Category Archives: Short Term Loans

Wonga on the Spot Again For the Wrong Reasons

Wonga is in the headlines again for the wrong reasons. Regulators and claims management firms have ganged up against the payday lender, a move which if successful could see the firm wind down. This has happened just when things seemed to get better for Wonga.

It has emerged that the lender’s investors had to part with a £10m rescue package dubbed capital injection just recently. The emergency fundraising happens just 6 years after Wonga was set for a flotation which valued the lender at more than £770m ($1bn). Today, the lender is worth a mere $30m.

Wonga launched in July 2008 with the promise of offering instant-decision short term loans to online borrowers. The lender grew exponentially aided by private equity investors to become a dominant player in the online short-term lending industry. Wonga defended its high annual interest rates amounting to over 5,000% by claiming it offered loans for days/weeks, not for a year.

Wonga downfall

Wonga’s downfall began when stories started emerging of vulnerable borrowers struggling to repay their loans. These stories marked the onset of political pressure. Although Wonga claimed its clientele was composed of web-savvy individuals who didn’t like using traditional banks, the Guardian found some conflicting evidence suggesting Wonga was serving hard-pressed borrowers who couldn’t access credit elsewhere.

In 2011, the lender issued 2.5 million loans and posted a massive £45.8m profit against revenues of £185m. This represented a 300% increase in profits from the previous year. In 2013, Wonga was hit by a regulatory clampdown when the Office for Fair Trading launched an exercise to start cleaning up the payday loans industry. The FCA followed suit with an interest rate cap putting an end to the exponential profits lenders like Wonga were making.

The co-founder and C.E.O. Errol Damelin quit in November 2013. His replacement, Andy Haste, a former chief executive of insurer RSA joined shortly after as the Chairman pledging to improve business practices which started a cycle of lower profits for Wonga.

Haste started by drafting a new management team led by Tara Kneafsey which didn’t perform as expected since Wonga’s profits decreased and “jumped into the red” in subsequent years. Wonga reported record losses in 2015 and 2016 (£80m and £66m respectively). This was despite the fact that the lender was hoping to return to profitability in 2017.

Recent Woes

Wonga has been faced with an unexpected increase in customer compensation claims relating to loans dating back to 2013. In 2013, the lender was forced to write off loans amounting to £220m and interest income for 330,000 customers.

Claims management firms targeting payday loans have triggered a new wave of complaints. According to the Financial Ombudsman, complaints about Wonga increased from 269 (in 2015) to 2,347 in the 2nd half of 2017. Back in April 2017, only 10% of payday lender claims were made via claims management companies. One year later, the figure has increased to 66%. The Financial Ombudsman has also extended the time for borrowers to file cases increasing pressure for Wonga to the extent of threatening the lender’s survival.

According to the managing director of Fairer Finance, James Daley, it isn’t surprising that Wonga is in the current position because they exploited a loosely regulated market. Daley states that Wonga was in the forefront of offering people fast access to credit but didn’t treat its customers fairly.

Claims management companies are targeting payday loan lenders as potential payment protection insurance payouts start to reduce. PPI customer have one year to launch complaints before the regulators (FCA’s) deadline. Daley claims that Wonga is reaping what they sowed in their earlier years stating they are handing back all the money they made unfairly.

The lender received emergency funds from Accel Partners, Balderton Capital and 83 North, investors who had backed the lender early on. Meanwhile, Damelin has become one of the leading technology startup investors in the UK with notable investments like Purple Bricks, an online estate agent.

According to industry campaigners, the UK payday industry has reformed significantly since regulators intervened; however, lenders under strain resulting from austerity measures are vulnerable now, more than ever.

According to Citizens Advice C.E.O. Gillian Guy, the number of payday related problems has decreased by 50% compared to the days before the payday loan interest and charges cap. This is a testament that regulation works according to Guy. Although many problems including Wonga’s current problems date back to 2014, people still go to Citizens Advice when they are faced with loan repayment problems since loan affordability is still an issue.

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.

Smart Money Management Tips for Spenders

If you can’t control your spending habits despite your best efforts to do so, you are in the right place. Bad spending habits can plunge you into debt even if you earn a decent salary. To avoid over-dependence on short-term loans like payday loans and credit cards,  you must learn some smart money management tips, and it all starts with saving.

