Struggling to Budget? Need Help with Personal Debts?

On August 1, 2014, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • credit report UK from ExperianPersonal debt can accumulate much faster than we realize.
  • Unfortunately, if you fail to budget carefully, you can find yourself scrambling for money when confronted with a bill that you should have anticipated.

It is easy to forget that we need to budget for major ‘rainy day’ expenses: medical care, car repairs, legal fees and unemployment. Nobody likes to plan ahead for disaster. It is also difficult to remember routine costs: car insurance, dental visits, etc. These fees are usually paid only once or twice a year and they are frequently forgotten when creating a budget.

It is often said that wealth tends to generate wealth, but we should also remember the converse: financial losses tend to multiply. We recently spoke with an individual who had a strict budget which worked quite well, until her office chair broke. At first, it wasn’t a problem and she simply sat in another chair. However, her original chair had been padded with leather cushions and the next morning she woke up with severe back pain. This meant that she needed to visit a doctor and subsequently she missed work and realized she couldn’t afford a replacement chair until the next payday. Suddenly, a relatively minor incident began to spiral into a genuine crisis because she was unable to work until the chair was replaced. Ultimately, she had to borrow money by means of a payday loan and was limping for several weeks, simply because she had not factored the cost of replacing this chair into her budget.

  • You should consider how many household items you haven’t included in your budget.

Will you be able to repair the oven or decorate? Normally, you would be fine, even if you couldn’t immediately replace particular items. However, what if you needed that oven tomorrow because family was arriving? What if you needed to change the locks today because someone had stolen your keys? Otherwise, you might be facing additional costs, on top of the item itself. Without an oven, you might find yourself at a restaurant. Without new locks, you might find yourself victimized by crime.

Unfortunately, if you have been following a budget, you will almost inevitably discover that you have allocated insufficient funds. Belatedly, you will realize that you spent too much money on something else, and you will wish that you had been more prudent. However, this is not the time to give up and resign yourself to increasing debt. If your oven has broken, and the family has arrived, you should simply apologize and offer sandwiches. Will the occasion be ruined? You can have an enjoyable time without a cooked meal. Of course, if your locks need to be replaced, you should be concerned but you shouldn’t panic. Hide your valuables, or take them with you when you leave. While you are sleeping, a wooden board can effectively barricade the door.

  • If we seem unsympathetic, it is because lenders will be as well.
  • If your budget does not allow you to spend money, then you must not spend it!

Instead of increasing your debt, which is known as “over-commitment”, you should revise your budget. Do you really need paid for television, or internet, or a mobile phone? Are you sure? Maybe it is time to stop smoking, or quit drinking coffee, or give up chocolate. Can you sell something? Almost everyone has items that they don’t need.

Personal Debt Solutions

The basic principle is to avoid over-commitment. This means that when you are already in debt, you should not incur more debt. Just say no. Stop paying for items that are not absolutely necessary and start saving as much as possible. Even electricity can be a luxury, when it means the difference between bankruptcy and solvency. However, if you continue to accrue debt, creditors will refuse to trust you. Fortunately, if you voluntarily accept the consequences of your financial decisions, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

You are already over-committed if you are behind on rent, facing mortgage arrears, taking out loans to pay other loans, failing to pay off the entirety of your credit card, using a credit card on a daily basis, or ignoring letters and phone calls from creditors. In such a situation, you should try not to take on any additional commitments, no matter what the circumstances may be.

You must realize that your budget is a binding contract with yourself. This advice may seem obvious, but it can be extremely hard to create a truly effective budget and even more difficult to implement it. Even the best analysts will make mistakes. Nevertheless, if you have decided to reduce your debt, you must persevere especially when the situation is difficult. Therefore, if your budget does not reflect hard reality, then you must resolve the problem, instead of pretending that a credit card will rescue you. Try to think of debt as a specific problem, rather than a mere number. If you are facing ten days without electricity, and you accept a loan at ten percent, then you are essentially agreeing to endure eleven days without electricity (or more, if you don’t pay the bill on time). Quite simply, increasing your personal debt will not avoid a problem, but it will make it more problematic.

We would like to leave you with a simple parable to consider. Presumably, you have heard of the camel loaded with straw / feathers, which suddenly collapsed when just one more straw / feather was placed on its back. Well, you are the camel, and the feathers /straw are your debt. This debt can increase for years without any significant repercussions and you might even think that you can safely carry it. However, someday your chair will break, or your car will require repair, or your employer will downsize, or your landlord will evict you. When this happens, you will need good credit in order to get help from others. If you are already in debt, then you must ask for help from a trusted and reputable source and start saving money and paying your bills. If you do this, then help will be available when you truly need it.

If you have identified that you are struggling financially and would benefit from the debt help and advice of experienced, personal debt consultants, then call LewisAlexander today in confidence.

