Category Archives: Debt

How To Deal With Financial Stress Like A Pro

How To Deal With Financial Stress Like A Pro

There are very many causes of financial stress ranging from taking too much debt to emergency expenses. Financial stress is very common. In fact, it is among the leading causes of relationship problems today. This is usually the case since your financials are connected to almost every aspect of your life including your relationship. If you worry about your finances, your worries are bound to affect the quality of relationships you have with everyone including your friends, spouse, and children. Although you can never really have enough money at any given time, it is possible to avoid most financial problems. If you worry about money all the time i.e. if you will have enough, where you can get more etc., here’s how to deal with financial stress like a pro.

1. Identify the source of financial stress: Financial stress can be caused by many things so it’s up to you to find out the main source of your financial stress before you can be able to do anything to make things better. If you are constantly worried because you never have enough money at the end of every month, your financial stress could be as a result of living beyond your means. If you are forced to borrow payday loans or any other types of short-term loans every month, your financial stress may be as a result of a poor saving plan. It’s important to know the exact source/s of financial stress to be able to deal with it like a pro.

2. Formulate a plan: The two main sources of financial stress include; living beyond your means and being in debt. These problems can easily be dealt with using a budget. Most people spend more than they need to because they fail to track their income and expenses. If you don’t track where your money is going, you are bound to run out of money meant for taking care of important expenses. This will in turn force you to borrow money. A budget is important for ensuring you live within your means and avoid debt. A budget can also help you plan how you will get out of debt. When you write down all your expenses against your income, you can be able to identify areas where you need to make adjustments.

3. Change your mindset: Identifying the source of your financial stress and formulating a plan won’t be of any help if you still have the mindset you had in the first place when you got yourself into debt. It is also important to have a positive outlook on things. Being positive about the future goes a long way in reducing current stress levels. Furthermore, it is possible to change any unsuitable circumstance in life as long as you have the right mindset. If your financial stress results from lacking savings, it’s time to rethink the way you spend money.

4. Take small steps at a time: Financial stress is caused by taking too much financial responsibility at a time. If you are spending more than you can afford, you will definitely be stressed. You are also bound to be stressed if you try to take care of the situation too fast. For instance, debt you have accumulated in years should be paid slowly. You should also make small changes to your lifestyle to create avenues for saving. Instead of attempting to save say, 50% of your income to clear off debt fast, consider a smaller percentage which is manageable i.e. 10%. Your focus should be making small changes at a time to avoid increasing your stress levels.

5. Get financial help: If your financial stress is caused by financial problems which require expert help/advice, don’t be afraid to seek financial help. If you have accumulated too much debt and you don’t know where to start, you can seek expert advice from a financial adviser to help you consolidate your debt or consider other options such as refinancing. A financial adviser can also help you formulate a financial plan. You should seek financial help as a last resort since it is possible to deal with financial stress on your own. Furthermore, it costs money to hire a financial expert. When you are dealing with financial stress, the last thing you want is to incur unnecessary expenses. If you must hire financial help, do it by all means, however, it’s not a must.

Summary

There are many causes of financial stress all of which can be dealt with by following the above tips. If you are constantly worrying about money, it’s time to do something about it. Start by identifying the source of your worries and then formulate a solid plan. You should also change your mindset to get rid of your sources of financial stress for good. It is also advisable to make small changes at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed. Lastly, seek financial help if you feel you can’t get rid of your financial stress on your own.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.
Higher Education in the U.K vs. USA: Is it worth the debt

Higher Education in the U.K vs. USA: Is it worth the debt

According to a recent Sutton Trust report, UK graduates face higher debt levels compared to their US counterparts. According to the report, US graduates leave with higher education debt averaging £19,100 to £29,100 depending on factors such as the institution attended while UK graduates leave with approximately £44,500 in debt. Higher education debt has always been higher in the U.S. The UK has however overtaken the U.S. causing huge concerns.

UK graduates also have a higher debt to starting salary ratio than their U.S. counterparts. The Sutton Trust Report, however, states that the repayment system in the UK is more advantageous to borrowers. The report which focuses on graduate debt in the UK and U.S. among other countries such as; Australia, New Zealand and Canada recommends that UK legislators assess UK’s higher education funding policies as well as the impact of those policies on poor students.

