economic climate most creditors are facing increased volumes of impairment, increased roll rates and a change in demographic to their arrears portfolio. ‘Loss Prevention Plus’ provides the answer by maximising recovering performance.

“Most importantly, the product can be tailored to dovetail with the creditors’ own collections process to deliver and enhance performance.”

The launch of the new product follows a successful year for Red2Black Collections, who celebrated record growth this year, attracting an average of three new clients per month since its rebrand in early 2008.

The company has also recently become one of the first ever debt collection agencies in the UK to partner with the Samaritans to help train its workforce in becoming the industry’s most effective communicators.

Nick Cherry added: “By offering high quality solutions across the debt collection life cycle, our unique business model allows the client to choose one or all of our services to suit their needs and eliminates the need for them to maintain multiple servicer relationships, by providing one focal point for all client interaction.”

Via EPR Network
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The DebtBuster Corporation Recognized As Finalists In The Las Vegas Chamber Of Commerce Small Business Of The Year Competition

The DebtBuster Corporation (DebtBusters), the nations most trusted debt settlement firm, announced today that it has been recognized as one of three finalists in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year competition. Small Business of the Year, awarded as part of the LVCC Annual Biz-E‘s honors a for-profit venture with 50 or fewer employees, demonstrates commitment to community stewardship and is active in the business community of Southern Nevada. The final event, and announcement of the winner will take place at The Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV the afternoon of September 17th, 2009.

The DebtBuster Corporation

David Fishman, the owner of The DebtBuster Corporation, gladly accepts the recognition as a finalist on behalf of his employees. “This is a great honor”, said Mr. Fishman who is also known as Dr. Debt, “we really couldn’t have done this without our great staff and our dedication to excellent customer service. Our goal is to assist everyone that needs help with credit card debt, regardless of whether or not they become our client”. Mr. Fishman went on to say that people who need debt relief, don’t generally ask for it until it’s too late. “Bankruptcy alternatives are available for most people”, said Mr. Fishman, “if you know where to look”.

About The DebtBuster Corporation
Formed in 1998 as subsidiary of the 20 year old commercial debt settlement firm, Arbitronix INC, The DebtBuster Corporation was created to assist consumers by negotiating their unsecured debt directly with creditors, often saving consumers thousands of dollars in the process. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau in 2002, DebtBusters is one of the few debt settlement firms in the country which has achieved an A+ BBB rating. Their dedication to customer service is unparalleled and their motto, “No Obligations. Only Answers.”, shows their willingness to help anyone who calls the Dr. Debt national helpline at 1-800-464-DEBT, regardless of whether or not the caller becomes a DebtBusters Client.

Via EPR Network
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Britain’s Disposable Expenditure On The Up For First Time Since Credit Crunch

Spending on non essential products and services is on the increase after a hesitant start to consumer spending in 2009. Research conducted by Kublax, an online money management service, reveals that discretionary spending is on the up.

Kublax - money mangement platform

Products and services, such as shoes and gifts, are usually the first areas of spending to be cut down on in hard economic times. The fact that a lot of these spending areas are showing signs of recovery is good news for the economy, as it indicates that consumers are regaining confidence. This circulates money through the economy, creating a multiplier effect, rather than leaving it stagnant in savings accounts.

Kublax took a sample of 1000 adult users and studied their specific spending habits through their finance software, from everyday living to luxury purposes. The report found a massive increase in spending in the second quarter when compared to the first quarter of 2009.

The ‘Kublax Spending Index’ revealed holiday expenditure increased by a staggering 117% in the second quarter, rising from an average spend of £511 in the first quarter to an average spend of £1107.

Other spending categories with notable increase in the second quarter include:

• 62% increase on spending on children
• 28% increase on gifts and flowers
• 12% increase on clothing

These statistics indicate a more positive economic outlook for the summer period. Tom Symonds, CEO of Kublax comments, “The correlation between the arrival of summer and an increase in monthly outgoings may also be due to a seasonal change in attitude; as the weather brightens, so too does the mood of the British public as they unwind and treat themselves more.”

The results of the ‘Kublax Spending Index’ also correlated with other industry surveys of the same period, which found decreases in spending on eating out. Kublax found 42% decrease on coffees/sandwiches/snacks, and an 11% decrease in restaurants/dining spending.

Although launched in May 2009, the site has been in beta testing phase from September 2008 and collected the data from January 2009 to June 2009.