  • Call 0800 018 6868
  • Lines are open 24 hours / 7 days
  • Calls are usually FREE from a UK land line, mobile call costs may vary.
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Financial Help and Advice UK

On May 20, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander

Confidential financial advice and help for UK residents struggling with personal debt.

  • Do you have debts that are ruining your life?free credit report UK from Experian
  • Do you feel trapped because you can’t get out of debt?
  • Get help with your finances and clear your personal debt problems

If your finances are the part of your life that causes you the most heartache and stress, then we can give you the help and advice that could make all the difference.

  • Many people experience these feelings when they are in debt and don’t have debt advice resources.

Just because you can’t see a way through your debts, that doesn’t mean there is not a debt solution that will alleviate the pressure or perhaps even clear your debts totally over a period of time.

Over recent years we have helped a huge amount of people get out of debt through our professional debt management service rather than quick fixes you often find with other debt “wipe off” companies.

Will you help me find the best way to clear my debts?

We will first have a discussion with you to understand your present situation and work out the best way to clear your debt.  There are various solutions we can recommend to help you get out of debt, some of which are informal and self managed and others are more formal.

  • We can help you restructure your debts and make them easier to manage with an informal debt management plan.
  • Consolidating all of your existing debts into one debt consolidation loan can cut down on interest and charges associated with lots of different debts. Acceptance for a debt consolidation loan is subject to your current credit status.
  • The formal option of an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement is a good way to clear your debts over a fixed term but should only be considered as a last option due to the fact that it will harm your credit rating for the future.

All of the above debt solutions will only be recommended once we have talked to you and discussed your thoughts and fears about the different aspects of your personal debts.

I’ve been in debt since I was 18 years old, are you sure you can help?

This is not uncommon! Many people get caught in the cycle of debt at a very young age and then conduct their finances in a way that is well understood by the banks and other lending institutions.

Often a teenager will take on an overdraft facility to pay for something ‘important’ which is the beginning of more and more credit throughout their lives until they get to a point where they cannot control it all any longer and then need help to clear debt and get their personal debts back under control.

This is all well known and the lenders all count on this cycle of circumstantial change to get people to take on more and more credit.

  • We have trained debt consultants to help you, call free from a land line in confidence today using 0800 018 6868.
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Advice on Debt

On April 20, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander

Sleep better with advice on debt, knowing your debts are managed!

Personal debt advice in the UK has become an enormous issue for all kinds of reasons. Unfortunately it has had a stigma attached to it in the past which may stop some people dealing with their debt problems. This has the effect of actually making the situation worse when it would be relatively simple to get under control with the right advice on debt.

Advice on Debt

There are several signs that your personal debts have gotten out of control.

  • Are your monthly outgoings starting to outweigh your monthly income?

  • Are you scared to answer the phone and open your mail?

  • Do you have debt collectors chasing you for money?

There are many possible routes to take when dealing with advice on debt. Every situation is different and a tailored solution needs to be discussed. Any one of the following could be the solution for you to find help with personal debts.

  • IVA (or TRUST DEED in SCOTLAND)
  • DEBT MANAGEMENT PLAN
  • BANKRUPTCY
  • DEBT CONSOLIDATION LOAN

If you are a bit wary of committing to a fixed term financial solution like an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement, then debt management online can help you restructure debts in the short term. A debt management plan constitutes an informal agreement between you and your creditors.

Loans to consolidate your debts– taking out a debt consolidation loan to pay off all your current agreements (loans,credit cards etc) is often the simplest option as it can reduce your monthly repayments.

  • REMEMBER ADVICE on DEBT SHOULD ALWAYS BE FREE
  • Do NOT Pay for advice calling HIGH rate phone lines.

Individual Voluntary Arrangements

With an IVA, all interest and penalty charges are STOPPED! You will be given one affordable monthly repayment to make and this should stop all the creditor phone calls and letters you may currently be receiving.

An IVA will prevent court proceedings and even stop bankruptcy and after what is normally 60 months (5 years). Read about a Trust Deed in Scotland as laws differ there for financial help and assistance.

Bankruptcy is the end of the road as far as debt management or debt help. Once you reach bankruptcy, your finances will be sorted out by the courts. In a nutshell, if you reach the stage where you need to become bankrupt, it will mean that you will get a fresh start and normally your debts will be written off, conditions and restrictions do apply though.

Let one of our trained professional advisors call you today to help give advice on debt and find a solution to your debt problems. Peoples debt problems are rarely unique and we may be able to help you clear debt.

  • Call 0800 018 6868 free from landlines, call charges from mobile phones may vary.
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Mobile Operators charging Freephone number calls

On March 30, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander

free credit report UK from ExperianMobile Operators are charging you to call Freephone numbers!

  • Why are we being charged to a call a Freephone number?
  • There’s actually no reason as it’s not really costing the Mobile Operator anything.

