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Top Factors that affect your credit score

Top Factors that affect your credit score

Let’s start by cutting to the chase – repairing a bad credit score isn’t easy. As well as time and strict financial management, it also requires that you fully understand just what can impact your credit score, why and what you can do about it. Consider this guide your credit debt help guide for fast credit score fixes. A little explainer before we begin… Depending on the credit reporting tool you use your score will be between 300 and 850. What counts as bad credit will differ from one to another (check the website of your chosen tool for a breakdown of the scoring groups). As an example, this is ClearScore’s scoring groups… Score                                          Band Very Poor                                 0 – 279 Poor                                        280 – 379 Fair                                          380 – 419 Good                                        420 – 465 Excellent                                    466+ The top five things that are affecting your credit score Payment history Your history of payments is THE most important factor on your credit report (it accounts for around 35% of your overall score). Unfortunately (and rather depressingly) even making a single repayment late can and will reduce your credit score. What you can do about it: Make your repayments on time! If you find that you’re regularly short of cash to make your repayments, you need to seek debt advice as soon as possible. You could also start exploring possible debt solutions if your situation isn’t a temporary one...
5 easy ways to pay off holiday credit card debt fast

5 easy ways to pay off holiday credit card debt fast

Paying off debt can be an arduous task, especially if you’ve nothing tangible to show for all that spending (but hey, you’ve still got your holiday snaps!). That white sandy beach and beautifully hot sunshine is now all but a distant memory. The Piña Colada, the pool, the picnics. How depressing. Even worse, all that you’re left with now is a huge holiday credit card debt that is threatening to rule out future holidays for the next four years (at least). Here are our top tips for credit debt help when you’re still paying for a tan that faded long ago. Time to take another look at your finances One of the biggest steps forward you can take is to review your monthly expenses to identify opportunities to cut your costs and commit more funds towards slashing your holiday credit card debt. Start with a two week period, over which time you’ll keep a note of everything you purchase (you could also use a budgeting app, such as Money Dashboard, Spendee or Cleo). After this time period take time out to truly understand what you’re spending your money on and where you can cut your cloth. Always overpay on your credit cards When attempting to tackle a large credit card bill, the odds aren’t in your favour. Most credit cards have significant APR rates of 15% upwards, while the low minimum repayments can stretch out the repayment pain over many years (on a balance of £1,800 which has an APR of 18%, the minimum payment would be £28 per month; at this rate it would take a staggering 19...
Your business, liabilities and where to turn when struggling with debt

Your business, liabilities and where to turn when struggling with debt

Debt problems are hitting the 9-to-5’s and personal lives of the UK’s business owners in ever increasing numbers. Now representing 15% of the British workforce, self-employed people are struggling with late payments, low and variable incomes and collecting money that’s owed to them. The result is rising debt – both business-related and personal, which can deliver a double-whammy of stress. If this sounds too close to home, the first thing you need to realise is that you’re not alone (three quarters of self-employed people report debts of more than £30,000). And the second thing is that there is help out there. If you’ve done even a little research, you’ve probably found that the financial world is filled with jargon and confusing terms. So let’s begin with the big one that’s placing a stranglehold on your business – starting with ‘liabilities’. A straightforward definition of ‘liabilities’ A liability is a debt owed from one person/company to another person/company that is not the owner of the business. E.g. A debt that is owed to non-owners. There are a wide-ranging number of liabilities for businesses, such as accounts payable, and payroll taxes payable. For consumers who use credit, liabilities include credit cards, overdrafts, loans and so on. For businesses, there are two forms of liabilities: current and long-term. Current liabilities are those that are due in under 12 months; these include accounts payable, sales tax payable, payroll taxes payable and accrued expenses. Long-term liabilities include debts that are due more than 12 months in the future. In some instances, a liability can be listed as both current and long-term if it a...
Assets, Debt and the Business Owner – A Guide