Kublax is a money management platform through which users are able to simplify their finances. The finance software works by pulling together all building society, bank and credit card accounts into one easy access location. Once all information has been compiled, users are able to budget and manage their finances more effectively than by viewing different statements from multiple banks. Kublax automatically categorizes spending and produces diagrams and charts illustrating how you are spending your money. Comparisons to user averages as well as an effective alert and reminder systems provides a sense of financial benchmarking and real time money management that is innovate, extremely useful, and is likely to save people money and reduce stress.

With set up taking a matter of minutes, Kublax is perfectly placed to help the online generation, who hold on average two current accounts and two credit cards, deal with their ever more complex finances.

To find out more about Kublax’s online finance software, or to read more about spending habits in the UK, visit http://www.kublax.com.

Via EPR Network
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Does Shopping for Insurance Quotes Hurt Your Credit Score?

With the economy slumping and people relying on credit more than ever, the last thing anyone wants to do is limit their access to credit by damaging their credit score. When you apply for insurance quotes these days most companies will pull your credit to judge what premium they will be charging you. The idea of inquiries showing up on your credit sounds like a very negative thing, but according to a recent article on InsuranceAgents.com, it’s actually no big deal.


Applying for insurance quotes does not negatively affect your credit score. There is no reason to not shop around for a better rate on your insurance, especially in tough economic times like these when every penny counts.

The insurance company may be pulling your credit, but it’s important to know the difference between what’s called a “hard pull” and a “soft pull”. According to the article, “When it comes to credit checks, there are two types of inquiries: ‘hard pulls’ and ‘soft pulls’. A hard pull refers to credit inquiries for acquiring credit, like from a credit card company or a lender. A soft pull is an inquiry that will review your credit score, much like an agent would to determine an insurance quote. … [T]he insurance company’s name will be listed on your report, but the inquiry will not lower your credit score.”

Though insurance quotes won’t affect your credit, it’s important to understand that your credit does affect your insurance quotes. The InsuranceAgents.com article continues, “While shopping for insurance quotes may not lower your credit score, it is important to know that a good credit score can lower your insurance quotes! Insurance companies and agents that see a potential client with a high credit score will consider you a low-risk client … They will then be able to offer you more affordable insurance quotes. Good credit saves you money in many different arenas of your life, including insurance.”

The best thing you can do if you have good or bad credit is to shop around for insurance quotes. Using services like InsuranceAgents.com you can compare up to five insurance quotes at a time and find the lowest rate.

For more information, visit InsuranceAgents.com.

Via EPR Network
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Divorce Survival Kit Released as Ultimate Divorce Resource

The Divorce Survival Kit has just been released as the ultimate comprehensive resource for people experiencing divorce. The Divorce Survival Kit was developed by Carol Ann Wilson, one of the nation’s foremost experts on divorce and finances. The Divorce Survival Kit consists of a four (4) CD audio set and complete workbook filled with examples, forms and checklists. The product took over a year to complete, and it represents a great wealth of Carol Ann’s vast knowledge and experience. The Kit contains everything you need to know if you are going through a divorce and are concerned with how to survive financially.

The topics covered in the Divorce Survival Kit include:

  • Marital vs. Separate Property: Learn the truth about marital and separate property and how to keep what is yours. Don’t surrender it if you don’t have to!
  • Alimony/Maintenance: Find out if you are likely to receive alimony and how much. If you have to pay alimony, understand how to best protect yourself and minimize your losses.
  • Health Insurance: Did you know you could become uninsurable after your divorce? Protect yourself and your children.
  • Child Support: Learn what you need to know about the Child Contingency Rule that could save you from owing the IRS thousands of dollars.
  • Asset Division: Don’t ruin your financial future by failing to consider hidden assets and tax consequences. Discover the best ways to divide all your assets.
  • Dividing Retirement Accounts: This is often the biggest asset in the marriage. Avoid some common mistakes and make the most of this valuable asset.
  • Settlement Alternatives: Courtroom battles can be costly and expensive, but there are alternatives. Mediation, arbitration and collaborative divorce are explained.

Carol Ann Wilson, a Certified Financial Divorce Practitioner, is the founder of the profession of divorce financial planning. She has been working with divorcing clients and their attorneys for over 20 years.

Carol Ann’s dedication to helping couples financially survive their divorce has driven her to continuously develop more ways to help them. In addition to the Divorce Survival Kit, Wilson has authored many books and articles on divorce, has served as an expert witness in court for over 120 divorce cases, has developed software for professionals used in determining financial results in divorce settlements, and has trained thousands of divorce financial planners around the country how to work with divorcing clients to achieve fair and equitable divorce settlements.

