Increasing prices, decreasing wages and credit card debts!

On January 27, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianPrices rising whilst wages decline create the worst possible scenario for the average Brit struggling with personal debt.
  • The cost of the weekly shop, filling up at a petrol station and simply heating your home seems to be going up and up.  Yet, since the start of the credit crunch you have seen your salary cut by 10% and your partner has since lost their job!

Whilst many of us do intend to put money by each month to ensure that we are able to survive in times of difficulty, it is rarely sufficient to cover some of the extremes of economic circumstance that has affected the UK since the back end of 2007.

Indeed it had been almost 20 years since the UK had felt the pressures of inflation and increasing prices leading to declining living standards

First there were salary cuts, your union negotiated a 10% drop in salaries across the board in exchange for no redundancies.  Whilst this was tight, it was manageable as you hoped that increases year on year would bring things back to an even keel.  Plus back in November 2007, the consumer price index sat at 2.1%, so a little belt tightening wouldn’t be an issue, as long as there was no more bad luck…

And there it is.  You could almost predict it! ‘We need to talk’ she said when you got home from work one evening.  After a quick mental check (you hadn’t forgotten a birthday, valentines, or an anniversary) revealed it wasn’t your doing you breathed a sigh of relief, only to hear the words ‘I’ve been laid off’.

This time you went back to the drawing board of the family finances and realised that there was no more fat to trim.  No expensive gym memberships, the villa holiday in Turkey had been swapped for a week at the in-laws by the seaside, replacing the car had been put back for at least two years and there was no alternative…. ‘How about we use that interest-free credit card hunny?

  • We can start paying it back when you get back into work’

Except the job opportunities didn’t come.  Not for want of trying mind, dozens and dozens of applications were sent off, many even without a letter confirming receipt of the application.

Fast forward into the start of 2011 and your salary still hasn’t increased, your partner has only been able to secure a part-time job on much reduced wages.  The credit card debt borrowing seems to have stretched through the roof (and the minimum payments are killing you).  And to cap it all, the latest inflationary figures released by the Bank of England tell you what you already know… it’s getting more and more expensive to live in Britain with each passing week.

  • Prices are rising, whilst your wages falling!

So with that massive credit card debt, what comes next, as you start to miss payment after payment and are struggling to cope what can you do?

  • Well, help is at hand!

One free call to Lewis Alexander can be start of brighter things for you and your family.  Our trained specialists can assess your personal financial circumstances before considering a range of debt solutions that could suit you.

For some clients, a secured loan may be a good option – particularly if you have significant equity in your home and enjoy good job prospects and up-to-date workplace skills.  For others a debt management agreement may offer the best solution to the situation.  In this particular scenario, there is no reason to assume that your household salary will not increase in the future and your partner may soon secure a better paid job with more hours.

Whatever solution is right for you, our personal debt specialists will work hard to ensure that your creditors understand your personal situation, accept the planned actions you intend to take and stop hassling you with difficult telephone calls, emails and text messages.

  • Worried this all sounds a little bit too easy? Please don’t be.

At Lewis Alexander we place client confidentiality alongside providing a professional service as the pillars of our organisation.  We also feel it important to explain all the personal debt solutions and options that you have available in such a situation, rather than herd you into the vehicle that provides the greatest return for us.

This is because we believe that word of mouth is our greatest advertiser and we want our clients to be happy with the service we provide.

As the UK continues to exit from a difficult economic position, times are likely to get tougher.  Prices are likely to continue to rise, whilst salaries fall.

  • At Lewis Alexander we are prepared as best as possible for these tough times and are committed to helping clients through their personal financial difficulties.
  • A regular salary and a commitment to a regular repayment is all we ask.  So call Lewis Alexander free and in confidence today using 0800 018 6868.
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All my income goes on repaying debts each month!

On January 26, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander

free credit report UK from ExperianOne of the most depressing aspects of being in a considerable amount of personal debt is the percentage of your monthly income that is spent attempting to service all of these debts.

During the early part of the ‘naughties’ credit was widely available and priced considerably less than in the early 1990’s (and indeed today!) which resulted in many of us taking out more than we could reasonably afford.

What started out as repaying a couple of hundred pounds on an interest-free credit card taken out a couple of years ago, can quite easily extend to a hire-purchase repayment for the car, a bank loan for the new conservatory, the sofa and kitchen on interest-free credit plus an additional credit card that you took out for that holiday!

Before you know it the small debt portfolio or molehill that you thought you had accumulated looks more and more like a debt mountain with each passing day!

Monthly finances start to become quite tight and you find that the majority of your income is spent repaying debts and paying the mortgage or rent.  This is without an unforeseen change in circumstances such as loss of job or illness etc.

