Tag Archives: short term loans

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.

The FCA Poised to Protect UK Consumers from High-Cost Credit

Since 2017, the FCA has been demonstrating an urgency to come up with new rules aimed at protecting Britons from high-cost credit. According to the latest reports from the regulator, UK borrowers could soon have better laws protecting them from doorstep lenders as well as household appliance rental companies. According to a statement released by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) on 31st January 2018, the regulator has concluded a review of the financial market. The review which has been ongoing since July 2017 shows an urgent need for intervention.

The FCA has promised to intervene although it will take actions that don’t compromise access to credit to individuals who can afford repayments. The regulator is planning to publish proposals and conclusions in Spring.

The Regulator’s take

According to Christopher Woolard, Executive Director for Strategy & Competition at the FCA, the regulator must address the variety and availability of credit. The regulator also needs to find ways in which the credit market works better for consumers.

Besides proposing new rules/laws where there is clear evidence of consumer exploitation, the FCA is also looking at solutions revolving around alternatives to high cost loans.

The FCA has identified specific consumer segments that are most vulnerable. One such segment is the rent-to-own consumer segment. The FCA’s analysis finds this particular segment extremely vulnerable given the outstanding debt of this segment doubled in the recent past from November 2014 to November 2016 (£2,000 to £4,300 respectively). Customers most affected are those who pay for household goods such as television sets and fridges over time.

The FCA is also concerned with customers who use overdraft facilities. The regulator is concerned about the high fees associated with unarranged overdrafts especially in comparison to the amount lent. The FCA is seeking more data from lenders who offer doorstep loans (loans offered in people’s homes).

According to the latest statistics, 700,000 Britons took out home-collected credit loans in 2016. The same statistics show that 1.6 million Britons had outstanding home-collected loans by the end of 2016 which translates to a record $1.1 billion pounds.

Doorstep loans aside, the FCA is also concerned about catalogue credit particularly, the complexity of fees/charges structure as well as the variety of repayment options available. Catalogue credit is offered to people buying things from catalogues on credit.

FCA efforts

Back in 2015, the FCA introduces a cap on the amount of interest charged on payday loans. The move has had a positive impact on the payday loan industry. Payday loan borrowers no longer have to pay more than the loan amount total in fees/charges. The cap has been deemed effective in getting rid of unscrupulous lenders who were thriving in a poorly regulated environment. Borrowers can now rest assured they won’t be exploited when taking payday loans which are supposed to assist in times of emergency and not act as a gateway to debt. The payday loan cap was introduced after widespread complaints and criticism from legislators, the clergy and public on the high interest charged on payday loans taken by the most vulnerable customers.

Protecting yourself from high cost loans

Although the FCA has done a lot, more needs to be done. The FCA will review the current payday loan cap in 2020. In the meantime, you need to protect yourself from high cost loan segments that are yet to be regulated adequately. Here are some tips to consider.

  1. Shop around: Although most people who consider taking out short term loans are usually in financial distress, it is advisable to shop around just to make sure you are getting fair terms. Shopping for loans in the UK is easy today. You can use loan comparison websites to find suitable and affordable loans fast and easy.
  1. Start an emergency fund: The main reason why people turn to lending institutions when in distress is because they don’t have their own funds to use in emergency situations. An emergency fund will reduce your overreliance on short term loans which will in turn reduce your exposure to high cost credit risks.
  1. Borrow from reputable lenders only: Lastly, borrowing from licensed and regulated lenders only can shield you from unfair fees and charges. The short-term lender you choose should be regulated by the appropriate body such as the FCA. You should also check online reviews to see what existing customers are saying about a lender before you take out any loan.

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.

Christmas Fashion Tips on a Budget

It’s that period of the year when you need to celebrate and look great. However, there is this misconception that staying fashionable is costly. Far from it! You don’t have to buy the latest designer clothes and shoes this Christmas to look and feel great. A £200 designer skirt can look the same as a £20 skirt minus the tag with a few tweaks. You should focus on value for money as opposed to brand names if you are keen on staying fashionable on a budget.

Here are some affordable creative holiday fashion tips to consider.

1. Take advantage of festive season offers

This is a great shopping tip to consider anytime let alone during festivities. There is, however, an abundance of offers during Christmas compared to any other time of the year. For this reason, you shouldn’t settle for regular prices especially when you are buying clothes, shoes and fashion accessories. You can save as much as 50% or more by taking time to find the best fashion offers around you.

2. Avoid expensive department stores

You should also consider shopping in thrift, resale or consignment shops for great fashion at unbelievable low prices. This tip applies if you don’t mind second-hand fashion. Expensive department stores have almost the same kind of fashion. The main difference is the price. The quality is usually the same. Also, you are bound to get a more fulfilling shopping experience since you will be ”digging” for treasure.

3. Consider tailored fashion

You can turn cheap clothes into great outfits by getting everything tailored. A £20 skirt can look better than a £200 skirt after quick stitching. Most cheap clothes look great provided they fit perfectly so, it will be worth taking them to a tailor before you wear. It’s also worth noting that simpler garments/clothes are easier and more affordable to tailor.