Currently, Wilson is the president of the Financial Divorce Association, located in Longmont, Colorado, and an owner of the Academy of Financial Divorce Practitioners in Chicago. Her expertise, as the founder of the profession, is highly sought-after, and Wilson continues to consult with divorcing clients today.

“The Divorce Survival Kit is going to help a lot of people,” Carol Ann says. “I am excited to be able to offer all of my knowledge and experience in one complete package, that is affordable to anyone. I like to say that you get my 24 years of experience for less than the cost of 30 minutes with an attorney.”

Via EPR Network
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IVAs: Help Avoiding Repossession

Responding to the latest figures from the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders), debt management company Gregory Pennington has stressed the role which debt solutions addressing unsecured debt can play in helping people avoid repossession.


Released on May 15th, the CML’s figures show that 12,800 repossessions were carried out by first-charge mortgage lenders in the first quarter of 2009. “Compared with many predictions, these figures are relatively low,” said a spokesperson for Gregory Pennington. “Indeed, the CML itself has used the word ‘pessimistic’ in reference to its own estimate of 75,000 repossessions throughout 2009, and has recently revised this figure downwards to 65,000.

“It’s good to see lenders and borrowers working together to keep the figure as low as possible, but it’s important not to become complacent. There were still around 23% more repossessions in Q1 2009 than in the previous quarter – and 50% more than we saw in Q1 last year.

“Looking ahead, the repossession figures for the rest of 2009 are by no means set in stone. They depend not just on the state of the economy and the forbearance shown by secured lenders, but on the attitude of borrowers and unsecured lenders alike.

“In this recession, many people are suffering multiple ‘shocks’ at the same time. With 2.2 million unemployed and many others dealing with reduced wages, homeowners are also facing the issue of falling equity. While there’s no direct link between low (or negative) equity and repossession, this is limiting many homeowners’ ability to access ways of dealing with their debt – from debt consolidation loans and remortgaging to downsizing to a smaller property.

“It all underlines the importance of finding a solution that addresses a borrower’s priority and non-priority commitments at the same time. A founder member of DEMSA (the Debt Managers Standards Association), Gregory Pennington has 15 years’ experience of dealing with lenders of all kinds.

“Secured and unsecured lenders alike clearly have a thorough understanding of the problems consumers face today. They understand the link between secured and unsecured debt problems.

“Secured lenders know that many of today’s borrowers are facing complex financial problems, trying to deal with unsecured debts as well as secured.

“Unsecured lenders, in general, appreciate that a homeowner’s secured debts must take priority – and that repossession is unlikely to improve the borrower’s chances of repaying their unsecured debt.

“This is one reason unsecured lenders will often agree to the terms of an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement).”

A solution that’s designed to address the concerns of everyone involved, an IVA can help unsecured lenders recover as much of their money as realistically possible, and can help borrowers avoid the need to focus on their mortgage / rent at the expense of their unsecured debts. Insolvency Practitioners (IPs) achieve this by calculating how much the individual can realistically afford to repay per month after they’ve taken their mortgage / rent payments and other essential expenses into account.

“Even so, we always emphasise that entering an IVA is a serious step, and is by no means suitable for everyone facing debt problems. Depending on their situation, different homeowners may be better advised to consider alternative solutions to their debt problems.”

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Debt Management Could Help With Unmanageable Credit Card Debt

Responding to a new report suggesting that there are more than 200,000 ‘secret credit cards’ in the UK – cards that are kept hidden from the holder’s partner – financial solutions company Think Money has advised consumers that while credit cards can be a useful means of funding purchases, borrowers should be careful to ensure that they can make their repayments in order to avoid debt problems in the future.


Research from Halifax Credit Cards showed that people in the UK hide an estimated 217,000 credit cards from their partners. Reasons for doing this included buying items the card holder did not want their partners to know about, hiding existing debt from partners, or simply having emergency funds available.

According to credit card trade association APACS, there are 30.2 million credit card holders in the UK. Total credit card spending in 2008 was £126.2 billion.

Melanie Taylor, Head of Corporate Relations for Think Money, said that while there is nothing specifically wrong with having a ‘secret’ credit card, card holders should ensure they are hiding it for the right reasons – and not in order to hide problem debts.

“It boils down to the same principle as having any credit card. Credit cards can be a very useful source of additional finances, as well as a ‘safety net’ against any unexpected costs. Used correctly, credit cards should not cause the consumer any problems.

“However, it’s when the borrower starts delaying their repayments – paying only the minimum – that the problems can start.