The report also calls for a complex assessment on whether UK’s current student loan system provides value for money to higher education learners as well as taxpayers. There are huge concerns about policies adopted in the UK on student funding such as maintenance grants which are set to be scrapped and replaced by loans which feature a frozen repayment threshold. Poor students are bound to be hit hardest by these policies increasing the debt levels of UK students even further to £50,000+ after graduation. This begs the question; is higher education worth the debt?

a. Many jobs today still require a degree

Most people still argue that taking a student loan is worth it because most jobs in the UK, as well as most places around the world still, require a degree. Although students stand to accumulate thousands of pounds in debt, majority of the jobs require a bachelor’s degree as the minimum and most important requirement. You must have a college degree to get a job in the industries offering the most jobs today i.e. the finance, engineering and education industries.

b. If you will make enough to pay off your student loan comfortably, go for it

If there are prospects of earning enough money to repay your loan, taking a student loan is worth it. Although repaying £44,500 may seem challenging when you consider interest on the loan over periods exceeding ten years, devoting approximately 10% of your salary every month will be adequate to clear a typical student loan. Furthermore, it’s better to dedicate a small percentage of your future income that have no income at all because you didn’t take a student loan.

c. Your future earning potential is higher

A degree increases your earning potential exponentially over a lifetime. Earning a university degree sets you up for better-paying jobs in the future that a high school graduate may not have access to. A degree also opens up doors for higher learning opportunities which increase your earning potential even further. In essence, a £44,500 student loan isn’t much when you compare what you stand to earn in a lifetime once you graduate, get a job and advance in your career.

d. The benefits of higher education go way beyond education

It is also worth taking a student loan since you stand to enjoy greater benefits than simply getting a good job and salary in the future. Higher education broadens your perspective in life allowing you to make better/more informed decisions in life. The goal of higher education goes way beyond earning a living. For instance, studying abroad will definitely increase your general knowledge, social skills and broaden your horizon about life and people in general. These benefits are extremely valuable although they can’t be quantified.

Summary

Accumulating debt isn’t interesting. Taking debt is however justified in some cases. For instance, taking a student loan to pursue higher education is wise since the benefits you stand to gain far outweigh the cost. Although the UK has the highest student debt levels currently, you should really consider taking a student loan if you want to increase your chances of securing a good job in any of the major industries. In most cases, students are able to pay off their student loans fast when they secure a job after graduation. You should, however, choose the higher education institution you go to wisely and avoid unnecessary expenses throughout your studies to keep the debt at manageable levels.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.
Loan and Debt Tips You Should Take Advantage Of

Loan and Debt Tips You Should Take Advantage Of

Introduction

Swift Money doesn’t advocate for any kind of illegal activity on all matters regarding finances. There is however nothing wrong with using financial loopholes at your disposal. The wealthy 1% use a majority (if not all) financial loopholes at their disposal to get ahead. Everyone should do the same provided it’s legal. If you’re interested in discovering some loan/debt loopholes to get you ahead of the pack, below are some good tips to consider.

a. Get rid of your loans/debts using zero-interest credit cards

Did you know there are 0% interest credit cards? These cards exist to entice people to transfer their balances on old credit cards to the new card. This debt loophole is readily available to individuals who have a good credit score, however, very few individuals know, let alone use this loophole. Getting zero-interest credit cards offering an 18-month interest-free period is possible. If you have a huge loan, you can use multiple credit cards. The secret to using zero-interest credit cards is making sure you pay your debt before the interest-free period is over otherwise, this loophole can easily turn into an expensive endeavour. If you use this loophole like you should, you will be able to get rid of your debt interest-free and enjoy other benefits such as a better credit score.

b. Use your home’s equity

Your home’s equity is calculated as the difference between your home’s appraised value and what you owe your mortgage lender. If you have home equity, use it to borrow instead of getting a typical loan. The rich use this loan loophole all the time. There are many benefits of doing this. First and foremost, it’s easier to borrow using your home equity when you already have a mortgage. Although your lender will need to appraise your home, very little needs to be done for you to get a home equity loan.