You can never enjoy financial freedom without saving. However, you need to manage your finances accordingly to be able to save. Most importantly, saving isn’t easy. It gets worse if you are a spender so, what should you do?

1. Avoid extended warranties

If you have to spend, the least you should do is ensure you are getting the best value for your money. A spender can save a lot of money by making sure they spend the least amount of money without compromising on value. Many goods are overpriced because of add-ons like extended warranties. Go for standard warranties instead when shopping for household goods, gadgets, etc. since; most people get bored with new purchases in a few months. Furthermore, you aren’t as clumsy as you think unless you have toddlers in the house so, avoid extended warranties and welcome significant savings every year without even changing your spending habits.

2. Save on a daily/weekly basis

The thought of saving when you are a spender is usually far-fetched if you don’t have small manageable goals. You can set your saving challenge starting with small daily or weekly amounts that don’t seem to affect your lifestyle in any way. With time, you can make the goal harder as saving becomes a manageable routine. You can start by saving change daily and then double your savings on a weekly basis. It is easier to save this way than saving a lump sum every month. In fact, spenders don’t have anything left at the end of the month, so this is an effective tip.

3. Work on your patience

Patience isn’t a money management tip; however, it dictates a person’s spending habits to a large extent. One of the key reasons why people overspend or take loans is because they want to buy what they want immediately even when they don’t have money. If you worked on your patience, you would be able to get rid of most, if not all money management problems. For instance, you would never buy anything you can’t afford. You would also be able to build up an adequate reserve capable of meeting emergency expenses and investment needs in the future. Such a reserve would shield you from overreliance on payday loans among other credit facilities which encourage overspending.

4. Focus on transport costs

Expenses on utilities like rent and energy bills tend to be fixed unless you make drastic changes like move houses or invest in cheaper alternatives. Transport is one of those areas you can enjoy significant savings with ease. Most spenders have a huge transport cost so it’s important to pursue cheaper alternatives before finding other avenues to cut expenses. For instance, public transport is always cheaper than using your car or taxi services. You can also use a bicycle which offers added health benefits. Using your car comes with a lot of expenses and inconveniences especially if you live and work in an urban setting.

5. Avoid brands

If you can’t control your spending, you should at least avoid overpriced brands. There are many competing products in every segment that are equally good if not better than overpriced branded products. Knowing this will help you enjoy huge savings even before you get rid of all your bad spending habits.

6. Review your monthly subscriptions

If you tend to overspend every month but don’t seem to understand where your money is going, it’s time to review your monthly subscriptions and cancel the unnecessary ones. Setting automatic payments can be convenient, however, you are prone to overspending on products/services you don’t need any more. You may also be spending on products you can get for free. This applies mostly to internet products/services.

7. Avoid restaurant meals

You can spend 10% or more of your net income on restaurant meals every month if you aren’t careful. Restaurant meals are usually overpriced and unhealthy. This tip will help you save more and boost your health without missing out on anything. If you must eat out, do so occasionally or shop for offers. Implementing this tip can help you get rid of most of your bad spending habits.

Money management is a problem for most people. Spenders have a harder time for obvious reasons. Luckily, making some minor adjustments such as; shopping wisely and practicing patience will go a long way. You should also review existing spending and find better alternatives.

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.

Controversial Loans Tycoon Set to Pocket £350m After LSE Listing

Controversial short-term loan tycoon James Benamor is set to be the biggest individual beneficiary of exorbitant short-term loans fees in the UK when his firm, Amigo Loans lists on the London Stock Exchange.

Benamor has been accused of being a loan shark operating on the “right side” of the law. His firm, Amigo loans is guilty of charging hard-up customers interest rates up to 50%. The businessman is set to pocket over 350 million pounds when his firm lists on the LSE.

Amigo Loans are marketed as a better alternative to payday loans in the UK. The loans are advertised on radio and TV among other media. They target low- income individuals with poor credit and high debt levels.

Amigo recorded a £72 million pre-tax profit last year. The lender’s loan book grew from £266 million to £647 million last year (2016 to 2017). This figure translates to a 90% market share in the UK guarantor loans market. Amigo servers 182,000 borrowers. A record £48 million in loans were taken by existing customers who had existing loans according to the latest financial results.

