I can’t pay for Christmas!

On December 31, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • That’s it.
  • Christmas is over, all left-overs eaten and as part of the new diet regime you have thrown away the last of the chocolates, but now all is said, done and eaten, there is only one thing left to do… start paying off the Christmas bills that were charged to your credit cards!

free credit report UK from ExperianWhen times are tough and income is tight, using credit to pay for the holiday period really is an easier thing to do than you may expect.  You start October promising that this years’ Christmas is going to be on a budget, but then you see the decorations in the shopping malls, the children’s letters to Santa (that happen to resemble the entirety of the Argos catalogue!), that added bit of peer pressure and before you know it, you’re all set for another bumper Christmas spend.

  • Now it’s January and time to pay for it all, but you realise that this is easier said than done.
  • Identify with this kind of situation?
  • Then read on!

Sat at the kitchen table with your present receipts and your credit card balance can be a bit of a seminal moment, but all is not lost!

Firstly take a look at your Christmas present loot!  Every year there are millions of unwanted presents that are gifted and there is a good chance that you may be the ‘lucky’ recipient of a pair of slippers, a Christmas jumper, or a perfume whose smell reminds you of filling up at the petrol station!  If that is the case, take a few minutes to look at whether you are able to return these for a cash refund (normally a purchase receipt is needed).

If not, and your item is still packaged, the wonders of ebay may also prove a great place to earn some much needed funds from your unwanted gifts.   By the time that you have added one or two other unwanted items from a post Christmas clearout you may have enough items to help you with some of those Christmas costs!

It is also worth sitting down to complete a review of the household expenses.  The end of one year and the start of the next is a great time to complete a financial review or financial health check as many people start to make plans for the coming year.  Identifying any luxuries that could be cut out from your household budget or other unnecessary personal expenses could free up some much needed cash to help pay these dreaded bills.  In any case, there is no point keeping that gym membership or satellite TV subscription if you simply aren’t using it!

Having completed a full review of your financial situation, if you still think that paying off Christmas is going to be an issue then don’t worry, help is at hand! One free call to the Debt Management specialists at Lewis Alexander could help sort your financial life.  Our lines are open 24 hours a day using 0800 018 6868, advisors can listen to your individual circumstances and complete a financial healthcheck prior to advising on appropriate financial solutions.

For some homeowners a secured loan may be the best option, for others entering into a debt management solution or even an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) can offer the best solution, however our specialists will ensure that the solution they offer to you best suits your circumstances.

Being in debt can add additional pressure to an already stressful lifestyle, but having a clear defined plan to move you out of this position can make a massive difference to the reducing the weight you feel on your shoulders.  Our specialists are experts in dealing with people from a variety of different backgrounds with a range of different debt problems and your call will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.

  • One free call can make a massive difference to your financial situation if you are prepared to action the help available, so call Lewis Alexander free on 0800 018 6868. Call now!
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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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Mistakes People Make when Trying to Reduce Debt Problems

On December 21, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander

Many people who are in debt will automatically try to use their existing credit cards to consolidate their personal debts.

  • This is a mistake that can cost you dearly.

In the long term it can cause a greater indebtedness.  Usually, credit card companies will charge considerably more for the combined credit, applying interest rates that will be far greater than the current average of all your interest being applied to all your individual accounts. The last thing you would want is a higher interest rate leading yourself deeper into the cycle of debt.

The problem of getting into debt may have been primarily caused by the credit cards in the first place. It is already a well known fact that many debtors wanting to consolidate their loans are doing so because of unmanageable credit cards and therefore it makes little sense to use credit cards to consolidate personal debt!

  • The whole point of trying to reduce debt is that you should be working to decrease your bills and outgoings.
  • The common mistake people make is to take the easiest way out to pay off their debt with credit cards as they still have a line of credit available.
  • This can cause a problem in the not too distant future if the individual suffers a further change in personal circumstances.

It is so easy to use more credit to pay for existing bills by paying one bill off and adding a new balance to a new or exisiting credit card or loan that will need to be paid off in the future.

The way to reduce your debt would be to get cheaper or less expensive rates of credit and pay off the more expensive credit first, which is usually credit cards.

You will find that credit and loan companies have large resources at their disposal in terms of the best lenders rates available and will have a better negotiating stance than you for the best debt consolidation loan rates. That action would achieve the desired results by reducing the debt in the long and the short term.

  • Your only problem could be the fact that your personal credit rating does not allow for your lenders acceptance for providing this new loan.

Let us imagine for a moment that you owe money on your mortgage, car payments, insurance and some household bills such as electricity and gas.

Your first stop should always be to approach your mortgage company to let them know of your situation, they are a priority creditor.

  • Burying your head in the sand will not make your debt go away!

It is quite amazing that people would take the easy way out and pay their mortgage using their credit cards instead of approaching the mortgage company and informing them of the personal debt problems. You will find that mortgage lenders are usually understanding of your problem if approached early on.

If the hardship is caused by a temporary situation from being out of work for a short while then this contact between you and your creditors can become a financial lifesaver.

You will still need a professional debt advisor if your situation persists and it is important that you find a way to reduce your outgoings in the long run to ensure you do not get deeper into debt.

There are a number of ways that an amount of personal debt outstanding can be consolidated and rolled into one new monthly repayment. Some of the most chosen options follow;

Each case is different and that is where a debt management company usually excels itself in providing the best advice for your own individual needs.

Lewis Alexander Financial Management offers a first class personal Debt Management Service, nationwide throughout the UK. We are based in Manchester, England and we have helped thousands of consumers suffering with personal debt problems in our history.

We have in house specialists who concentrate on debt management plans and personal debt consolidation and we have been looking after a great number of our clients for many years now.

Call Lewis Alexander on their personal debt helpline using 0800 018 6868, our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and your call is FREE.

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