Assets, Debt and the Business Owner – A Guide

SMEs form the backbone of Britain – powering our economy and driving its growth; yet these same business owners are the ones that are struggling under the stress and strain of debt. One in four are suffering from bad debt, while overall they’re chasing £14.9bn in late payments. As a UK business owner, it pays to take stock of your financial circumstances. In this guide, we’ll help you tackle the basics of assets and how they relate to any debt problems you may be facing. Assets and debt – Making sense of it all An asset is any property or resource that has value which can be converted into cash. Private individuals, companies and public bodies all own assets. For an individual, an asset may be a car, home or savings account; while for a company, an asset could be a computer or ‘accounts receivable’ (e.g. money owed to them). Personal assets Personal assets include… Cash and things that are equivalent to cash – such as savings accounts, bonds, your retirement account and bank account,Investments – annuities, bonds, the cash value of your life insurance policies, mutual funds, pensions, retirement plans, and stocksPersonal property – which includes everything that you own, such as your car, home, furniture, jewellery, collectibles etc.Property or land, as well as any structures that are permanently attached to them Business assets The assets of a business can typically be found on a company balance sheet. While a balance sheet isn’t required for those who are self-employed or a sold trader, for tax purposes they may still have business assets – such as a vehicle, property...
Six Critical Qualities of a Solid Debt Management Advisor

Six Critical Qualities of a Solid Debt Management Advisor

Being in debt can put you in an incredibly lonely place. You’re faced with a growing pile of unopened letters and unrelenting phone calls chasing you for money. You need professional advice from an expert debt management advisor that you can rely on – the kind that leaves you feeling supported and certain of the path forward. But not all debt advisors are created equal. Some provide questionable advice, others leave you more confused than when you started. When seeking out expert debt guidance, here are the six qualities that you should look for… Expert knowledge Before lifting so much as a phone or writing out an email, research the company/adviser in question and their credentials. How long have they provided advice for? Are there online reviews/testimonials available? Do they have a presence on social media? It’s also important for a debt management advisor to have a wide knowledge basis of potential debt solutions – from credit products available with mainstream lenders (such as credit card balance transfers and personal loans); to debt solutions suited to those in the most severe of financial situations (such as IVAs, Bankruptcy and Debt Management Plans). This may mean that they have a financial background; they may have worked for a bank or lender in the past, though this isn’t strictly necessary for providing trustworthy advice. Personality, professionalism and an up-to-date, in-depth knowledge of the field are often of far more value than any degree or formal training. Finally, they should share their knowledge clearly and coherently – both verbally and in writing. Helpfulness, attentiveness, courtesy Debt can happen to anyone. Although many...
How to Cut the Cost of University through Grants, Bursaries and Scholarships

How to Cut the Cost of University through Grants, Bursaries and Scholarships

With tuition fees rising to £9,000 per year in 2012, the average graduate now leaves university with a staggering (and rather scary) debt of more than £50,000. But there is an array of financial aids out there that can help you cut the costs of gaining a degree. Let’s walk you through them… The difference between Grants, Bursaries and Scholarships Grants – A grant can be thought of as a gift that you don’t need to repay. Grants are provided by universities and charitable organisations, and will typically contribute to some form of project or cause. They can also provide funding based on social or religious background, disability, or be provided to those suffering hardship. Bursaries are typically awarded to students depending on their personal situation, or based on the fact they have a low-income household. For the most part, they are designed to help break down barriers that often stand in the way of accessing full-time education. University scholarships are generally given to students who have shown significant academic prowess. Typically, you’ll need to apply for a scholarship, though not always. Because of this, there can be fierce competition for scholarships. University scholarships can take one of two forms – first, there are entrance scholarships, which are awarded upon your application and acceptance to university; the second type is progression scholarships, which are given once you’ve successfully passed year one and entered year two of your studies. While some awards are provided automatically (for example, if you achieve set results), others require an application. In the latter instance, you’ll probably need to have been offered a place before...
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