Amigo’s profits recently and over the years have helped Benamor, 41, amass approximately £380 million.
Benamor who is a British businessman of Tunisian origin started Richmond Group, a money lending company at 21 in his kitchen in Bournemouth. Benamor began issuing loans to individuals who had been denied credit by mainstream lenders.

Back in 2009, an investigation carried out by BBC accused Benamor of profiting by misleading desperate borrowers. A Richmond Group subsidiary offered to give loans to individuals with poor credit in exchange for £50 in fees, but in most cases, customers received a list of lenders without receiving any loans. The firm, Post Net, was found guilty of misleading desperate borrowers by falsely guaranteeing loans. This was according to a Fair Trading statement issued on the matter.

Nevertheless, Benamor has continued presenting himself as an honest businessman. His social media profiles (Facebook) contain very little evidence of his fortune apart from a few pictures of him and his family on exotic holidays.

Benamor has shared about his charitable ventures which include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and funding Education in Africa. There are also pictures of him attending a royal function (hosted by Prince Charles) in March 2018. His employees are also “lucky enough” to enjoy perks like hair styling and massage therapy services as well as use his cars and properties in London, France and Amsterdam.

Benamor has been on record stating that he got into a lot of trouble when he was young having been a drug user. He has also stated he was “a petty criminal” in the past.

The Amigo Difference

Amigo Loans are different from payday loans in that; a borrower needs a guarantor (who could be a friend or family member) before they can qualify for a loan.

This requirement has made it possible for Amigo to offer loans successfully to people who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for loans. Amigo has been able to loan individuals with terrible credit as well as those with “mountains” of debt.

According to consumer champion, Martin Lewis, Amigo adverts stating that their loans are affordable make him feel “slightly sick”.
Stella Creasy is of a similar opinion. The Labour MP has been on record calling for regulators to crack down on legal loan sharks trapping needy borrowers.

The Financial Ombudsman has also linked Amigo loans to unethical lending practices by giving specific examples of how Amigo has been hounding guarantors who include individuals with terminal illness and mental health issues.

According to Amigo’s official website (https://www.amigoloans.co.uk/), the lender charges a 49.9% interest and promises to lend up to £10,000 within a day. The lender also stresses that being unemployed isn’t an obstacle to accessing Amigo Loans.

Although the lender also goes ahead and stresses the fact that Amigo loans are affordable, a customer who borrows £10,000 over 5 years ends up paying £23,715.

Amigo Loans can easily qualify as high-risk loans; however, Amigo is of a contrary opinion.
After announcing intentions to list his firm on the LSE, Benamor stated that his company was a better alternative to payday loan lenders charging ultra-high interest. He stated that the guarantor requirement allows Amigo to offer financing to borrowers who would otherwise be left to borrow less flexible and more expensive forms of loans.

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.

New Bill Banning Letting Fees Presented in Parliament

A new bill which could mark the end of letting fees in England has been presented in the House of Commons.

Letting fees are separate from tenancy. The fees are charged by property managers or letting agents who conduct viewing and additional work related to letting property out. Letting fees are not refundable.

Besides bringing an end to the letting fees era, the bill also aims to cap tenant deposits to be equal or less than 6 week’s rent. Tenants stand to be protected from hefty deposits spanning months.

If passed, the bill could see tenants enjoy more than £240 million every year in savings. The Tenant Fees Bill was first mentioned in 2016. The draft was published in November 2017.

Holding deposits will also be capped at a maximum of one week’s rent.

Besides banning letting fees among other fees like referencing and admin costs and restricting the number of deposits tenants are supposed to pay, if passed, the bill will also;

Limit holding deposits to less than a week’s rent, and requirements must specify how the deposits are returned to tenants.

The bill will also cap the amount tenants are charged for a change in tenancy. Cap to £50 unless the landlord proves more costs were incurred.

The bill has also imposed a £5,000 fine for breaching the ban for the first time alongside a criminal offence if the person has been convicted or fined again for the same offence in the past 5 years. A maximum fine of £30,000 can be charged instead of prosecution.

The bill will also prevent landlords from repossessing their property through the Housing Act 1988, Section 21 until all unlawfully charged fees are paid back.