Also, the interest payments made on home equity loans are usually tax deductible unlike interest payments made on personal loans. Home equity loans are by far the cheapest types of loans available to homeowners. Depending on the equity in your home, you can get 75% of the total equity as a loan. The loans are great for homeowners whose homes have appreciated greatly.

c. Get reward credit cards

You shouldn’t get a typical credit card if you want to get the best short term loan/debt deals available. Reward credit cards are better because they offer you rewards you wouldn’t otherwise get if you were using a typical credit card. Banks earn a lot of money in fees when you use your credit cards instead of typical debit cards, and most banks are willing to share some of the extra money with their clients in the form of cash backs among other rewards. This loophole is great for cashing in on debt. If your bank doesn’t offer reward cards, it may be time for you to start shopping around.

d. Pay your premiums once

If you have insurance policies i.e. car insurance, life insurance, etc., you should consider paying the premiums once to save a lot of money. It is usually possible to get installment payments, however, the total cost of making monthly repayments usually exceeds the cost of making a lump sum payment by a huge margin (usually 8-9% of the total cost of premiums). It’s worth noting that installment payments resemble miniature loans extended to you at interest. When you consider the fact that the average person has multiple insurance policies, the cost of paying premiums in installments is very high. Unless it makes financial sense to pay your debts in instalments, avoid doing it at all costs.

Summary

Incorporating the above loopholes in your day to day activities can help you avoid a lot of unnecessary borrowing costs legally. You shouldn’t pay for any loan/debt expense if you don’t have to so, get a zero-interest credit card, use your home’s equity to get cheap loans, get reward credit cards to get rewarded for using debt and last but not least, avoid instalment payments when you can especially for all your insurance policies.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.
Loan Secrets of the Rich: What You Need to Know

Loan Secrets of the Rich: What You Need to Know

Getting into debt isn’t a bad thing if you purpose to use the debt wisely. It’s important to note that most of the wealthiest people today got to where they are by using other people’s money (or debt if you like). It’s not a secret. Many wealthy people have been on record attesting to this fact. Large companies also get ahead by taking on debt so what is it about debt that tends to work for the rich? Here’s what you need to know

Borrow to buy assets 

Rich people follow this debt rule religiously. You should never borrow to fund a liability. Liabilities are things which take money out of our pockets. A good example is a personal car. Your personal car will never put money into your pocket unless you hire it out or use it in your business. Personal cars need insurance, maintenance, fuel, etc. but they only seem to offer convenience, and in most cases, public transport is more convenient. So, taking out a personal loan to buy a personal car isn’t smart. Rich people don’t do it. You shouldn’t do it either. You should instead take out loans to buy assets i.e. things that will put money in your pocket like a rental apartment. 

Borrow to start a business

Many rich people also seem to have gotten their big breaks when they took out loans to start businesses. Taking a loan to start a business is by far the smartest way of using a loan. It’s hard to regret if you take a business loan provided you have a solid business plan. Furthermore, it is very hard to become rich when you are working for someone else. This is precisely why you should think of taking a loan to start a business before you think of anything else. 

Borrow when the projected returns are greater than the cost of the loan

Sometimes you may be borrowing to take advantage of a money making opportunity that may not necessarily be a business. For instance, you be looking to buy a cheap house, stock, etc. that you can later sell a high price. Before you take a personal loan to take advantage of such opportunities, make sure the cost of the loan is lower than the projected returns. The rich never take on expensive debt. Everything has to make business sense. If they won’t make some money out of debt, you can rest assured they won’t take it.

Borrow if you can afford to lose the collateral/security

This is another loan secret rich people adhere to. Have you ever asked yourself why rich people never suffer even when they claim to be unable to repay their debts? Well, it’s because they never secure debt with assets they can’t afford to lose. If you can’t afford to lose your house, don’t secure your loan using your house. Taking debt is usually a risk regardless of how solid your plans are so you should always ensure you are protected in case the worst happens. Everyone faces credit risks. However, the rich are usually better prepared for the worst which is why they are able to bounce back faster than everyone else.