We’re a bit tired of it, so we are sharing our knowledge of a new service that will allow you to call any Freephone number from your UK mobile and avoid the overpriced charges.

  • How can you avoid these charges?
  • Dial 01600 700 800
  • Enter the freephone number you want to call.
  • Then press the # key. Your call will then connect as normal.

This is completely free to use, there’s no registering to use it and the call to our number will be treated as any other call you make to a UK landline, which means you won’t have to pay for it; it’ll just be included in the minutes you get from your Mobile Operator, or if you’re on Pay As You Go, the call will be charged the same as any other landline call.

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Credit Card Spending is not Real say our Children

On March 30, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianAs the UK struggles to move under thousands of pounds worth of personal debt for each household, it appears that we may have passed a culture of debt on to our children.

A recent report commissioned by Barclays Money Skills suggests that a third of British teenagers don’t consider monies spent on credit cards to be ‘real’ spending a worrying stat for a country trying to cut down on its levels of personal debt.

It is easy to understand how this attitude may have been transmitted as Brits in their millions racked up unsecured borrowing across credit cards, personal loans and store cards during the late 90’s and early naughties.  With our children watching our every step, it is hardly surprising that their view of credit cards is the same as ours was.  A kind of ‘tomorrow’ approach, where we think that everything will kind of sort itself out in the end and the debt will be magically repaid!

  • The report also stated that 34% regularly ran out of money!
  • 13% were constantly out of cash!
  • and perhaps surprisingly a third rely on their parents for regular handouts in order to survive!
  • Only one third?

With this being the case, it does seem to ring true that very few teenagers reach financial independence prior to potentially moving out of the family home.

  • Of further concern should be the fact that 90% suggested they solely relied on advice from their friends and family.
  • With only 3% commenting that their place of education had helped.

Perhaps it is no surprise that in listening to us parents that so many are struggling to attain a decent level of financial understanding.  What with us being such masters of the art of fiscal management!

Somewhat reassuring was the fact that ¾ of those surveyed had made some kind of savings during the past twelve months, albeit these funds were mostly used for gadgets and clothes.  But then again, some savings are better than no savings.  A fact that I keep telling myself as besides the princely sum of £1000 that I placed into an ISA recently, I currently have no other savings to speak of.

To help this shocking state of affairs and genuinely to their credit, Barclays have recently announced a trio of partnerships with youth charities designed to improve the fiscal skills of up to 1 million young people.  At a time when the banks are being given some considerable stick (not least from this blog) such a move is commendable.

Action for Children, the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and the National Youth Agency are the charities involved and the scheme is due to target youngsters who are out of work or in education / training, educating across a range of financial disciplines including budgeting, spending, saving and avoiding debt.

If however this financial training has come a little late for you and your own little personal debt mountain has already been created from the costs of being a teenager and in particular a student in the 21st century, then don’t worry, help is at hand.

  • Here at Lewis Alexander, we have debt management consultants to take your call.
  • Before you speak to us, it would help us if you can write down how much you owe, who you owe it to, details of any savings and details of your regular income.

By understanding your current position our financial consultants will be able to develop a plan of action that suits your current circumstance.  Rather than force certain debt solutions to fit your individual set of circumstances, we prefer to understand the issues that you are facing before recommending the best course of action.

So call today and see if we can help you to improve your financial health.

Call 0800 018 6868 in confidence, your call is FREE from a UK landline.

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Over 1500 people being made redundant every day

On March 29, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianThis isn’t exactly the headline that David Cameron wants to see during these tough economic times, especially after his assertion that the private sector would and indeed could create vacancies to make up for local and central government cutbacks.

But at a time when Britons owe £1.4trillion (that’s more noughts than we can even think to draw out in a blog!) and bankruptcies are being declared at a rate of 337 per day, the stats are beginning to look more than a little bit grim.

So without wishing to compound the agony unduly, figures such as the average UK household owing £57,635 and approximately 1,000 Britons turning to various organisations to help them manage their debts are hardly going to help build popularity.

It is likely that the Cameron, Clegg, Osborne axis are sure to blame the previous government, but with the public having short memories, the continual panning of the previous regime has only been tolerated for so long.  As we approach 12 months into this term of government, this ‘honeymoon period’ is coming to an end!

1589 redundancies may not sound like a great number when there are 60 million or so people living in the UK, but when you think this is around 11,000 per week or over ½ a million in 2011, then the numbers really start to hit home.  When these figures are added to the 833,000 Britons who have been unemployed for 12 months or more we really start to see a picture of a country in trouble.

  • So what difference is a neutral budget going to make during such difficult times?

The short answer is that the budget pleased very few.  Hard line capitalists would have wanted to see additional tax breaks for small and medium sized businesses, whilst 99.9% of those who marched on the recent TUC rally would call for more government cash to help create jobs for cash-strapped Britons.