So, as it’s a new year, you did the sensible thing and sat down with a pen and piece of paper to work out exactly what you owed and whom you owed it to.  The shopping list of debt looked something like this:

  • Hire purchase for the Ford Mondeo – £12k over 5 years
  • Bank loan for conservatory – £10k over 7 years
  • Interest-free Sofa – £1500 over 3 years
  • Interest-free kitchen – £6k over 4 years
  • 2 x credit cards – Balance £9k

Then comes the maths… so, twelve plus ten add the six, oh and the nine and the little bit for the sofa and oh my goodness I owe almost forty thousand!!  No wonder I feel like the majority of my monthly income is being spent on repaying debt! It really can be that easy.  Next you sat down and worked out how much you were repaying each month:

  • Car payment – £245
  • Bank Loan – £150
  • Sofa – £42
  • Kitchen – £125
  • Credit card minimum payments – £265

which totals a whopping £827 per month!  By the time you’ve added a mortgage payment of £800 and the monthly utility bills of £400 and you have spent almost all of your household’s total income of £2,200 – a not untypical figure for Britain in 2011.

With food, petrol, insurance, clothes and household essentials still to be paid out of the £200 remaining, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that things are going to be tight and that’s well before the luxuries of Sky TV and a summer holiday are thrown into the mix.

If all this is starting to get you down then don’t worry.  One free call to Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868 could be the start of your road to financial recovery.  Through our trained debt management online specialists, your enquiry and call is treated in the strictest of confidence and they will listen to your personal circumstances before starting to work on debt management solutions to help you.

Unlike other debt specialists we won’t look to force you down a certain route, but will instead explain the options that are available to your personal circumstance – allowing you to choose the debt solution that suits you best.

We are specialists in working with creditors to find debt solutions for our clients and will work hard to ensure that you are treated fairly.  All we ask in return is that you do have a regular monthly income coupled with some will power to stick to an arrangement.

Our free phone number from a land line is 0800 018 6868 and our trained advisors are used to speaking to clients who are experiencing personal debt problems who need debt advice UK.  We know that this can be a stressful time, particularly if large percentages of your income are being used to repay debts.

At Lewis Alexander we are committed to finding the best debt solution for you, so give us a call today using free phone 0800 018 6868

  • Your financial past does not have to be your financial future!
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free credit report UK from ExperianSympathy tends to run thin from your friends and family when you have been used to earning an excellent salary and benefits package once your ‘dream job’ no longer exists.

They tend to just see the headline figures – forgetting that a fair chunk of this salary disappears to the taxman.

Recent rounds of redundancies have hit higher earners just as much as lower earners – and there is the age old adage that one tends to spend all of what one earns!

So when redundancies kick in, there isn’t always the large pot of reserves that others might imagine.

It’s quite easy to do, that headline rate of £100k is reduced to somewhere closer to £60k after taxes and National Insurance is paid.  This still leaves a healthy £5k per month to spend, but by the time that the mortgage and bills are paid on the £ ½ million house there isn’t really a lot left… particularly after the wife has been out shopping as well!

When you initially broke the news about the job, whilst you had expected a rough ride from friends, there was the hope that your beloved might be a little more understanding, but sadly this was the latest in a long line of ‘mistakes’ that you had been responsible for (shouldn’t you have guessed?), so now the pressure is on to find a replacement job to keep the family in the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed.

Now unlike families who live on a more ‘modest’ budget, when your outgoings total £4,000 each month, the savings pot you had been building up disappears at an alarming rate.  Sure, you had intended to save more but what with the cost of private school and extra curricular activities it just did not happen.

Looking for a £100k job can take a little while as, unsurprisingly, they tend not to grow on trees.  In times of recession there also tends to be less movement in the senior management sector so you are looking into a difficult market.

Three months after your initial redundancy, you decide that the time has come to look for some slightly less senior roles, but soon realise that you are seen to be over-qualified and are looked over for interviews.  With six months passing you decide to get involved with a friends business on a self-employed basis, simply to help cash-flow as the debts are starting to rack up!

  • Before you know it, there is little headroom left on the credit cards and you are starting to get some difficult phone calls from creditors regarding unpaid bills.  It really shouldn’t have come to this, but there now seems no way out…
  • Help, however, is at hand.

At Lewis Alexander, our dedicated debt management specialists are uniquely placed to provide professional advice, guidance and ultimately provide solutions to your debt problems.  Our advisors deal with your situation in the strictest of confidence and work out what options may be available to you.

  • You can call us free 24 hours a day using 0800 018 6868.

With asset-rich customers there are often more options than you may think, and a couple of well-placed sales of valuable items (that antique painting you never really liked) and potentially a secured loan or debt management plan can help set you on the road to financial recovery.  We can talk through your situation, listen to the concerns you have and start working on a solution with your creditors that takes the stress and pressure away from you, meaning you can focus on developing your income and spending time with your family.

As long as you have a regular source of income and the thought of putting in some hard work to turn your situation is something that you are prepared for then we can help!

  • Call 0800 018 6868, our advisors usually help people find a route to a more stable financial life.
  • Remember our advisors are trained and will deal with your situation in the strictest of confidence.

Call free today!

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free credit report UK from ExperianThe moment you realised that your personal debt repayments totalled almost as much as you earned each month you decided enough was enough.

With Christmas having been and gone it’s time to get your life in order!

So you sat down, worked out exactly what you owed to each credit card, store card and personal loan and set about with a new found determination that every new year brings to sort out your finances once and for all.