The proposed bill also amends sections of the 2015 Consumer Rights Act. The amendments will require letting agents meet specific transparency requirements in relation to property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove.

The bill will also see Trading Standards enforcing the ban and making provisions for tenants to recover fees charged unlawfully.

Lastly, the bill will also see money collected as penalties kept by local authorities and spent on local housing enforcement in the future.

The new measures will be subject to parliament’s timetables. If passed, the new rules will become law in 2019.

The new bill also specifies that, besides rent and deposits, agents and landlords will only have authority to charge their tenants fees related to; changes in tenancy or early termination requested by a tenant, utilities, communication services, council tax or any payments arising because of a tenant (like the costs associated with repairing damaged keys or replacing lost keys).

While commenting on the new bill, Housing Secretary Hon. James Brokenshire stated that the UK government is committed to building a housing market that is capable of meeting future needs. According to the legislator, tenants in the UK must be protected from unexpected costs which is why the government is delivering its promise to get rid of letting fees as well as put in many other measures for making renting more transparent and fair.

For many years, wages in the UK have failed to match inflation rates. The price of goods/services has been rising faster than wages. The growth in wages has been too slow despite widespread hopes that changes like Brexit would see the UK experience unprecedented growth.

Britain is also facing a debt crisis with recent reports showing that an estimated 300,000 British households are indebted to illegal lenders. There is an increase in illegal loan sharks “preying” on desperate Brits who survive on short term loans to counter the slow growth in wages.

In fact, the UK government has increased IMLT funding to help crackdown rogue high-cost lenders. The new bill is in line with the government’s effort to protect vulnerable citizens who are forced to rely on high-cost credit every month to pay for basic needs like utility bills and rent.

The FCA put a limit on the cost of payday loans in 2015, a move which saw unsustainable payday loan debt decrease by 50%. Consumer groups are pushing for the same cap to be implemented on other high-cost loans like door-to-door loans. As the UK government continues to introduce legislation to protect UK consumers, there is a lot of hope in the future even if wages don’t increase immediately.

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.

4-Must Have Insurance Policies For Your Family Besides Health/Medical Insurance

The main aim of insurance is to protect you against risks. There are insurance covers that can protect you from just about any risk you can imagine today. But given the nature of risks, i.e. there are too many risks, it is impossible to cover yourself against all of them. This leads us to a very interesting question; which risks should you consider first?

Eventualities like sickness can unsettle your finances. Many people take emergency loans to cover unexpected medical bills. Short term loans like payday loans can cover a small medical bill. What happens when you or a family member has to undergo an expensive medical procedure? We’ve gone through the trouble of selecting the most important insurance policies below.

Here are the 4-must have insurance policies for your family besides health/medical insurance.

1. Life insurance

Every family should have life insurance coverage for both parents/spouses. Life insurance is crucial for ensuring the family doesn’t suffer financially in case a breadwinner dies. Life insurance is crucial because it covers for funeral expenses, which can be very high. Life insurance also replaces the income of a spouse or parent for a long period allowing the family to go on with life as usual. You should have coverage amounting to at least a year’s salary. If you earn £50,000 for instance, you should have a £500,000 policy or more. The same applies for your spouse/partner. If your partner or spouse doesn’t work and you have children, it is still important to cover them because of their contribution to childcare among other chores which can take a huge portion of the family budget when they are gone. It is also a good idea to cover children as well if their demise will have a significant effect on the family’s finances. There are many types of life insurance covers for families in the UK covering all kinds of risks/expenses. Take your time an pick a cover that works well for your family.

2. Disability insurance

This is another essential insurance policy for your family. Life insurance coverage should come first due to the devastating nature of eventualities like death. Disability is equally devastating. Even though a parent/partner may still be there, disability can render one jobless as well as drain the family’s budget in regards to healthcare costs. Disability insurance policies protect from loss of income among other related expenses arising. This type of cover may be more important than life insurance to some people since it can render a person jobless for life and introduce costly expenditures till death. Some people overlook disability covers because of the mere fact that they are healthy and disability looks farfetched. The most important thing to note is anyone can become disabled in an instance i.e. in case of a car accident.