Sitting on the fence is not a common pastime for this blog writer, but with food price inflation standing at 6%, energy prices rising at a higher rate and the cost of a barrel of oil remaining impossibly high, it is hard not to have sympathy for fellow Britons who are watching their quality of life slip back by a year almost every month.

But what does being made redundant and experiencing higher petrol, gas, electricity and food prices actually mean for the man in the street?

  • Well, first up, stating the obvious, if you don’t have any income, paying the bills does become somewhat tough.
  • So that’s where the state come in to help, right?
  • Wrong!
  • State help only really kicks in once you have burned your life savings and are down to the poverty line.
  • Life in the UK is going to get very interesting, that’s for sure!

If you are currently finding yourself worse off with each passing month and in a situation where your household debts are spiralling past the average £57k detailed above then it may be time to join the 1000 people who every day are seeking help with their debts.

One free call to Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868 could be the start of better things for you and your family in 2011.  Our debt management specialists are well versed at working with families and hard working Britons who are in debt.  We approach the situation from a new perspective… yours!

Rather than try and sell you a solution we identify your current situation, understand what you are looking to do, before advising on a solution that meets your needs.

If you need help with debt then why not give us a call and see if we can make a difference to the debt situation for your household.  If you are driven to make a difference to your life and have a regular income, then we can help you!

  • Call 0800 018 6868 in confidence today.
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Bank loan default process

On March 27, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianSince the start of the credit crunch, financial news in the UK has been littered with news about sub-prime lending, bad debt, poor credit risk decisions and negative reviews on how little the high street banks are now lending personal and small business customers.

In effect, the kamikaze lending of the early ‘naughties’ has been replaced with the polar opposite of a lending freeze as banks attempt to repair their decimated balance sheets and prove to regulators and the government that they are viable businesses that no longer require tougher regulation and handholding to restructure their business models.

This is in stark contrast to the type of lending that was made in the 1950’s and 60’s when the role of a High Street Bank Manager was considered to be a responsible, respectable leader at the heart of a community.  During these times, any lending decision made was preceded by an application and the personal interview of the person(s) applying to consider their suitability for the loan in question.

A holistic approach was taken to the ‘credit risk’ decision by a bank manager or one of their senior officials.  In this process, the application, interview, local knowledge, return on investment and sheer  ability (and willingness) to repay a loan were all considered key elements of equal importance, In stark contrast to the ‘computer says no’ processing that Little Britain has regularly satirise.

Perhaps an overlooked feature of the process from these post-war years was inclusion of walking prospective borrowers through the full consequences of a default or failure to make the repayments.  This process included stating in full all the charges that would be incurred, how the bank would go about reclaiming the money, what this would feel like for the customer and ultimately how debt collection agents would go on to seize assets that have been secured against any loans if necessary.  This cold, yet stark appraisal of the worst case scenario at least left all borrowers in no doubt of what would happen if the repayments could not be met.

This is in contrast with today’s process of handing out 100-page booklets detailing the terms and conditions of the loan (which in fairness do highlight charges that would be incurred from non-repayment) but these statements are written down and are not accompanied with a full and frank description of what this collection process would feel like.

The modern bank executive manager would suggest that a return to such a halcyon age would result in the increase in application times and thus reduce the profitability of each branch and employee.  But perhaps this overlooks the need for banks to play a more active role in educating society and fulfilling the role of responsible lending.

Getting into trouble and behind your scheduled rate of repayments is easy and the stress this causes can build up quickly.  If this position rings true for you, then perhaps a call to one of our debt management specialists would help you to restore order, structure and a help to plan long-term to get yourself out of debt and back into the black.

Our dedicated debt advisors are available on 0800 018 6868 and we are trained to advise on your specific circumstances and help you take control of your finances once again.  We understand the intricacies of the modern day personal debt and are happy to try and explain any complexities you did not previously understand, together with the collections and recoveries process that most financial bodies use.

Simply understanding the perspective of your lending institution can help you to form an action plan for you to put into practice.  So don’t delay, if you need help with debt call Lewis Alexander today using 0800 018 6868.

  • Call are FREE from landlines!
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Japan Tsunami Disaster Impact on UK Personal Debt Problems

On March 22, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianRecent events in Japan have shocked the world, as one of the most powerful earthquakes ever to strike planet earth sent a tsunami wave to decimate Northern Japan and put a screeching halt to the world’s third largest economy.
  • Since the quake has struck, thousands have been confirmed dead, thousands more are missing, the country’s infrastructure has been devastated and almost 20% has been wiped from the stocks listed on the Nikkei.

In the UK, our favourite topic of conversation is the weather.  However, we are sat in temperate climbs, with only very minor seasonal changes (in comparison to others) and very little in the way of seismic activity.