“The trouble with credit card debt is that the interest is a lot higher than on many other forms of credit. If the borrower does not repay the full credit card balance at the end of the month, then the interest that accumulates on the remaining balance may be a lot higher than a lower-interest alternative, such as an authorised overdraft.

“Over time, the interest can begin to ‘snowball’, and it can become increasingly difficult to repay the remaining balance. It may not be long before the debt becomes unmanageable – which is why it’s important to get debt advice at the first sign of difficulty.”

Mrs Taylor added that the relatively low minimum repayment on credit cards means that some people can take a long time to clear the debt.

“Unlike personal loans, which carry fixed regular repayment terms, credit cards only require a minimum repayment each month. This makes it very easy to delay repaying the full balance, which is how problems start for many borrowers.

“In general, we advise people to avoid making large purchases on credit cards unless they can be absolutely sure that they can afford to repay the debt in the near future.”

Mrs Taylor said that anyone who does find themselves struggling to repay their credit card debt should not hesitate to seek professional debt advice.

“Because the interest will only continue to grow, finding the right debt solution is vital for anyone who can no longer afford to repay their credit card debt.

“One such debt solution is a debt management plan, which is an informal arrangement with the lender that can allow the borrower to repay their debt at a more manageable pace. It is often also possible to negotiate a freeze or reduction in interest, which could be especially helpful for repaying credit card debt.

“However, borrowers should always consider all options available to them. A professional debt adviser can recommend the best debt solution for the borrower’s individual circumstances.”

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Debt Management: The Earlier, The Better

Responding to news that the Credit Services Association (CSA) has agreed that its members will grant 30 days’ ‘breathing space’ to borrowers who have fallen behind on their debt repayments, debt management company Gregory Pennington has advised struggling borrowers to take advantage of the opportunity to seek expert debt advice.


The CSA, which represents debt recovery agencies in the UK, says the addition to its code of practice is “one of a series of positive measures being introduced […] to ease the pressure on debtors”.

It comes after discussions between the CSA and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) aimed at helping the increasing number of people getting into trouble with debt.

The CSA said that it “acknowledged that the present economic environment is placing greater pressure on debtors, and debts are increasingly being passed to agencies for collection”.

Starting from the moment that the borrower informs the debt recovery agency that an accredited debt adviser has been appointed to the case, debt recovery agencies will take no further action to recover the debt for a 30-day period. Borrowers can use this time to establish the best way to tackle their debts, with the assistance of their debt adviser.

Consumer Minister Gareth Thomas said: “This new 30-day rule will give people a breathing space to help them take control of their finances as well as encourage them to seek help from debt advisers.”

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington said: “This 30-day period will give struggling borrowers some room to do something about their debts before a debt collector will take any action. This has become more important in recent months, with the economic downturn putting pressure on many people’s finances.”

However, the spokesperson reminded borrowers that their situation with debt doesn’t have to go as far as dealing with debt collectors, as taking the right action early can often set the borrower on their way to becoming debt-free.

“A debt collector will rarely get in touch with a borrower unless they have fallen quite significantly behind on their debts. With that in mind, the best course of action for anyone struggling to repay debt is to get in touch with a debt adviser at the first sign of problems.

“Debts can grow very quickly – and the higher the interest rate, the more rapidly they will grow. That means that the further the borrower falls behind on their debt repayments, the more costly it may become.

“We advise that people who are having difficulties with their debts should not hesitate to get expert debt advice. The sooner the problem is addressed, the sooner it can be solved.

The spokesperson added that finding the right kind of debt solution can be a huge step forward for people who are looking to clear their debts.

“There are a number of debt solutions available to help people in various situations with their debts, and a professional debt adviser can offer guidance on the most suitable solution for a borrower’s circumstances.”

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Saving & Debt: Base Rate Should Not Discourage Caution

Commenting on the recent spate of base rate cuts – and the resulting 0.5% base rate – financial solutions company Think Money pointed to the potential implications of the Bank of England’s actions over recent months, and urged savers not to risk debt problems by turning their backs on saving.

“In the short term,” a Think Money spokesperson began, “it’s important to realise that many people – the vast majority of the country – haven’t benefited from these cuts in any way at all. A full 50% of the UK’s 11.75 million mortgages are fixed-rate deals, 40% tracker and 10% SVR (standard variable rate).

“Clearly, anyone on a fixed-rate mortgage won’t benefit any more than someone who’s renting their home. As for SVR deals, lenders aren’t obliged to pass on any reductions, and many have passed on only part of these cuts. Even people on tracker deals haven’t universally seen their interest rates drop by the full 4% since October, as many of those deals have come up against their collar.”