3. Homeowners insurance

A home is a priceless family possession. As a parent, you don’t want your family to be rendered homeless by any eventuality whether it is natural and manmade. A fire can destroy your home. Your home can also be destroyed by harsh weather, an earthquake, etc. Homeowners insurance covers the cost of replacing the structure as well as contents. Homeowner covers can also cater for the cost of buying a new home in case your current one is destroyed completely. Other related costs included in homeowner covers include the cost of living elsewhere while your home is being repaired. It is important to have coverage for such costs since they are significant and can easily plunge your family into financial problems. Although the chances of your home being destroyed are very slim, this eventuality can force you to take loans and living in distress. A homeowner’s cover allows you to live in peace knowing you won’t lose your home in case of anything. There are many types of homeowner’s covers available today that cover anything you can think of including the cost of upgrades, special features and injuries that may occur on your property. Consider getting such a cover. If you are renting, you should take renters insurance instead.

4. Identity theft insurance

In this current era where everything revolves around technology and the internet, it is important to protect yourself against identity theft. This kind of coverage may seem unnecessary but take some time and think of the consequences of identity theft. If you take payday loans, use credit cards or have a genuine online presence of any sort, you are at risk. Someone can steal your identity online and use your name to orchestrate crimes. You need money to protect yourself against losses arising from such eventualities. An identity theft policy can also cover legal fees involved when restoring your name. We are all at risk of identity theft today provided we use computers, Smartphones and online products/services. Payday loan giant Wonga suffered a significant customer data breach in April 2017. The incident saw the personal details of 270,000+ customers stolen including bank account details. Any victim with identity theft insurance would have been covered in such an instance. Get the above insurance covers first before considering any others. Motor insurance is equally important although it is mandatory in the UK and most, if not all countries in the world.

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.

Tired of Short Term Loans? Tax Incentives You Could Be Missing Out in The UK

Tax breaks can provide you with a few hundred pounds every year which is adequate for catering to emergency cash needs. To avoid taking short-term loans such as payday loans, you can turn your attention to the tax incentives you could be missing out now. Besides avoiding short-term loans, tax incentives can help you build your savings account. Many tax incentives are being left on the table by Britons. Here are some of them.

1. Marriage allowance

The latest government statistics show that over 2 million married couples in Britain miss out on a £600 each (£1200) yearly marriage tax break. The total unclaimed marriage tax breaks amount to approximately £1.3 billion according to a recent freedom of information request submitted to the UK government requesting information on the tax break. Britain has approximately 4.2 million married couples and 15,000 civil unions eligible for the tax incentive. However, only 1.8 million married couples have claimed.

The incentive dates back to 2005 and couples are allowed to back-claim £632.To claim this incentive, you need to be in a civil union or marriage. Cohabiting partners aren’t eligible. You also need to be a taxpayer. However, spouses who aren’t taxpayers but are married to individuals who pay tax are still illegible to the incentive. To benefit, the lower earner must earn £11,500 or less. The tax is still applicable to individuals receiving a pension as well as those living abroad provided they are getting a personal allowance.

2. Childcare costs tax credit

You may also be missing out on working tax credit which is a tax incentive that helps with childcare costs. Working Tax Credit takes care of partial costs of childcare. You may be eligible for an additional £122.50 tax break every week for a single child or an extra £210 every week if you have two or more children. To qualify for childcare tax incentives, your kid must be minded by an approved childcare provider. Visit https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs to get more information on tax incentives relating to childcare costs in the UK.

3. Travel incentives for employees

The UK government also gives travel tax incentives to employees whose work requires traveling which disrupts the normal daily routine. Please, note this tax is not given for normal daily commutes. The incentive considers travel expenses like toll charges, parking fees, business call costs, airfare, mileage, taxi, bus and/or railway transport costs. If your work requires you to travel and make overnight stays, you may also be eligible for this tax incentive on accommodation expenses like food and drinks. Claiming this tax incentive is easy. You need to file a self-assessment tax return online or via post (print and post form P87). You can also claim by phone if you have claimed successfully before. You can get more information about this tax incentive here: https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/travel-and-overnight-expenses.

4. Food-related tax incentives

You can also claim some tax relief for food costs incurred outside your routine/pattern. Please note this tax isn’t applicable to food costs incurred when taking clients out for lunch. A person who works from home can, however, claim food costs incurred when attending a work conference. This tax applies to reasonable expenses. For instance, you can’t claim tax breaks on food expenses related to expensive wine. Visit: https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim37670 for more information.