Perhaps it’s about time we considered ourselves a little more than fortunate!

To watch the devastating pictures of the world’s third largest economic power brought to its knees, certainly for this blog writer, brought home how critical the economic restructuring of the economy in the UK really is.

As the coalition government attempts this restructure, it occurs to me that should such an event have occurred in the North or Atlantic seas then the UK would be condemned to generations of recession, stagflation and a possible return to the Victorian era quality of life.

Over the other side of the world, as billions and billions of Japanese Yen are poured in aid to support the stricken country, these funds are going to need to be matched with determination, engineering expertise, time and patience to spark a recovery. Possibly over the next five years or more.

Sickeningly ironic, is the fact that the economic impacts of the tsunami continue to ripple around the world.  Whilst it does seem somewhat inappropriate to think of oneself during such terrible times, it is perhaps the pressure on oil prices that should be of most concern to the world economy.  With Japan’s status as one of the world’s largest energy importers, this need is only likely to rise in the aftermath of the ongoing nuclear disaster and subsequent reviews.

Almost 30% of Japan’s energy is currently derived from the nuclear industry and with nuclear energy production under question, together with the need for increased energy to support regeneration, this is only going to have one effect on oil prices and thus the upward pressure on UK inflationary figures will place UK households already struggling to make ends meet in even harder financial hardship.

  • In the UK we are also likely to see rising prices of insurance products, increased pressure on pension funds (through the lost value of International and specifically Pacific Rim stocks), and further increased pressure on home energy prices and prices at the pump.
  • This may all leave you remarkably short and starting to struggle with your everyday finances.  If this sounds like you, then it is perhaps time to get in touch with a debt management company to help you review your financial situation.

Here at Lewis Alexander we have debt management specialists available.

By calling 0800 018 6868 you can speak to our experts and start to restructure your own personal finances in what is an increasingly challenging world.

We start by understanding the full details of the commitments you already have and then work with you to understand what you can afford to pay each month.  Once our experts have a view of your complete financial picture we can then look at ways to improve your financial situation and put you in a better position.

The current world economic and geological climate is as challenging as we have ever known it, but by getting organised and being disciplined, Lewis Alexander will try and help you manage any personal debt problem you may have.

  • Call us FREE from a land line today on 0800 018 6868 now.
  • We are waiting for your call!
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Government U-Turn on Citizens Advice Bureau Debt Advisor Funding

On February 13, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianThey say a week is a long time in politics!
  • Indeed around 500 debt advisors employed by the Citizens Advice Bureau would certainly vouch for that statement!

This time last week, the government announced that the £25million a year Financial Inclusion Fund was not due to be extended beyond March – one of the many cutbacks seen by the coalition to balance the nation’s finances.

However, this week has seen the Business Secretary Vince Cable announce that £27million has now been found to maintain this programme during 2011.  Not only does this service allow the average Briton access to valuable free debt advice, it also ensures that around 500 employees have been saved from the ever expanding dole queues of the Job Centre.

At a cost of around £54,000 per employee, this may be seen as quite a hefty price to pay, but it is the money that these employees will save the government that is most likely to have changed the minds of continuing the Financial Inclusion Fund from within Westminster.

This blog reported last week that the BBC had estimated there would be circa 200,000 new requests for debt advice during 2011, which represents around 400 extra cases for these debt advisors to manage.

With the government keen to keep a lid on spiralling welfare costs, if each debt advisor is able to help just seven of these 400 people stay away from the unemployment queues (as a result of their financial mismanagement) then they are likely to justify their existence.

Speaking on Radio 4’s PM Programme in 2009, Professor Paul Gregg (Economics Department and CMPO) suggested that unemployment costs the government approximately £8,000 per head.  So it is easy to see why the extension of the Financial Inclusion Fund has been put on the priority list.  It is fair to expect that each debt advisor can easily exceed this target and in the meantime, political noise is avoided.  Perhaps common sense can still win the day!

Mr Cable did however request other backers to support the Financial Inclusion Fund moving forward.  If ever there was the chance for one of the UK’s major banks to win some much needed publicity, then surely supporting this scheme makes for both a great PR exercise and provides a reasonable bargaining chip for the next time The Treasury wish to increase taxes on Banks.

As this blog did mention last week, with the sheer volume of cases that Citizens Advice lend support to, it can be difficult to always provide speedy responses to those in the most difficult and vulnerable of circumstances.

It is for this reason that at Lewis Alexander we offer a financial healthcheck.  Our lines are open 24 hours a day when calling our freephone number 0800 018 6868.

We are always happy to speak to new potential clients to see if we are able to help them with their financial difficulties and believe this is a service that can supplement the offering from Citizens Advice.

As a company, Lewis Alexander has offered free debt advice since incorporation in 2003, it is only when clients take our ongoing help and select services such as a debt management plan that we start to charge for our help and assistance.

