Worried about debt?

If you’re in financial difficulty and don’t know where to turn, we’re here to help turn debt around and let you start afresh financially.

Don’t suffer with debt.  Watch our video then complete our online enquiry form so we can help you take the first step to finding a tailored debt solution.

 

 

Hard time for bailiffs in debt shortage

If asked to choose a business that would boom during a recession, you would think it would be bailiffs (those employed to collect debt on behalf of a creditor).  But surprisingly, Britain’s official debt collectors have seen their businesses squeezed by the downturn.

The bailiff trade body, the Enforcement Services Association, said the amount of debt referred for collection by its members this year was ten per cent lower than last year.

As the issue of personal debt in Britain is now headline news, rather than a taboo subject, it is thought that people struggling with their finances have become more likely to seek debt help and debt advice, rather than adopt the ‘head in the sand’ approach and fall into a debt spiral.

Read the full article.

Social media used to choose financial services

A recent report from moneyfacts.co.uk has found that 43% of people buy financial services as a result of a recommendation from friends via social networks.

This highlights the influence that friends on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have on our buying behaviour for financial products.

More than 52% of the males surveyed said they had purchased a financial product as a result of advice they had received online compared to just 20% of women.

Read the full report.

A few facts on debt….

Did you know that?

  • The average person who comes to us for debt help will owe money to 7 different creditors which predominantly involves credit cards, loans, store cards, hire purchase and an overdraft.
  • It takes between 2 and 10 years of people accuring debt, moving their money between credit cards and ignoring telephone calls and letters from creditors before deciding to take steps to regain financial control via a debt solution.

Interestingly, despite the length of time taken to accrue the debt, when someone decides to seek help, they prefer local, friendly companies and make a decision to get debt advice in less than 2 days.

Our customers have said that simply speaking to someone about their debt problem has a positive impact on their well-being and at Invocas Financial, we are frequently told it’s “like having a weight being lifted” by just telling someone – it’s the “a problem shared is a problem halved” effect.

If you have a debt problem and want to speak to someone, contact us today.

Should I save or pay off my debts?

According to NS&I’s Saving Survey, the amount of money the population is saving has decreased to its lowest level for over two years.  On average, Brits are now setting aside only 6.25% (£81.94) of their monthly take-home income.*

Is this because people are choosing to pay off their debts instead?

Perhaps.  With savings interest rates so low at the moment, it’s likely the interest rate you’re paying on your debt is far higher than what you’re receiving on your savings and so it would make sense for most people to put any spare cash towards reducing debt, as opposed to earning very little putting it in a savings account.

For example,

£1000 in a savings account at 2.5% will earn you £25 after tax

£1000 of credit card debt at 18% will cost you £180 in interest

So, by paying off your debt with the savings, you’ll be £155 a year better off.

However, what happens if an unforeseen expense crops up?  Would you be able to access the cash should something unexpected happen?  It is always reassuring to know that you have a small nest egg should you need it, but evaluate your own circumstances – only you will be able to decide whether it is more beneficial for you to pay off your debts or keep some money in your savings account for a rainy day.

If you’re in serious debt and need to speak to someone, contact us today.

 

* Credit Action – July 2010

Credit cards – what to look out for

With the vast number of credit card companies out there, choosing the right credit card for you is sometimes easier said than done.

It is vital that you understand the terms and conditions for the credit card you choose to ensure you don’t join the millions of people struggling with credit card debt.

We’ve outlined a few things to look out for:

Fees

Make sure you know how much you will be charged for late payments, failed direct debits, cash withdrawals and transactions when you’re abroad.

APR

Many adverts for credit cards will promote a ‘typical APR’.  This is not necessarily the APR you will pay.  A typical APR is the rate that the lender must offer to at least 66% of successful applicants, so if your credit history is less than perfect, you may be offered a higher APR.

Allocation of payments

Check to see what debt is paid off first when you’re making your monthly repayments.  How much of your monthly repayment is allocated to any balance transfers?  Purchases?  Cash withdrawals?

Promotional rate

Inevitably, there will be a time limit on any promotional interest rate you are offered.  Ensure you diarise the date the promotional interest rate ends and shop around for another low rate credit card beforehand.

If you’re struggling with credit card debt, you’re not alone.  Contact us today, we can help.

Banks failing to provide basic bank accounts to bankrupts

According to a recent BBC news article, people going through bankruptcy are finding it extremely difficult to open a basic bank account.  In fact, a Citizens Advice report found that only 2 out of 17 banks allowed the recently bankrupt to open a basic bank account.

Citizens Advice went on to say that there was no legal reason why those who had been made bankrupt should not have access to a basic bank account which has no cheque book and no access to credit but did allow income or benefits in and direct debits out.  In support, the British Banker’s Association said it would work with banks and advice groups to find some common ground.

Read the full article here