In the longer term, there’s the question of what lessons people will take with them once the recession is over. Many people on fixed-rate mortgages will be looking at the low rates on offer today, calculating how much they could save if they switched and comparing this against the cost of the early repayment charges they would pay if they left their current mortgage early.

“In future, they may be unwilling to sign up to fixed-rate deals – or at least reluctant to sign up to the longer-term fixed-rate deals which come with more substantial charges for early repayment.

“In other words, some may be tempted to sign up to a tracker or SVR deal the next time the base rate reaches 5 or 6%, believing that another fall will soon follow. There’s nothing inherently wrong with variable deals, but they’re not suitable for everyone: people whose monthly finances can only just cover their mortgage payment should think very carefully before committing themselves to a deal with an interest rate that could go up as easily as down. For people in that situation, erring on the side of caution – and taking a fixed-rate mortgage – could be far more sensible.”

The other long-term effect of these base rate cuts, of course, could be in the country’s attitude to savings. Now that the average interest rate on instant access accounts has plummeted to little more than 0%, interest is simply not keeping pace with CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation – and for people who aren’t paying variable mortgages, this figure is more relevant than the RPI (Retail Price Index) measurement.

“We would, however, stress that interest is by no means the only reason people should build up their savings. With or without interest, a savings account is its own reward, helping people cope with financial challenges without running into debt problems.

“Even so, the thought of watching savings shrink in real terms may be enough to put many people off saving in a standard savings account. This could be terrible news: whether they stop saving altogether or feel they need to ‘gamble’ their money in higher-risk investments, they could be leaving themselves open to all kinds of debt problems in the future.”

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Debt Advisers Direct Have Underlined The Importance Of Seeking Debt Advice Before Financial Problems Reach The Stage Where They’re Insurmountable

“In the midst of a recession, professional debt advice has an even greater role to play than usual,” said Melanie Taylor, Head of Corporate Relations for Debt Advisers Direct. “With repossession and unemployment figures rising and many households living with the threat – or the actuality – of reduced income, people across the country are realising that once-manageable debts are suddenly taking up much more of their monthly budget. In many cases, the strain is simply too much.”


The insolvency trade body R3 recently expressed its concern ‘that those with financial problems do not think they ‘need’ debt advice‘. Quoting from YouGov’s quarterly ‘DebtTracker’ of February 2009, R3 pointed out that only 37% those who had fallen behind with many bills or credit commitments had actually taken action and sought debt advice in the previous six months.

Of those who acknowledged that they were struggling with bills and commitments, a full 65% were of the opinion that they simply did not need advice about their financial problems.

“It’s alarming to see so many people in trouble and not looking for help,” Mrs Taylor continued. “Financial problems rarely resolve themselves unless the individual takes positive action. Clearly, many people are able to do so on their own, but while it’s good for people to have confidence in their skills, even the most financially capable people may find they benefit from the insights which someone who specialises in debt could supply.

“Particularly worrying is the thought of people who desperately need to look for debt advice but have yet to do so – either because they’ve not realised the severity of their financial problems or because they’re nervous about asking for help.

“Regarding the first of these two groups, we would like to stress the need for everyone to keep a close eye on their income and expenditure at all times – and this is especially important during challenging economic times when incomes are more likely to fluctuate and access to debt solutions such as debt consolidation or remortgagingmay be relatively restricted. One call to a debt adviser should help them gain some clarity on their situation, helping them understand exactly where they stand and what their options may be.

“Regarding the second group (those who acknowledge their financial problems but may be embarrassed about seeking help), we would like to make three specific points. First, that there are plenty of people in their situation; second, that debt advisers are there to help, not to judge; and third, that the solution to their debt problems could well be much simpler than they expect.

“Many people don’t want to face up to their debt problems because they dread hearing that bankruptcy, repossession, or some other ‘extreme’ scenario is the only way forward. In the vast majority of cases, however, these fears are unfounded. It’s true that there were 10,400 repossessions in the final three months of 2008, yet this only represents 1 in 1,100 mortgages – just as the 19,000 bankruptcies in that period represent an extremely small percentage of the people facing debt problems.

“Once they take the step and talk to a debt adviser, borrowers may be surprised to realise their lenders are willing to consider ways of repaying their debts in a way that’s actually quite manageable.

“Nonetheless, the earlier they seek debt advice, the more options they’ll probably have open to them. By taking action sooner rather than later, they’re likely to save themselves a great deal of time and worry, as well as money (in the form of fees, legal costs and interest charges).”

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