Many of our clients say that they have approached the CAB and often have started to complete financial overview statements or budgeting forms that CAB’s advisors have provided.   This is a great first step in starting a journey towards a controlled and managed financial future as it allows you to truly understand your personal circumstances and allows us to take quicker action in speaking to your creditors should you want us to offer a solution that would work for you.

As an established provider of debt management services, we think it is important to consider your personal circumstances before providing our advice on the solution best suited to your situation.  Being in debt is very stressful and it is for this reason that we consider details of all of your options before highlighting the best option, to help you understand the best way out of your personal debt problems.

Our specialist advisors provide high levels of client service and treat your case in the strictest of confidence.

So remember, Citizens Advice is a great start to finding solutions to your debt problems, but if you wish to relieve our government of any costs you can and think you can afford a personal case manager for approximately £1 per day to work on your behalf urgently then contact Lewis Alexander today.

Our free from a landline personal debt helpline number again is 0800 018 6868.

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Reduction in Debt Advisors at Citizens Advice Bureau

On February 7, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianThe government announced last week that the Financial Inclusion Fund will not have its £25million a year subsidy extended beyond March.
  • This could result in many debt advisors at Citizens Advice Bureaus across the country being issued with redundancy notices as local councils seek to reduce costs.

To avoid a bottleneck of debt cases building up, CAB has also responded by starting to turn away certain new debt cases, just as economic commentators forecast that consumers with debt problems would start to rise in the UK during 2011.

  • So what does this actually mean for the ordinary man or woman in Britain?
  • Well, not a lot if your finances are in order and you are good with google, so one could avoid needing the CABs advice on money matters.

If however your financial situation leaves little to be desired and the recent hike in food costs, fuel, VAT and general every day expenses are pushing you ever closer to financial Armageddon, then it may be you who is most affected by the closure of the Financial Inclusion Fund.

A BBC report last week quoted that 200,000 extra requests for free debt advice were expected in 2011, so with these additional cases and fewer debt advisors to go round, it may be significantly harder for people to get in touch with someone at a CAB office to help you with your debt problems.

Whilst Citizens Advice offer a free service, with the sheer volume of cases that their advisors attend to, it was already hard to provide a speedy resolution to those with the most acute debt problems.  Whilst the government may replace the Financial Inclusion Fund with a new web and telephone based service, there is no substitute for having a professional case manager to speak to regarding your personal circumstances.

  • At Lewis Alexander, we offer a free from a landline personal debt helpline, where you can speak to one of our trained debt advisors.

Our number is 0800 018 6868 and we are always happy to speak to new potential clients to see if we are able to help them with their financial difficulties.

Once we have taken your case we will appoint a case manager who will be your personal point of contact.  Your case manager will look after your debt portfolio and will work with your creditors to progress you towards a better managed financial existence.

As a long established debt management company we take pride in ensuring our staff offer a level of client service that is second to none.  We are also very proud of the results we obtain when negotiating with creditors on our existing clients behalf.

Being in debt can add to what is already a stressful modern lifestyle and is something that with a little bit of help and some good old-fashioned discipline can be managed, to lead you into a managed future.

At Lewis Alexander, we are able to help a wide variety of clients out of their debt problems as long as they have a regular income and a determination to meet a regular monthly or weekly payment.

So if you are struggling to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau regarding UK debt advice or would like to hear the debt solutions that Lewis Alexander could offer you based on your current circumstances then give us a call on 0800 018 6868.

  • Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
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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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Moving Abroad to Escape Debt Problems

On December 20, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • The credit cards have stopped working, your overdraft is maxed out, applications for extended credit lines stopped being successful months ago and now even the utility bills are falling behind.
  • Sound familiar? Well increasing numbers of Brits are now looking to turn their back on debts in the UK in favour of moving abroad and starting a new life.

free credit report UK from ExperianParticularly prominent amongst divorcees, with the collapse of a marriage, it can seem like the fastest, cleanest and cheapest way out of the hole.  But longer term is it really the best option?

Sure, the thought of escaping the incessant telephone calls, letters and emails from credit card companies can seem like a good idea at first.  And certainly avoiding paying interest on mounting debts can seem like a preferable solution, but what are the implications of ‘jumping ship’ and moving abroad in this situation?

Firstly, there is the fact that your creditors back in the UK are not going to suddenly forget that you exist.  Financial services companies in the UK have invested great sums in recent years to improve their collections and recoveries strategy and an instant write-off for your debt is unlikely.  Much more probable, is they will look to trace you to hold you to the debt, will employ collections agencies and may even seek legal intervention for any assets that you do leave in the UK.

To those in the deepest debt holes, you may say ‘so what? I don’t have anything to lose!’ but it is not just what you own now that may be at stake.  Some financial service companies keep on file their list of bad debtors, even though these debts have been written off in their company accounts.  Proceedings are then put in place to reclaim funds should any given person re-enter the country.