5. Research and development tax credits

You could also be eligible for R&D tax credits if you are a business owner. This tax incentive has been in place in the UK for years. The government put this tax incentive in place to encourage companies to spend on research and development which is considered crucial for economic growth. The incentive was also put in place to encourage investment in innovation. Currently, over 170,000 research and development claims have been submitted in the UK since 2001 according to HMRC’s Tax credit statistics. Over £16.5 billion has been claimed already as tax relief. Small business owners are claiming this tax more and more every year. In 2015-2016 for instance, SME claims increased by 22% compared to year 2014-2015 (from 17,875 to 21,856).

If you own an SME, you have an opportunity to get some tax breaks. R&D tax applies to SMEs with less than 500 employees and a turnover not exceeding 100 million. The relief is extended to research and development initiatives like software development, combining existing technologies, ownership patents as well as employment of software engineers, scientist or developers. SummaryYou probably leave a lot of money on the table in the form of unclaimed tax incentives. The information above can help you save hundreds and sometimes more than a thousand pounds every year in the form of tax breaks. You can then channel this money into your savings or emergency account to avoid over-reliance on emergency loans like payday loans.

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.

Festive Season ”Side Hustle” Ideas to Help You Avoid Short Term Loans

If you’re keen on enjoying this festive season without taking short term loans in January, we have some useful side hustle ideas for you below. We’re all guilty of overspending during the festive season. It is very challenging trying to stay on budget during festivities. You have two main options. One, you can agree to overspend or look for ways to make more money this Christmas. There are many ways to make some extra cash today. Here are some great ideas to consider.

1. Become an Uber driver

Anyone can earn money driving thanks to Uber. This tip is great if you already have a car and wouldn’t mind making some extra cash driving during your free time. Driving for Uber is a great side hustle today because you don’t need much to get started. You just need to meet some simple prequalifications i.e. driver/car tests/inspections. Visit https://www.uber.com/en-GB/drive/requirements/ for more prequalification requirements. Furthermore, you can maintain your own schedule and benefit from Uber’s extensive network of clients globally. What’s more interesting is the fact that there are many similar opportunities. Uber isn’t the only taxi app in the UK. You can also become a taxify driver.

2. Become a freelancer

You can turn to the internet for freelancing jobs. The internet is packed with freelance opportunities in all niches. You just need to choose a niche and get started. It’s also important to choose a freelancing opportunity that is in line with your interests, passion or job description. Freelancing websites like freelancer, Fiverr and Upwork have many opportunities for people who would love to do web design, writing, internet marketing, programming, translation, etc. It doesn’t cost you anything to become an online freelancer. Simply visit a freelancing website and register to get started. All you need is a computer and internet access. You can earn hundreds of pounds in a short time which is more than enough money to cater for overspending during festivities.

3. Sell items online

You can also consider selling items online on websites like eBay. Instead of taking a short term loan this Christmas, you can sell old items like household appliances, furniture, collectibles among many other things to make some extra money. You can focus on things you don’t need to de-clutter your home as well as make some money in the process. If you are serious, you can sell items online professionally and turn it into a real business. eBay has over 18 million registered buyers in the UK today offering a ready market. You just need to familiarize yourself with the selling requirements and basics to get started http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/sell/selling-basics.html. For instance, you need high quality photos and interesting descriptions to sell fast on eBay.

4. Rent a spare room on Airbnb

You can also earn some quick cash renting a spare room in your home this festive season. This side hustle idea is great given the number of people willing to get affordable accommodation during the festive season. You could even consider getting affordable accommodation on Airbnb as opposed to paying for an expensive hotel this Christmas. Airbnb has revolutionised the accommodations industry globally by connecting people with spare rooms/space with those looking for such spaces. Airbnb pays for guest check-ins within a day and does thorough checks so you don’t have to worry about security risks. You can visit the official Airbnb site in UK for more information: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/

5. Create and sell an online course

You can also leverage on the skills you already have to make some extra money this festive season. There are great online course platforms like Teachable and Udemy you can use to create a course in line with your profession. Your income will vary depending on the complexity of the course so it’s important to choose a subject you have mastered. Many people are looking online for courses as opposed to attending traditional classes so this idea has a lot of potential.