The more money you have, the easier it is for you borrow

You should also know that the rich have easier access to loans than everyone else so boost your net worth and have unlimited access to loans. It’s easier to borrow when you are rich because you have more assets which translates to lower risks for lenders. This is the main reasons the rich keep getting richer and the poor have a hard time getting rich. This point alone should motivate you enough to seek loans and spend those loans wisely i.e. buying assets or starting businesses.

Summary

Debt can make you rich. Many rich people who start out poor become rich because of taking up debt and using it wisely. First and foremost, understand that it takes money to make money. You also need to know when to borrow and how to borrow. If you’re smart about loans and money in general, you won’t have any problem taking and repaying your loans. You’ll also get rich in the process.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.
The Fastest Way to Boost Your Credit Score: Important Steps to Follow

The Fastest Way to Boost Your Credit Score: Important Steps to Follow

Overview

Trying to raise your credit score can be a painstakingly slow process. When you consider the importance of having good credit, it’s important to want to speed things up and get your credit score back on track. But how do you do it? Well, start by getting your credit report. You can get your credit report from credit reporting bureaus in the UK like CallCredit, Equifax, and Experian. Once you have your credit report, follow the steps below to boost your credit score in record time.
 
Start by checking for errors and disputing them

Your credit report contains important information about your credit history i.e. all your credit lines (credit accounts). Lenders usually report on every account a borrower establishes with them. They report on the type of account, loans taken and payment history. Credit reports also have information on credit inquiries and public record/collections information such as bankruptcies, suits, foreclosures, liens, judgments, wage attachments, etc. 

The main aim of getting your credit report is to see if the report has errors. Credit report errors are common. They can also be rectified when you dispute them through a credit reporting bureau. In the UK for instance, you can dispute errors through CallCredit, Experian, and Equifax. Checking for errors and challenging them can save you months of trying to boost a credit score you didn’t damage in the first place. 

Negotiate

After making sure your credit report is error-free, you can proceed and negotiate. When negotiating, it’s important to understand what you should and shouldn’t do. For instance, you can’t deny the fact that you stopped paying your credit card bill when you had financial difficulties last year. You can, however, request your creditor to ”erase” that debt as well as any account/s which went to collection.
 
You can start by writing a letter and offering to settle the remaining balance if your creditor accepts to remove the account or report it as paid. Your creditor shouldn’t have a problem doing this especially if you were a good customer. You should, however, get everything in writing before making the payment. You stand to boost your credit score faster if you negotiate first.

Open accounts strategically

Once you run out of quick interventions to get bad records ”erased”, it’s time to focus on what you can do yourself. First and foremost, you must understand that you can’t be able to boost your credit fast if you don’t take up new credit. With this in mind, your next step is opening new accounts. However, you need to do this strategically to avoid worsening your credit. Since loan applications result in inquiries on your credit report, you need to stick to financing options that cater for the needs of borrowers like yourself. If you have a bad credit score for instance, consider payday loans instead of personal loans. You can also consider credit cards for bad credit. The trick here is making sure your applications aren’t declined since this can have a negative effect on your credit score. You also want to make sure you show that you are credit worthy again and new accounts help you do this perfectly. The spending should, however, be within your limits so that you are able to repay and boost your credit score faster. 

Raise your credit limits

Once you have many credit accounts that you can manage comfortably, you can proceed and raise your credit limits. Borrowers who have higher credit limits tend to boost their credit scores faster provided they meet their repayment obligations. Remember, your credit score is a representation of your credit worthiness. If you can manage high credit limits, you are definitely more credit worthy. The idea here is raising your credit limits while keeping your spending habits the same. If you can’t do this, don’t raise your credit limits otherwise, you’ll risk damaging your credit score further. 

Pay more frequently

You should also consider paying your debts i.e. your credit card debt at least twice a month to boost your credit score faster than usual. Most debt is repaid on a once a monthly basis, so any repayments above that are considered good for your credit report. You can charge everything on your credit card to earn points, however, send payments more than once a month to keep the balance low. The idea here is to show that you are using credit and paying faster than usual. You should, however, make sure you don’t use more than 30% of your credit limit every month to ensure your credit utilization rate stays within a good range. Again, you don’t want credit bureaus to think you are using too much credit.

