Archive for September, 2012
Living alone comes with its downsides – no one to talk to, no one to help with the cooking and the cleaning and no one to help pay the bills. However, if you are savvy enough, you don’t have to suffer financially and may be able to save money by living alone.
- Cheaper rent – if it is just you, you will only need one bedroom and maybe a smaller living area, this will be a lot cheaper than renting a bigger home with more living space and bedrooms.
- Cheaper council tax – if you live alone then you are eligible to a 25 per cent single occupancy discount on your council tax. When you move you need to notify your local council.
- Cheaper food bill – you won’t need to buy food for other people and will only pay for what YOU eat, which will save you a lot. You will also avoid the early dash to the local shop (where it is always more expensive) to get a pint of milk after someone else drank it overnight.
- Cheaper gas and electricity – for the energy conscious living with an energy waster will not only drive you round the bend but will make your bill sky high. Living alone will give you complete control over your energy usage and will make your bills lower.
What perks do you benefit from living alone? Share yours here!
Credit ratings and reports are complete minefields with so much incorrect information available. Whether you are looking to take out credit or trying to repay debts it is important you understand your credit report and how it works.
This blogs explores credit rating and credit report myths and we try our best to dispel them.
- The people who I live with could affect my credit rating. The people you live with will only affect your credit rating if you have joint loans or mortgages with them. If the people you live with have a poor credit history it will only affect them
- Previous occupiers of my home could affect my credit rating. Similar to myth one, previous occupiers of your home, who may have had a bad credit rating, will not have any influence or effect on your credit rating.
- Only loans, credit cards and mortgage appear on my credit report. It is often thought that only loans, credit card and mortgages will appear on your credit report. In actual fact all types of borrowing are listed, including mobile phone contracts. If you miss payments against your mobile phone or a utility bill this will be recorded on your credit report.
- Keeping my old credit card accounts open won’t affect me. Although paying off all your credit cards is good, leaving your accounts open when applying for further credit may prove difficult. The main reason for this is that you have more credit available at your disposal meaning that you have the potential to get into trouble financially.
- Having never borrowed, my credit report will be 100%. If you have previously not borrowed either with a credit card or a loan then you have nothing on your credit report to indicate to potential lenders your ability to repay. This could have a negative impact on your chances of getting a credit card, loan or even a mortgage.
- A Debt Management Plan will ruin my credit report. A DMP itself will not be registered on your credit report and will therefore not affect it directly. However, as soon as you start missing payments or making reduced payments, which you can do with a DMP, you are at risk of having a default notices issued on your account. A default notice will be recorded on your credit report for six years from the date of issue. (will link to default notice accounts)
- All credit reports are the same. There are three main agencies that you can go to in order to obtain your credit report and credit score. These agencies are Experian, Equifax and Call Credit. They all use different scoring methods and will therefore give you a different score. They will also update their records at different rates.
- I have been blacklisted. There is no such thing as a credit blacklist. If you have been refused credit this will be due to the lender viewing you as an unsuitable borrower and would reject your application on the basis of your credit report plus their internal criteria.
- A bad credit score will mean I won’t get credit. This isn’t necessarily true, however if you have a poor credit history then you may find it more difficult to obtain further credit. If you do obtain credit then you may find you get charged a higher rate of interest.
- If I enter into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or go bankrupt I won’t be able to get credit again. An IVA or bankruptcy will be noted on your credit report and will remain on there for six years from the day you’re approved. During these six years you will find it extremely difficult to obtain any type of credit. Once the six years have passed and the note removed from your credit report, you will effectively have a clean sheet and will start again.
As a woman I am well aware of the dangers that “comfort” shopping can bring. A bad day at work, bad mood, row with the other half or general stress from life; anything can trigger that feeling of emptiness that only a new purchase can fill. And the evidence is clear – I am not alone.
Young women are the fastest growing area of our society who is falling into debt. Many blame low income and part time jobs for the increasing number of women between 25 and 34 becoming insolvent (by entering into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, a Debt Relief Order or by going Bankrupt).
Then there is the double dip recession, where women seem to have suffered the most. The public sector, an area that was dominated by women, saw two-thirds of jobs cut, leaving many out of work. The Office of National Statistics show that the number of women unemployed increased to 1.1 million in 2012 from 710,000 in 2007.
Low incomes, unemployment and part time work may be to blame, but there is no hiding from the fact that we live in a world where we must conform to a certain image- something that seemingly affects women more than men.
Whether, like me, you are a “comfort” spender or are a shopaholic here is our guide to help you change the way you spend…
- Budget, budget, budget – set yourself a budget for all areas of your spending and make sure you stick to it.
- Cut up your cards – if you usually use plastic to pay for things, cut your cards up and only spend cash. This will help with your budget and you will see how much you really spend.
- Do you need it? – If the answer is no, then walk away. There is a huge different between want and need, there are many things that we want, but chances are, we don’t actually need them.
- Can you get it cheaper elsewhere? – Once you have established that you need something, don’t just buy the first one that you find, have a look around and see where you can get it cheaper. There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking on eBay.
- Have you already got it? – we have all done it – been shopping, got home and realised that we already have that item or something very similar. Make it a habit to regularly check your wardrobe, cupboards and drawers, anything you no longer want or need sell on eBay or Gumtree and put the money in your savings fund for when you do need something.
- Find the route of the problem – identify the root of the problem with your spending and face it head on. If you do not fix the problem then it will keep happening.
- Seek help to repay your debts – if you are struggling to repay your cards, contact us, we will be able to help. Either call on 0800 254 5205 or fill in our online referral form.
We at Payplan are very passionate about helping the children of Chernobyl. Our Managing Director Philip Rann has taken the time to write a letter to you to explain why and how you can help. Please take the time to read and sign the petition.
We ask that you spare two minutes to sign a petition to ensure that children affected by the Chernobyl disaster continue to receive recuperative care
In 1986 a catastrophic nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. The explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere which spread over much of Western USSR and Europe. The poisonous air has had severe consequences and caused poor health, high risks of cancers particularly thyroid cancer and a high death rate to the citizens of Chernobyl. Furthermore, the poisons remain air born and still cause ill health.
To eradicate some of the health dangers, many charities have been set up throughout the UK to bring children across to the UK to breathe in clean air. The children come across for a month at a time and stay with UK based volunteer host families. The results of this are immediate and remarkable as children go home with healthier complexions and weight gain. Most importantly it has been proven that this valuable opportunity DOES boost immune systems, giving long term results and renewed hope.
Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has allowed the children to travel under gratis visas but from March 2013 it is proposed that this will end. This will mean that already heavily burdened charities will have to find another £86 per child to enable a child to be brought across to the UK. The impact will be drastic and mean that fewer children will benefit from a break in the UK and the worst case scenario is that smaller charities will close due to insufficient funds.
A petition has been created to support the withdrawal of these plans and totemic is supporting this by encouraging employees to sign the petition. We would also like to extend this to all of our clients and would greatly appreciate if you could spare two minutes of your time by going to the following link and show your support by putting your name forward too:
Every signature makes a difference in ensuring that cuts are not made and that the children of Chernobyl are given a fighting opportunity to live a better quality of life.