Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Wonga branded ‘morally offensive’

This Article Was Removed from Wonga Site On 19/01/2012
Wonga a payday loan firm has caused outrage by encouraging student to help fund their studies by taking out one of their very expensive loans.

This is a trick from Wonga and anyone who falls for it could find themselves in mountains of debt. It is far wiser to keep to more traditional borrowing.

The firms (APR) annual percentage rate is 4,214% typically, and a £300 loan paid back within 20 days would cost £65 in fees, if repayments are late the fees can be huge.

In comparison a student loan has an (APR) of 1.5% though this may not be a fair comparison as a payday loan is meant to only be short term not annually.
Wonga said on its website: "A student loan is fine to help you pay for your university and living costs, but what about those times when you're waiting on money to come in and you need to buy or pay for something unexpected now?
"There's a totally new way of borrowing money to see you through until your next cheque and it's called Wonga.

"A Wonga loan is essentially a short-term loan that can help you manage your cash flow, without having to extend an overdraft or credit card even further, or get a large student loan."

Are they not aware that many students do not have a pay cheque coming? And surely this must be encouraging students to get even deeper in debt..

Surely This Is Wrong

Wonga were asked to remove this from their page. They said they had put it there for SEO purposes rather than to target students.

They would do this so they would appear high in search engines when people on the web were looking for student loans.

With student loans you only need to repay them when you earn over £15, 000, 00 and you repay in proportion to your income. There are no debt collectors and it does not go on your credit file.

The interest rate on a student loan will never be higher than the rate of inflation". Compare that to the 4,214% Wonga charges.

Nobody should sell high priced credit to Students.
There is no financial education in schools and as a nation we are in enough financial difficulty without encouraging even more .
Wonga took this off their site 0n 18/01/2012 let’s hope no students were taken in by it.

Staff at British gas suffering abuse from public over energy costs

British Gas Managing director Phil Bentley has admitted his staff are facing the brunt of public anger from people struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills.

The company boss admitted his staffs was being deluged with increasingly aggressive complaints about rising energy bills. Workers on the road have also been the target for abuse in recent times.

The groundswell of anger has increased substantially as British Gas continues to refuse to pass on the reduction in the wholesale gas price to its 9.2 million customers.
Since the wholesale price of gas has dropped 9.4% it has come as a surprise to many that British Gas has not reduced bills to their customers for gas although they have reduced their electricity bills by 5%.

Phil Bentley admitted in a staff email:”We have seen a groundswell of anti-British Gas comments, with increasingly aggressive tones. All our call centres are under extreme pressure from more angry customers struggling to pay bills”
Rather surprisingly the Managing director points the finger at the media for customer anger by claiming they have exaggerated the price increases customers are experiencing.

His email continued: “There is no doubt in my mind that the energy industry is facing a crisis-a crisis of affordability, a crisis of investor confidence, a crisis of relentless media criticism, in short a crisis of trust”.
It is to be hoped that British Gas bow to public pressure and gives their customers a much needed reduction in their gas bills sooner than later.

Friday, 13 January 2012

True Story: Being In Debt

I don’t like telling my story, embarrassment, shame or worse still that look of pity that glares back at me. That’s why I found making a telephone call a lot easier there would be no looks just a voice.

How have I got here, a few years ago my life was so different I was married, 2 lovely children a beautiful home. The holidays were great any less than two a year and I would grumble, the restaurants I would frequent were varied and often and I never left without giving a generous tip. I kept myself trim at the gym and enjoyed the friendships I made within this world. My car was my hobby new one every two years I kept it immaculate, the children drove me mad when I saw them entering any of my vehicles with sweets!

So why am I here? When asked the reason I am in this situation what is the correct answer? When my business collapsed I wasn’t scared, it wasn’t my fault the economy has affected a lot of people, spending cuts meant my company which was selling handmade designer furniture was no longer a priority. It was a LTD company so this meant I was not personally liable for the debt I would walk away, I could start again, I had started a business before there was nothing to say I couldn’t do it again. I had my savings they would keep all the bills paid till I began my new venture.