Summary

The above information summarises the most important steps to consider when you want to boost your credit score very fast. Once you make sure your credit report is free of errors and you have negotiated where you can, opening accounts strategically, raising your credit limits and paying more frequently will help you boost your credit score faster than you can imagine.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.
Coping with a Loan Default: What You Need to Know

Coping with a Loan Default: What You Need to Know

Defaulting on a loan can be quite distressing given the repercussions. For instance, you stand to damage your credit score for 6 years if you default on a loan in the UK. You can also lose your security if you had taken a secured loan. You may also be required to spend money you don’t have on court proceedings or renegotiating new terms. Loans are also bound to be very expensive for you going forward if you can get them at all. In simple terms, it’s in your best interests to do whatever you can to avoid a loan default. However, a loan default can happen despite your best interests to avoid it so, how do you cope with life?

Dealing with a looming default: Contact your bank immediately

First and foremost, most defaults have telltale signs. Most people can tell ahead of time if they will be able to meet their loan repayment obligations. Instead of waiting to default, you should contact your bank immediately. Banks are usually ready to help clients who have difficulty repaying their loans. For instance, banks can change repayment terms to make repayment easier. Banks can also assign financial experts to offer financial advice on budgeting, saving, etc. In a nutshell, you can do a few things to avoid a default. Furthermore, it’s in the best interests of banks to help their borrowers avoid default so you shouldn’t wait to default helplessly. Instead, contact your bank and see what options you have. Be proactive!

You’ve already defaulted, and you don’t have any money. Now, what?

If you’ve already defaulted because you don’t have any money, you still need to contact your lender. Many people fail to contact their lenders after a default because they don’t see how it will help if they don’t have any money. This shouldn’t be the case. Contacting your lender is still important even if you are broke because it shows you still have the intention to pay. If you stay silent, your lender has no reason to believe you want to repay (even if you do), so they will take the worst possible action i.e. call auctioneers, take charge of the collateral, initiate court action against you, etc. If you have been meeting your repayment obligations religiously, staying silent doesn’t help after a loan default. You must work with your lender if you want to get the best possible outcome.

What if your debt has been assigned to a debt collection agency?

Some lenders don’t handle defaults internally. If that’s the case with your default, talking with your lender won’t help much. You are better off talking to the debt collection agency if your debt is already in collections. Like most lenders, collection agencies are willing to negotiate with defaulters who have show goodwill and in most cases ready to settle for much less than the value of the debt. In a nutshell, it is possible to negotiate and get a favourable solution. The interactions must, however, be formal, preferably written and not over the phone.

After negotiating new terms: Maintain a good relationship with your lender or collection agency
After you have reached an amicable solution to dealing with your default, you need to maintain a healthy relationship with your lender or the collection agency to be able to deal with the default conclusively. For instance, you need to keep your lender informed about the progress of the new repayment plan, your finances, etc. If you had defaulted on a business loan, your lender needs to know how the business is performing. If you had defaulted on a personal loan, your lender should be constantly aware of the status of your personal finances.

Keeping your lender well informed at all times ensures they are always ready to act on new requests. Like all good relationships, you should be honest at all times. If your financial situation has improved, you should communicate the same and be willing to amend terms. You should also be prepared to do regular reviews. Developing a good relationship with your lender after a default has many advantages. For instance, besides getting better terms, you also stand to get free financial advice on how you can turn around your financial situation.

Bankruptcy?

If you default and can’t possibly repay your loan because it is too much, you can consider filing for bankruptcy. This must, however, be a last resort move given the dire consequences of filing for bankruptcy in the UK.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.
trainee nurses payday loans

Trainee Nurses Now Turning to Payday Loans and Food Banks to Survive

As a profession, nursing typically seems to get a rough ride in terms of
perception. Hard work for little monetary reward may often be what people first
think and the news that the government plan to scrap the NHS bursary has done
nothing to improve this. The removal of the bursary could have far reaching
consequences in the long term and in the short term the effects are already
being felt as research shows an increase in uptake of payday loans and visits to
food banks by trainee nurses.