Monitoring of the electoral role, future credit or bank account applications (and even social networking sites) are all conducted on a periodic basis.

Whilst you may have every intention of leaving the UK for good, it is worth noting that in 2008, the Institute for Public Policy Research reported that 85,000 British Citizens returned to the UK from living abroad, and with only 172,000 leaving the UK in that year, this represents a net return of almost 50% for that calendar year.  Which if you happen to be in this 50% that do return, there may be some nasty surprises that await you on your return!

  • So, what other options might you have to escape the mountain of debt?

A good place to start is sitting down to calculate exactly what debts you do have, who you owe money to and the rate of interest that you are currently paying.

Then, one call to a debt management specialists at Lewis Alexander can make a huge difference.  Our lines are open 24 hours a day on 0800 018 6868.

At Lewis Alexander we make it our priority to help you through what can be a very stressful time.  No-one intends to get into huge amounts of debt and all we ask is that you have a regular source of income and a genuine intention to improve your personal situation.

We start by understanding all of your current outstanding debt commitments and can work with your creditors to reduce your monthly repayments and can sometimes reduce the overall amount of interest repaid.  We also work with you to find the debt solution that is most appropriate to your personal circumstance.

Some of our clients have equity available to release from their home that can be used to settle debts.  Others might find that entering into an IVA is best for their situation and many of our clients find that simply using our debt management service helps them get control of their finances again.

  • Whatever the best financial debt solution is, we will work with you to find your best personal debt plan.

Call Lewis Alexander today, free and in confidence on 0800 018 6868.  We are waiting for your call and our debt management specialists are ready to help you try and start to change your financial life for the better!

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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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Leaving University and Clearing My Debts

On December 16, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander

free credit report UK from ExperianSo that’s it.  University finished, no more exams, some magical memories, but what are you now going to do with that degree in Ancient Greek History?  The first thing on most recent graduate’s minds is finding a job and quick.  Being poor and scrimping by in the ‘value’ section of Tesco only has its appeal for a few years.  Once graduated, the vast majority are keen to find gainful employment and start to think about clearing  the mountain of debt that fees, accommodation, food (and let’s not forget the drinking) have created over the past 3-4 years.

The big question is ‘how do I start to repay the debts that have stacked up?’  With a little bit of planning and a lot of self-discipline, this process can be a lot easier than some may make out.  Start by making a list of all of your outstanding debts.  The typical student will have at least one interest-free overdraft facility, a student-loan and maybe loans from family and the odd credit card thrown in for good measure. 

Once you have a complete list of your creditors and the amounts owed to each body, you need to identify the interest rates that you are paying on these debts and the speed with which the creditors will want to be repaid.  Believe it or not, but the Bank of Mum and Dad is actually a very reasonable credit facility.  Interest rates tend to be nominal and flexible payment arrangements are common!

Repaying debts should therefore start by paying those that charge the highest rate of interest.  Typically, this will be a credit card or store card who typically charge between 10% and 40% APR

With the recent furore over government policy for student debts, it is easy to think that as soon as you have finished University that a Student Loan becomes immediately repayable.  This is not the case and any recent graduate should get in touch with their Student Loan provider to discuss their plans, earnings and intention for repaying these loans.  Remember that these loans are only repayable when you reach a certain earnings threshold and often attract a more generous rate of interest in comparison to overdrafts, credit cards and store cards.

In some cases, students do get into difficulties early on in their graduate life with the high street bank that had previously been keen to increase their overdraft limit, but now appear to want it all back.  It is important to let all of your creditors know what your plans are for post-university life, as many financial organisations (particularly in the current economic climate) are keen to retrieve their funds, and don’t like long periods going by without hearing from their debtors.

Indeed the author of this blog post had a rather nasty experience with a well-known bank as he did not inform them that he had returned to live with his parents following finishing university.  This resulted in the bank cancelling his overdraft facility within 2 months of his leaving date and when finally some monies were paid into the account, yours truly was whisked into the Manager’s office with great haste and the entire £1,500 overdraft was called in with immediate effect!

Cases like this are more widespread than you think, and can be easily avoided.  A written letter to the bank informing them of your plans can stop this type of practice and it is also likely to lead to more options for graduate banking being offered.

When that first pay check does come in, do spend it wisely!  As you will have a picture of your overall finances and details of the rate of interest you are paying you can compare the advantages of speeding up your debt repayments versus a spending-spree on gadgets, designer clothing and the nicer things in life.  In some cases it will be more advantageous to repay your debts more quickly rather than entering into savings plans and you should seek financial planning guidance if you have more than £100 per month available at the end of each month.