6. Manage social media presence for small businesses

Last but not least, you can become a social media manager for small businesses around you. This idea is perfect if you are already proficient in social media and you have some time to spare. Businesses have seen the power of social media marketing so it shouldn’t be a problem identifying those small businesses which need such services around you and convincing the owners to hire you.

In summary, there are multiple ways to make some extra cash today. You just need to be innovative and ready to try. There’s no reason why you should take a short term loan this festive season when you can try out some of the ideas discussed above.

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.

Consumer Finance Up 3% in September 2017

The latest on consumer finance in the UK According to the latest figures by the FLA (Finance & Leasing Association), consumer finance growth is up by 3 percent in September 2017 compared to the same period last year. Q3 2017 has seen a new business growth of 6% compared to Q3 2016.In September 2017, new business generated by credit cards and personal loans grew by 3% compared to September 2016. Online credit and retail store new business increased by 6% over the same period. Second charge mortgage value (new business) also grew at a similar pace in September 2017. However, new business volumes dropped by 2 percent over the same period.

According to Geraldine Kilkelly, Chief Economist and Head of Research at the FLA, new consumer credit is expected to increase by 3.3% in 2017, a significant drop from the 6.3% growth in 2016. This forecast comes in the wake of subdued consumer confidence and the slowest business growth since April. Consumer confidenceAccording to the most recent Lloyds Bank spending power report, consumer confidence is at the lowest level in 2.5 years (since April 2015). Consumer confidence is a measure of how consumers feel about their current as well as the future state of their finances and economic conditions as a whole.

In the IPSOS MORI monthly survey involving 2000+ UK bank account holders, 61% felt positive about their finances in October, a 3pp drop from 64% the previous month. Consumer confidence is a vital consumer finance metric. The measure is at its lowest level in 30 months. Statistics indicate that there is a huge gap between different age groups. Majority (78%) of individuals over 65 years old are positive about their financial situation compared to 60% of individuals between ages 18 and 24 years and 61% of individuals aged between ages 25 and 34 years. The latest statistics also show that women are less positive than men in regards to consumer confidence, i.e., 58% against 64%. Although we are approaching the festive season which is characterised by overly positive consumer finance metrics (increased borrowing and spending), 38% of individuals in the Ipsos MORI survey are worried about personal spending during Christmas. 13% of individuals in the survey are planning to cut back on typical spending to cater for festive spending.

The number of UK households with comfortable financial situations dropped in October 2017 by two percentage points to 60%. The situation is worse among households with children aged 18 and below. Lloyds Bank customer account data analysis shows that people are spending more on essentials. The latest statistics show a 2% growth in essential consumer spending in October. This represents a 17-month consecutive growth in essential spending with food accounting for approximately 40% of all essential spending.

Fuel spending is also significant according to the Lloyds Bank data analysis with an increase of approximately 5% which represents a 14-month continuous growth. Electricity and gas spending increased by 2.5% from 1% last month. Energy spending has been rising for the 3rd consecutive month after enjoying a continuous decline for three years. According to Robin Bulloch, Lloyds Bank Managing Director, although most people are positive about their finances, there was a significant drop in overall consumer confidence in September 2017. Bulloch attributes the drop to factors like inflation. Since inflation is at a 5-year high, Bulloch states that consumers, more so millennials, have begun to feel the pinch more than everyone else. He doesn’t find it surprising that the UK government reached out more to millennials in this week’s budget. As inflation rises and wages stagnate, UK consumers are being forced to rely on loans. This explains why there are more and more people taking out payday loans, credit cards and other forms of short term loans today. Consumer finance growth isn’t necessarily a good thing if consumer confidence remains low especially among the population that is supposed to drive the economy forward.

Although the budget has some interesting perks that will see minimum wage workers earn more and households save more in taxes, critics argue that the budget perks don’t mean much when you consider inflation. As the cost of essential increases, it is advisable to spend wisely during this festive season. You should stick to affordable goods during this season to avoid starting 2018 in debt. Avoid loans at all cost except for emergencies. Managing your finances is critical during this period since loans are easily accessible now more than ever before and we are approaching a time of the year characterized by overspending.

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.