Unions have stated that those due to begin their nursing training next year
could qualify with debts in the region of £52,000. A report by the Sunday
People has found that £5.2million has been paid in the last 3 years by way of
hardship grants to 6500 trainee nurses.

Measures such as turning to food banks and payday loans to help make ends meet
demonstrates how desperate the situation is for many trainee nurses. To turn to
such measures in order to help feed their families as well as maintain their
training is just one aspect of the overall picture. With the planned cuts to the
bursary the situation could become much bleaker longer term.

Research by the National Union of Students (NUS) has shown that NHS funded
students require greater levels of financial support than any others. In
addition to this the planned cuts to take place in September 2017 will not only
impact nurses but trainee midwives, dentists and doctors too which could
significantly limit those from lower income backgrounds from entering these
professions.

Turning to payday loans and food banks is not something to be ashamed of but for
nurses and others training in the NHS is likely to become more of a necessity in
order to meet the financial strains of this kind of study. The bursary was
designed to support those training and working in the NHS and to switch this to
a burdensome level of debt could see the numbers of trainees reduce dramatically
putting a further strain on the NHS overall.

Some argue that the loan alternative is simply not viable and that many will
still need to borrow from friends, family or other means in order to get by. NHS
students are often perceived as being given handouts but in reality many
students entering the NHS as trainees might have families to support and are not
wealthy students by any means.

Experts argue that the removal of the bursary could signal further destruction
of the NHS as there is already a shortfall in recruitment of nursing staff. With
a wave of nurses due to retire soon there is not enough being done to make sure
there isn’t a gap in nursing provision. People from the union Unison state
that there will be an even greater reliance in the future for additional
financial support from the likes of food banks and payday loans.

The nursing profession in particular has suffered greatly in the past with many
describing it as being in crisis. This latest development isn’t likely to
attract people to the NHS and many are being targeted by private providers
already. There are calls for the government to review the plans due to the
impact the bursary removal could have.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.
bank overdraft payday loans

Bank Overdrafts Are Now More Expensive Than Payday Loans!

It is well documented that payday loans have received plenty of criticism since
they were introduced, but what seems to have slipped under the net is that of
bank overdrafts. However, in a recent report by Which, it is clear that some
banks actually charge customers a lot more in fees than those of payday lenders.

The research from the consumer body examined unaranged overdraft charges and
discovered that customers could be charged up to twelve times and above for an
overdraft as little as £100. This was found to be across the board with several
large high street banks identified as culprits.

bank overdraft charges

Payday loan companies recently found themselves capped by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on the charges that they can relay to their customers. The report found that for a loan of £100 for 28 days some banks would charge £90 which is more than 4 times the amount of a maximum charge for a payday loan lender of £22.40. RBS was found to charge £90 whilst name such as HSBC, Lloyds and TSB were a little less at £80. Which has said it believes the FCA should investigate unplanned overdraft charges and review what banks can charge too.
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has said that banks should be able to
set their own unplanned overdraft cap.

In order to play fair it seems there should be some external body imposing
regulations on overdraft charges. There is now a clear disparity between someone
taking out a payday loan and someone, perhaps unintentionally, going overdrawn.
The latter could clearly be charged much more for ‘borrowing’ in some cases
a smaller amount. Which has stated that the overdraft charge issue could have a
large impact on the most vulnerable of people.

In their defence some banks have come out to say they do have measures in place
to help customers that go overdrawn without planning to. The banks say they
encourage customers to contact them if they are experiencing difficulties and
that arranged overdrafts could solve the problem of high charges.

The British Banker’s Association has supported banks and says that charges
today for overdrafts are considerably less than in 2008. They say tools like
online calculators, text alerts and itemised bank charges should help customers
manage their accounts and be aware of any issues quickly.

Whilst maintaining a two way dialogue with any lender is important those that
creep into an unplanned overdraft often should be aware of alternative sources
of lending that could be much cheaper.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.