  • Step 1 – Review current financial situation

Not being an expert in negotiating with large multi-national corporations you decided that it would be a good idea to get in touch with some experts, so armed with your financial review you sensibly booked in with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to ask their opinion on your next steps.

The advisor at Citizen’s Advice was helpful and you got some reassurance that your initial steps were on the right lines.  You had worked out what you owed to each creditor and the advisor helped you work out the priority for repaying each debt.  You also got some tips and were pointed to their website on some tips to deal with creditors.

Armed with your new found knowledge you set to writing letters to your creditors outlining your difficulties, stating what you could pay and asking for some consideration in agreeing to this new revised schedule.  To your dismay all that came back was a stream of standard letters (created by a non-human) and a request for you to either fill in a form or phone them up to discuss your situation further – hadn’t they actually read your letter and considered what you were asking?!

Not wanting to be defeated and armed with a list of telephone numbers and letters received from your creditors, you continued with your quest.  Three calls in and it was proving to be slightly more difficult than you thought.  The ‘nice and friendly’ customer services agents that you normally were connected to had been replaced with a sterner, forceful and more abrupt advisor who seemed intent on getting you to agree to repaying more than you could afford and taking instant payments over the phone.

  • Step 3 – Gain agreement to changes to your debt repayments?

The first thing to say is that all is not lost!

By completing steps 1 and 2 you are already in a much better position than many other people in the same personal debt situation as you.  By understanding what you owe, who you owe it to and the priority of your debt repayments it makes it much easier to seek help.

At Lewis Alexander our dedicated debt management specialists are uniquely placed to provide professional advice, guidance and ultimately provide solutions to your personal debt problems.  All it takes is one free call to 0800 018 6868, our lines are open   24 hours a day.

We can talk through your situation, listen to the concerns you have and start working on a solution with your creditors that takes the stress and pressure away from you.  The majority of our clients have fallen into difficult circumstances through no fault of their own and as long as you have a regular source of income and a genuine determination to keep to a revised debt repayment plan then we can help.

Call Lewis Alexander today on 0800 018 6868 and start to clear your personal debts whilst also stop fearing every telephone call or knock at the door.  We have helped many people in debt who want to change their lives and we strive to provide a great service to our existing clients.  You can read what our clients think of us at our client testimonial page.

  • Call us now using free phone 0800 018 6868 and make 2011 the year you got your finances back on track!
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Lost my job, have no savings and urgent bills to pay!

On January 5, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander

free credit report UK from ExperianHaving carefully saved during your working life you had enough put by to bail you out of the first redundancy in late 2008.  Nine months without work was difficult and it meant quite a few cutbacks in the household budget, but with some careful management and the help of the credit card in the final few months, you just about got through it before starting the new job.

18 months later and that horrible brown envelope hit your desk again, not only is the timing terrible – having really gone to town for Christmas 2010 – but this time round you’ve not got that financial cushion of rainy day savings.

The start of 2011 is going to be important for many job seekers and if the offers don’t start raining in quick, it won’t take long for those credit card and store card bills to mount up.

  • So what can you do to stop you getting further into a mountain of debt?

A full and frank family discussion might be a good starting point to understand where your money is currently being spent.  By creating a list of all of the household outgoings you can then start to identify what costs take priority (for example rent/mortgage, gas, water and electricity), those which are preferable (the internet for job searches) and those that are sadly luxuries (such as the all-singing all-dancing satellite TV package, subscriptions to 5 different magazines and an unhealthy habit of purchasing over-priced American coffee)

Once those initial cuts have been made, it is worth going through your bank accounts, credit cards and any small savings you do have to work out a clear picture of your overall financial situation.  Having done this you are now in a position to explain your income and expenditure position to your creditors whilst also knowing how much you owe in total.

During what can be a difficult time, it is also worth taking a good look around the house to see if there are any unwanted or unused items that could be put to good use to bring in some household income.  In the days of eBay, and other online sales tools, this can be a real money spinner.

Finally, look at what part time work you might be able to take on whilst you are looking for full time employment.  With the best will in the world, it is hard to ‘work’ for 45 hours per week to find a job, so there are likely to be spare hours in the day to stuff envelopes, deliver local parcels or help out a local school or sports club.  Any income that you can establish will help your situation and increase your options for repaying debts.

After completing your own financial review and having sold all the items you can bear to part with, you find that you still aren’t able to repay your creditors, then don’t worry, help is at hand!  One free call to Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868 could be the start of financial recovery.  One of our personal debt consultants will assess your individual circumstances before advising the best debt solution for you.

Rather than try and sell a particular debt product, our specialists will take time to consider the most appropriate solution for your circumstance, whether it be a secured loan, an IVA or entering into a debt management plan where Lewis Alexander will enter into negotiations with creditors on your behalf to try and reach a solution that is affordable for you.  Many of our debt management clients find that they benefit from affordable monthly repayments.

  • Remember, a personal debt consultants is only one free call away!

Contact Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868 to start your plan of action today! Our lines are open 24 hours a day and we will treat your call in the strictest of confidence.

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