4. Consider DIY fashion

You can also apply your creativity to create your own fashion pieces. This holiday fashion tip is great when you have time and a creative flair. There are very many DIY instructional fashion videos online to draw inspiration from. It is possible to make great and unique fashionable outfits from scratch at a very low cost. You can make anything really from trendy t-shirts to pants and accessories like caps, hats and beanies. You can also make fashionable upgrades with simple tweaks like replacing buttons. Consider replacing plastic buttons on cheap fashion with something richer like metal, pearl or bone. You can shop for buttons online on eBay. You can also ”harvest” buttons from old clothes. Simple tweaks can upgrade cheap clothes into fashion statements without costing you anything.

5. Stick to basics

Consider this Christmas fashion tip when you are in doubts. It’s usually cheaper and better to update basic looks than try completely new pieces you aren’t sure about. Avoid new trends. They tend to be pricey and may fail to stand the test of time. Instead, stick to the basics. Spice up winter white, black and nude pieces with the new accessories. You can pair a black blazer with black pumps and big drip down earrings when wearing nude. You can play around with complementary colors and still look great with basic fashion. You can invest in a few staples if you have multiple holiday events to attend (many reasons to dress up). It is easy and affordable to change your look when you have timeless fashion pieces like a little black dress that goes with everything. You’ll just need to add different accessories or change hairstyles to get a completely different look.

6. Shop online

The internet is the best place to get deals today. The internet also offers better avenues for comparison ensuring you get the best price possible. You can visit comparison sites as well as use coupon codes to get great discounts. Before you buy anything from any online store, check if the store is offering coupon codes. It is also important to buy directly. The internet also has middlemen so make sure you are buying from the main retailer or authorized dealers. It is possible to look great this festive season without spending much. Fashion is usually expensive when bought on impulse. Take your time and find great offers. Stick to the internet for the best deals and consider being your own fashion designer. You can also tweak old pieces to get a completely new and trendy look and when in doubts, stick to the basics. You can never go wrong with classic/timeless fashion pieces and neutral colors. Avoid borrowing to stay fashionable. Short term loans like payday loans should be used for emergency needs only.

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 County Court Judgments (CCJs) rise by 24% in 2017

CCJs against consumers in the UK have risen drastically according to the latest statistics by Registry Trust. In the third quarter of 2017, 313,719 consumer county court judgments were registered in England and Wales representing a 24% increase compared to the same period last year.

Background

What are CCJs?County court judgments are court orders in the UK (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) that are registered against individuals who fail to repay money they owe. ValueThe total value of Q3 2017 consumer county court judgments stands at £467,861,240 representing an 11% increase compared to the same period last year. The average value of a consumer CCJ has however dropped by 10% to £1,472. At its peak, in 2009, the value of a consumer CCJ was at £3,680. The value has been dropping ever since. The number of consumer high court judgments issued are however higher.

In Q3 2017 for instance, 45 judgments were issued against 17 during the same period last year. Collectively, the value of county and high court judgments is slightly lower (by 3.7%) compared to the same period last year. The value stands at £471,960,510 compared to £489,987,967 last year. The latest statistics show that the number of CCJs is increasing for the fifth consecutive year.

Interpretation

The new data suggests more people are struggling financially. A closer look at the decreasing value of a CCJ shows that people are having problems settling smaller loans now more than ever. Considering there is an increase in the number of judgments and a decline in their value, this can only mean that people are having a hard time repaying small or short term loans. According to Malcolm Hurlston, Registry Trust Chairman, the trend can also mean borrowers with plenty of commitments are being detected early in the lending cycle. Hurlston believes responsible lending practices are a leading cause of rising CCJ numbers. Impact of a CCJ to a consumerConsumers with a CCJ have a harder time accessing loans such as mortgages from mainstream providers. It gets harder for consumers with more than one CCJ. However, there are still lenders such as ”sub-prime” lenders who are catering to borrowers with CCJs.

How CCJs work

Receiving a CCJ claim: CCJ claims come in the form of a letter. If you happen to receive a claim, it is advisable to consult a debt advice service. CCJ claims come after creditors have sent default notices or warning letters. According to the Consumer Credit Act, a creditor must inform you of pending payments and the consequences of defaulting before they launch a CCJ claim. The Consumer Credit Act gives borrowers 14 days to act before a CCJ claim is launched. Individuals who have CCJs receive a letter or notice alongside a default information sheet.

Responding to a CCJ claim: It is advisable to solicit professional advice immediately preferably from a debt advice service the moment you receive a claim letter or notice. Seeking professional help is essential because it helps you avoid making a costly mistake. For instance, the court can consider your circumstances when deciding your fate (such as how you should pay the debt if you handle the claim correctly from the onset.)Ignoring the notice or letter only compounds your problems. For instance, the court can rule that you repay the debt at once which can be impossible leading to more problems. It’s worth noting that you can get free debt advice services, so you have no reason to mishandle a CCJ claim. You have 14 days to respond/reply to a CCJ claim. Simply fill in the reply form and send. The form requires personal information such as income and expenditures to show the court your current financial standing. When replying, you can admit the claim or agree that you owe money. In such an instance, you need to reply as described above. You can also file a defence if you don’t agree with the information in the claim, i.e., if the amount you owe is wrong. You need professional advice when filling a defence.