I never thought of my mortgage as a debt more of an investment, I never thought that technically I didn’t own my house the bank did! For me credit cards were wonderful you got what you wanted when you wanted it then pay it when your wages came in no problem. I had been brought up in a generation when credit was how we all lived we were taught buy now pay later. The occasional personnel loan had helped, my wife had been desperate for that conservatory and the kitchen was unique.

The savings didn’t last long and the pressure was immense the arguments at home grew more intense. I don’t remember who said what but I do remember that feeling of utter despair as I walked out the door with my worldly belongings in a case. It wasn’t amicable our divorce, the house was sold with negative equity. We fought over everything the biggest losers as is in most cases were my wonderful children.

Today I am one of millions claiming jobseekers allowance, living in rented accommodation and trying to survive never mind repaying the debt.

If I could help anyone it is to say always think twice when getting credit you do have to pay it back.

If you have a debt problem UK Debt Helper is not an advice agency. We advise you speak to a free debt advice charity such as Debt Support Trust or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Time for a financial health check

With finances being stretched as never before many of us will be putting household, leisure and entertainment expenditure under the microscope in 2012.

The family of parenting institute has warned that the average income of households with children will fall by 4.2% between 2012-2016.This equates to a drop in household income of £1250 per year.

For many households this will mean cut backs have to be made in order to square the household budget. For some households this will mean luxuries like gym membership, full Sky package or private healthcare will have to be trimmed or cut out completely.

One useful way to give your finances a health check is to break down your bank statement and credit card bill to help identify where your money goes on a monthly basis.

Priority debts are exactly that and must be paid before other expenses are taken into account .Priority debts would include expenditure like mortgage, rent, council tax and utility bills.

Having deducted priority debts from salaries etc you are left with disposable income to cover food, loans, credit cards etc.This will then give a clear picture to your household financial health.

If there is insufficient money to repay personal loans or credit cards etc then it is probably time to seek advice from a debt advice organisation in order to help identify all appropriate solutions available.

Even if your income and expenditure balance it is worthwhile looking carefully at your expenditure to ensure you are getting the best value for money possible. Utility company tariffs vary considerably for instance and using a comparison website like USwitch could make substantial savings to your energy bills with very little effort on your part.

In summary, as peoples financial belt has to tighten make sure you are getting best value for every pound you spend and where you can get debts down as fast as possible or ideally become debt free.

Bankruptcy in Scotland

When you here the term "Sequestration" what it means is bankruptcy if you reside in Scotland. To avoid sequestration, a wise option for you could be a protected trust deed.
While in a trust deed, you voluntarily transfer all your assets, to a person named your trustee who will use all your assets to pay off your creditors. Put simply it enables you to pay back your debts in an agreed period of time. You make one monthly payment to your trustee this is an affordable amount to you, and after the agreed time any remaining debt is written off.

The amount you pay depends on your circumstances and will last for approximately 36months.

All trustees must be a qualified practitioner. They are regulated by law and must be members of an approved governing body.

You need to know:

What you are going into, you are going into a contract to pay back your debts, normally at a reduced rate. Because of this you agree to the below:
1 You must do what the Trustee asks.
2 You must pay the agreed monthly contributions.
3 You cannot take any further credit
4 If you receive any money more than £200 you must inform the trustee.
All interest and charges will be frozen on the day off signing the Trust Deed.

The Good News About A Trustdeed.

1 The trustee will handle all queries from your creditors, so no more phone calls or fear of answering your door.

2 It is made to help so will be affordable and can be more flexible compared to sequestration.

3 It also does not take away all right to hold certain public offices, which is the case in sequestration.

4 It can be possible for some companies to continue trading and some individuals can retain their directorship.

5 The fact you enter a trust deed is not published (unlike sequestration).

Always make sure you know all the facts before you sign.

Entering a trust deed is not to be taken lightly – know all the facts before you sign.
Before you sign anything, seek advice preferably from a charity get them to explain what happens and talk you through the process, make sure you know all your options and choose the best option for you.