£3.6 Billion Credit Card Debt Written Off

On February 29, 2012, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from Experian

    Do you know how much credit card debt was written off in the UK last year?

  • £3.6 Billion!

Outstanding credit card debt to the tune of £3.6 billion was written off credit cards in the UK in 2011, the figure of credit card debt written off in the previous year (2010) was approximately £5 billion.

  • What does this say about the way people are dealing with outstanding financial commitments?
  • Are people simply walking away from their credit card debts and choosing an alternative solution to getting out of debt such as going bankrupt.

Sometimes when circumstances change for an individual, personal debt becomes the last thing that they are able to pay as the priority bills such as electricity or gas, water and council tax are also mounting up in the form of arrears.

There are more people enquiring for loans in 2012, for the purpose of funding every day general living than we have seen before in the last 10 years of servicing the personal loan industry in the UK.

If you are struggling with credit card debt and unable to manage your repayments, the most important thing to start with is making sure you are prioritising the right bills and credit agreements, you must not pay unsecured debts as a priority over expenses such as rent or council tax or mortgage arrears.

If you find yourself struggling with debt problems you should take advice, there are very few personal debt problems that cannot be solved, however, the sooner you seek advice, the sooner you can start to clear debts in a structured way, possibly by entering into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or Debt Management Plan.

For help and advice regarding personal debt issues and the associated of problems of dealing with debt, please contact our debt helpline free from a land line, in confidence.

Lines are open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

  • Call 0800 018 6868 today.

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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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Transferred my credit card balances, I still can’t pay them off!

On December 17, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianSound familiar?
  • Are you working a form of financial wizardry on a monthly basis, but making no headway in paying off credit card debt and personal loans?
  • It’s a more common scenario than you may think!

During the late nineties and the early naughties, credit card companies were only too keen for us to have ever larger credit limits, more accounts and more authorised users.

This, coupled with the introduction of balance transfers to the UK meant that consumers had increasing opportunities to borrow more and increased scope to move these borrowed funds around the various UK credit card providers.

  • This practice was given the somewhat seedy title of being a ‘rate tart’, but has become increasingly harder in recent years owing to a number of factors.

Firstly is the recent tightening of credit risk policies that has followed the credit crunch.  This has meant that constantly rising credit limits has halted and in some cases account limits have been reduced.  There has also been a reluctance on behalf of the credit card companies to open accounts to customers who already hold several credit facilities with other credit providers.

Indeed a report published by PaymentsCM in 2007 suggests that the volume of accounts, cards issued and active accounts was on the decline towards the end of the naughties, a trend that a report by Datamonitor supports which highlighted a drop in value of £10.9 billion in the UK credit card market in 2009 and 2010.

In recent years it has also become harder to benefit from low-interest or interest-free balance transfers as increasing numbers of credit providers apply a percentage charge to balance transfers, meaning that whilst you avoid interest, you can typically pay between £100 and £200 to transfer a balance of £5,000.

Whilst the interest rates are still low or zero, these charges do make the overall cost of credit more expensive.  There are also increasing terms and conditions that accompany such deals, meaning that if you miss your monthly repayment or are the mere matter of a day late in making a payment, then the promotional interest rate is revoked in favour of the standard rate of interest.

  • So what should you do if you are caught in the trap of stable or increasing credit card balances?

First and most importantly you should seek to understand all of your credit commitments across credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.  Once you have a clear picture of these and the amounts that you are paying or transferring each month, you can start to review your approach to repaying credit card debts and improving your financial health.

  • One call to our financial management consultants at Lewis Alexander can also help.

Lines are open 24 hours a day and you can call free using 0800 018 6868, our debt consultants can help you start to make progress towards reducing a debt problem.  By completing a financial healthcheck, we can assess your financial situation and provide recommendations for intelligent monetary management.

It may be more beneficial for you to prioritise your repayments and repay certain creditors first.  It may also be possible to consolidate some of your borrowings into one loan, or even renegotiate the credit terms that you are currently committed to.

  • The above options could help you to repay your debts more speedily and may also reduce the credit balances that you owe.
  • Remember, through our debt management online advisors, help with debt is one free phone call away on 0800 018 6868.

Call Lewis Alexander now to start making improvements to the way that you manage your financial health!  Our specialists are waiting for your call, so contact our personal debt helpline using 0800 018 6868 today!

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Credit cards at a maximum limit and no credit available

On December 9, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • “Credit Card Debt” – It’s a day you’ve been dreading for some time and now it’s finally happened.

Except, you’re at the checkout in the local supermarket, you have a trolley full of frozen food (including the Christmas Turkey!) and your overly nosy neighbour is at the till just to one side.  What can you do? As you suddenly remember that all of your credit cards are at their maximum limit and no more credit is available.

In this scenario there are a couple of things to consider.  Not least, how to escape the embarrassment of the supermarket situation with your head held high!  To that end, whether the clerk has made a mistake, offering to pay by using up all your ‘club card points’ or simply stating that you have brought the wrong purse out with you all may work (Turning a bright shade of crimson and running out of the store is not advised!)  Once home however, the real work to solve credit card debt needs to start.

Firstly you need to undertake an honest and open review of all of your outstanding commitments.  Having all of your credit cards at their limit and having no credit available might be resolved by moving some savings around to clear down your debts.

Options to clear credit card debts include looking at the equity available within your property to see if a homeowner loan or other secured facility could be taken.  You may be in the fortunate position to borrow the funds from a friend or member of the family.

  • Perhaps you might have an asset such as a car or a caravan that you might be able to sell?

If many of these options have run out and having no credit available really is the end of the line, then by having a clear idea of your debts and the size of the problem that you are experiencing, you are able to look at wider solutions to your current credit card crisis.

Our debt management specialists will be able to take important details from you and can then complete a financial health check of your current situation allowing us to work with you to find a solution that is right for you.  We offer a wide range of options from bankruptcy to debt management, but will always look at each individual case and listen to your preferences before selecting the right option to move forward.

We are also able to speak with any unsecured creditors you may owe money to on your behalf to stop the difficult phone calls or letters that you may be receiving.  By working with these creditors and explaining what you are able to pay, rather than what you cannot afford, we find that many of our clients experience a sense of calmness that their financial situation is being handled confidently and professionally.

  • Once we have started a dialogue with you, we can then work to deliver the solution that is right for you.

If you are near this supermarket nightmare scenario, or are too afraid to open the postman’s letters or take any calls at home, it may be time to get in touch with us to see if we can help!

Having all your credit card balances at their maximum limit and having no credit available can be a difficult situation, but there is a chance you could turn this situation around and experience change for the better.

Our professional debt management experts are ready to take your call now, so contact the Lewis Alexander free from a landline debt helpline on 0800 018 6868 and make a firm decision to try and start to clear your credit card debt today.

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