Lastly, you can reply to a CCJ claim by asking for more time. This option should be taken if you need more than 14 days to file a defence. This option acts as an acknowledgment that you have received a CCJ claim. Receiving the judgmentAfter responding to a CCJ claim, the court can issue two types of judgments. One, a judgment by installments which simply allows you to repay the debt in installments over a specified period of time. This type of judgment is highly likely if you agree to a claim and make a repayment offer in your reply. If you choose to ignore a CCJ claim, the court is most likely to issue a judgment forthwith requiring you to settle the debt immediately. You are free to request for a redetermination if you are not happy with the judgment. If you fail to adhere to the terms of the final judgment, i.e., you don’t pay up as instructed, the creditor can go back to court and request for a; changing order, attachment of earnings order or bailiff action order. A bailiff action order gives the creditor permission to visit your business or home to collect their debt or seize property/goods that can be sold to settle the debt. An attachment of earnings order gives the creditor the power to have their debt extracted from your wages. A charging order gives the creditor power to secure the debt against your property.

Can CCJs affect a person’s credit record? You must repay in full within a month (30 days) after receiving the judgment or risk having your credit record damaged for six years.

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.

UK Payday Loan Lenders Offering Customers up To £1,000 for Referrals

Payday loan companies like BrightHouse and Amigo Loans among many others are in the spotlight for offering their customers monetary incentives for recommendations. As the rules and regulations surrounding marketing payday loans tighten, some payday loan companies in the UK are resulting to using what many may consider to be unethical marketing practices.

The latest consumer watchdog reports show that some payday loan companies are offering their customers up to £1,000 if they successfully convince their friends and family members to take high-interest loans. Lenders such as BrightHouse are on the spot for offering £220 to customers who introduce their family members and friends successfully. Consumer watchdogs have termed this incentive ”cynical”. Amigo customers are earning up to £1,000 for making their friends and family members take out £10,000 loans which attract a 50% annual interest rate. BrightHouse which is a popular rent-to-own retailer is offering £220 to customers who convince their friends to take out loans attracting interest rates up to 99.9%.

There are many other lenders guilty of this seemingly unethical practice. Doorstep lender Provident is also paying its customers £30 for referral loans amounting to £100 or more at 535% interest. Loan At Home hasn’t been left behind. The lender is offering £20 or more to customers who promote loans attracting a 433% interest. What’s interesting is; the lenders see nothing wrong with their incentives. When contacted, Loan At Home claims they are happy to offer a ”small” reward to customers who promote them. BrightHouse claims its actions are common among retailers. Amigo is on record insisting their marketing strategy targets a small percentage of loans. Consumer watchdogs are of a contrary opinion. According to Marc Gander, a Consumer Action Group Administrator and Adviser, ”the schemes are bound to attract many people.” Martyn James from resolver.co.uk shares similar sentiments. James sees serious ethics concerns about the payday loan marketing schemes. His sentiments have been repeated by many other consumer watchdogs as well as individuals who are concerned about increasing debt levels in the UK. According to the latest Bank of England statistics, UK households have accumulated unsecured debt amounting to £204billion.

When should you take out a payday loan?

The recent developments have brought into question the circumstances that warrant taking a loan. Although unethical, these schemes may very well be legal exposing many vulnerable borrowers to debt problems. So, how should you protect yourself? The first most important step is understanding when you are supposed to take out a payday loan or any other loan. Never take a loan just because it is available. You need a better reason! For instance, payday loans should be taken by people who have emergency cash needs. If your car has broken down mid-month and you don’t have money for repairs, you can take out a payday loan. Payday loans can also cater for emergency medical expenses among other unexpected monthly expenses as you wait for your salary. If you don’t have any pressing emergency cash need, don’t take out a loan even if it is available to you instantly.

Short term loans spanning for a few months to one year should be taken for reasons such as starting a business. There is a general rule that states you should never use loans to acquire liabilities. A car is a liability if you don’t use it to earn you money. Clothes, shoes, electronics, and furniture are also liabilities in this regard because they don’t earn you any money and they lose value with time. It’s also important to take out loans from responsible lenders only. Responsible short term loan lenders in the UK don’t use unethical loan promotional techniques to lure innocent borrowers into debt. They care about their customers as much as they care about profits.

Reputable payday loan lenders in the UK are registered by the FCA. You can search the FCA’s register (https://register.fca.org.uk/) to ascertain the firm you are dealing with is authorised. Furthermore, authorised firms don’t charge exorbitant fees. It is worth noting the FCA has regulated payday loans tightly in the UK due to past incidences of borrower exploitation. The regulator is in the process of extending its reach to other types of loans. Before there is adequate regulation on all types of loans available in the UK, it is important for borrowers to seek loans for the right reasons and stick to borrowing from reputable lenders and brokers like SwiftMoney.

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.