Credit Action – Debt Stats Round Up (January 2012)

  • Every 4.21 minutes someone will be declared insolvent or bankrupt
  • Every 14.17 minutes a property is repossessed
  • 1,764 people were made redundant every day between August and October 2011
  • Citizens Advice Bureaux deal with 8,652 new debt problems each working day
  • The average household debt (including mortgages) is £55,816
  • 868,000 people in the UK have been unemployed for 12 months or more
  • £173,000,000 is the amount of personal interest paid in the UK on a daily basis

Big changes to tax system planned

Every taxpayer may be given online access to their tax records, the government has suggested.

The idea is part of a public consultation on making the personal tax system easier to use and understand.

Other ideas include supplying pre-filled tax returns to people in the self-assessment system using information from employers and banks.

All taxpayers may be sent an annual tax statement in addition to their normal P60 and PAYE tax code notice.

Read the full article at bbc.co.uk

Fuel poverty is a regional issue

Research from uSwitch.com reveals stark differences in fuel poverty levels across the UK, with Wales and the east of England hit hardest of all.

Almost a third of households in Wales and the east of England are fuel poor while London was found to have the lowest level of fuel poverty in the UK with just 16% of households affected.  However, with huge anomalies in how wealth is distributed across the capital, some parts of London could be experiencing far higher levels of fuel poverty than the findings suggest.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com says:

“Rocketing energy prices mean that no area of the UK is safe from the clutches of fuel poverty.  The fuel poor can be found in all types of households and in all parts of the country, but some regions and households are clearly more vulnerable than others.”

 

Source:  uSwitch.com

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

A survey by Gocompare has revealed that getting a grip on our finances was the most popular New Year’s Resolution for Brits in 2012, with 49% of those who planned to make a resolution putting this at the top of their list.

This put it ahead of getting fit (46%) and losing weight (45%), and this is the first time since 2008 that financial affairs have topped the list.

Looking specifically at financial related resolutions, 40% of those making resolutions committed to reducing outgoings, 35% resolved to pay off debt, 25% said they would deposit more money in a savings account, 12% said they would invest in the stock market and 10% aimed to save more into a pension.

 

Source:  Credit Action – January 2012 edition

Were you a first time home buyer in 2007?

If so, figures from HSBC suggest that the 360,000 people who bought their first home in 2007 are unlikely to be able to move, with first time buyer house prices having fallen by £11,000 since then.

HSBC say that a typical first time buyer who bought in 2007 with a 10% deposit would have started with £16,000 worth of equity.  However, they calculate that in the years since, these homeowners are unlikely to have increased their equity, as their repayments will have been offset by the decline in the value of their home.

HSBC believes that moving up the housing ladder costs £27,000, leaving an £11,000 shortfall.

 

Source:  Credit Action – December 2011 edition

Text alerts for bank overdraft threat

A text message alert system for those close to being overdrawn has been agreed by the UK banking industry.

From April, all major High Street banks will offer current account customers the option of receiving a phone or email warning if they are close to going into the red.

The service is one of many changes to consumer lending, including store card offers, agreed by the providers.

They also plan a seven day account switching service by September 2013.

Read the full article at bbc.co.uk