More than three quarters of payday loan complaints are justified

payday-loansAccording to new research by the Citizens Advice, at least 76 per cent of people who have lodged cases with them in relation to payday loan companies in the first six months of this year, have grounds for an official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

There were a number of different reasons cited for customers’ complaints to Citizen Advice, including potential fraud cases. A whopping 20 per cent of the complainants were reportedly being chased for payments on money they had not actually borrowed.

Read the full story on uSwitch.com.

Premium rates on customer service helplines to be banned

premium rate phone linesIf you’ve ever found yourself cursing at the hold music on a customer service helpline, as your hard-earned cash silently ticks away thanks to the number’s high call charges, this will be welcome news to you.

The Government has revealed a draft proposal to ban premium rates on most such helpline numbers,  meaning companies such as PC World, Argos, Royal Mail, Phones4U and energy suppliers will have to change their rates to ‘geographical’ (or normal land line number) rates.

According to The Telegraph, consumers spend nearly £2 billion a year on calls to premium rate numbers – yes, you read that right; TWO BILLION pounds!

Airlines, train line operators and banks will be exempt from the premium rates ban, though, so bear that in mind.

Read the whole story on Telegrapgh.co.uk.

The latest debt statistics from Credit Action

Credit Action has released debt statistics for August, and although outstanding personal debt is up, it’s not all bad news as unemployment figures are down.

The August installment of debt stats include:

  • £5,986: average household debt (excluding mortgages) in June, up from £5,978 in May
  • £164 million of interest was paid every day on personal debt in June
  • £1.421 billion: daily value of all plastic card purchases in May
  • 915,000 people had been unemployed for over a year between March and May
  • Every 5 minutes 7 seconds someone was declared bankrupt or insolvent during Q2 2013
  • £1.425 trillion was the value of outstanding personal debt at the end of June, up from the same period last year

For more details, go to: www.creditaction.org.uk

If you’re going to take out a payday loan, do it right!

Payday loan approved stampIt’s probably fair to say that very few people would relish the thought of taking out a payday loan to make ends meet for that last, pesky week of the month.

Infamous for the sky high interest rates, payday loans can easily lead to a downward spiral of increasing debt, so approach with caution!

If you need some fast cash, the first things to do is consider all the potential alternatives – and if you do go ahead with a payday loan, make sure you will be able to pay it back on time, as per the original agreement.

Money Saving Expert has pulled together a great little guide, listing all the things to think about before taking out a payday loan – check it out here.

Keeping the bailiffs at bay – what you can (and can’t) do!

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Bailiff badge

If you find yourself in a situation where you owe the council unpaid council tax, and a subsequent liability order is raised, you could get an unpleasant house call by a bailiff.

Needless to say, this is never going to be a pleasant experience – but as with all things in life, it’s better to be prepared and know your rights (and those of the bailiff).

If you are uncertain, the Guardian has pulled together this useful Q&A, to help you prepare if you think there is a chance a bailiff might come knocking:

the Guardian – What can you do if a bailiff comes to your home?

We get by with a little help from our friends…

I O U noteOr quite a lot of help, as the case may be – with UK households reportedly borrowing around £2,000 each from family and friends in order to make ends meet.

According to the Aviva Family Finances Report, the average household debt has risen by 40 per cent, from £9,000 a year ago to £13,000 now, with around £2,000 of the latter being owed to family and friends.

If you are thinking of borrowing money from someone close to you, it might be worth checking if there is a better solution to help you get on top of your finances.

Have a look at the Debt solutions and Important information pages on our Turn Debt Around website, or call us on 0131 777 3039 for a friendly, impartial, no strings chat.

Source: BBC News

Debt levels rise…but the debt to income ratio improves!

Protecting a good investment and making money conceptAccording to recent figures from Credit Action, household debt increased in May 2013, compared to the previous month, but the debt to income ratio has improved drastically!

Increases in wages from April to May means that, although debt levels rose, the average UK citizen would have been in a better position to manage their debt.

The stats:

  • £54,024: average household debt (including mortgages) in May, up from £54,002 in April
  • £5,978: average household debt (excluding mortgages) in May, up from £5,966 in April
  • £164 million of interest was paid every day on personal debt in May
  • £1.455 billion: daily value of all plastic card purchases in April
  • 1,545 people were made redundant every day between February and April
  • 898,000 people had been unemployed for over a year between February and April
  • Every 5 minutes 15 seconds someone was declared bankrupt or insolvent during Q1 2013
  • Every 16 minutes 26 seconds a property was repossessed during Q1 2013
  • It cost £67.30 to fill a 50-litre tank with unleaded petrol in June
  • The Government borrowed an estimated £3,286 every second during May

If you know of anyone who might want some advice with regards to debt, there is lots of information to be found on our Turn Debt Around website – have a look at the Debt solutions page, and the Important information page.

Alternatively, they can also call us on 0131 777 3039 for an impartial, no strings chat.

For the full Credit Action story, click here.