Leaving the student world and entering the world of work can be a daunting experience, but getting into the habit of good financial planning at the start, can help you to avoid difficulties later on life.  Three simple rules should help guide this planning and you can’t go far wrong!

  1. Always understand who you owe money to and the total you owe to each.
  2. Have a clear plan for the repayment schedule (i.e. how long you intend to borrow for and the amount that you need to regularly repay).
  3. Try to re-structure your repayments so that you pay the creditors with the highest rates of interest first.

If you do get into further financial difficulties and find your debt is compunding, you can contact Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868.  We are debt management company with a proven track record and can offer advice, support and guidance in managing creditors and reducing personal debt.  We start by understanding the overall picture of your financial circumstances and then work with you to find a plan that suits you individually and then are able to agree this with your creditors.

As you are at the start of your working life when leaving University, applying the principles of this article will help the vast majority of graduates, but if you are still struggling with your personal finances and as long as you have a regular source of income, together with a will and determination to improve your personal debt circumstances then we can help! 

Our professional debt management advisors are ready to take your call, so contact Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868, your call is free!

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My benefits are reducing and I am getting into debt!

On December 10, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander

From January 2011, the changes announced by the coalition government to the welfare state will start to take effect in phases.  In what has been described as the biggest reduction in welfare provision in peace-time, some of the wide range of benefits offered by the state are being held at current levels, whilst others are cut, or for some of the more complex benefits, the earnings limits to qualify are being stretched in order to include fewer UK households, individuals and families.

This has led to claims from those in this situation and action groups who represent those on benefits that this policy means ‘My benefits are reducing and I am getting into debt!’  Amongst the groups most worried are the working families, on low incomes, who rely on benefits to supplement their incomes from their hard-working jobs.

  • So is this necessarily true? And what can be done to prepare for this drop in benefits income?

The first step when there is any change in your financial circumstances is to understand exactly what these changes are.  The range of announcements made as part of the widely reported Government Spending Review are available in a variety of locations.

If you are not clear on how these changes may impact you, a telephone call to your benefits agency should help to put you in the picture or alternatively you could contact your local citizen’s advice bureau.

It may be that the changes announced wont impact you for a number of months, meaning you have more time to secure that extra overtime shift at work, have time to look for a new and improved job or simply have time to cut out some of those ‘nice to have’ items that have crept into your life (Is that gym membership really providing value for money?!)

Once you understand the new budgetary constraints that you will be working under, it is possible to sit down and assess how you can amend your personal spending habits in order to avoid slipping further into debt.   If having looked at all the new facts and figures you still believe that you there is no waste to cut, then don’t panic, the first stage in any financial change is identifying that there is a problem and starting to engage with your creditors to explain the changes to your personal and financial situation.

Whether it is a personal loan, car finance, or a straight-forward credit card bill, financial services companies will be getting used to the idea that many of their customers are about to experience a change in circumstances, or at least they will be if they have been watching any of the recent news articles on the subject!

Options available to clear debts include increasing the term of your credit agreements to reduce your monthly commitments, using up payment holidays where these are available under terms and conditions and sometimes pure and simple hard negotiation on the rate you are being charged can all make a difference to the amounts you need to repay each month.

  • If you are still uncertain on what to do, or would like to benefit from a financial health check, then call Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868.

Our team of professional and dedicated debt management advisors will offer advice based on your personal situation and capture some important details and will then be able to work with you and your creditors to develop a debt repayment plan that you are happy with.   This can help to provide peace of mind that your creditors are being managed confidently and carefully by our team of debt consultants.

At Lewis Alexander we understand the pressures that hardworking families are under in the current economic climate and how the recession is changing our villages, towns and cities.

As long as you have a regular source of income, together with a will and determination to improve your personal circumstances then we can help!

Our professional debt management consultants are ready to take your call now, so contact Lewis Alexander FREE on 0800 018 6868 and allow us to help you to change your financial life for the better!

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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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Approaching retirement, my pension lump sum wont clear my debts!

On November 17, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • When you bought the Beatles hit ‘When I’m sixty-four’ on short play vinyl with one of your first pay packets, it all seemed so far away.  Now a mere forty-something years later, you’ve reached the age of the song’s infamous title!
  • But wait, you’re not ready for it yet!

free credit report UK from ExperianThe unexpected ‘surprise’ third child that you tagged on the end has only just finished university and you are still about ten years away from finishing paying for their studies, the new conservatory and that place by the sea that your wife insisted upon. (Note to self, why oh why didn’t we keep the wife’s flat when we moved in together in the swinging sixties?)

The pressures of ensuring that the children completed their studies, whilst keeping a stable home meant that real planning for retirement seemed pointless as it felt just so far away – except it wasn’t. So the daily expenses were still being piled onto the credit cards, whilst new mortgage deals had still been taken out in your early sixties.

  • The bit that said you would be repaying until you were 75 was lost in the reams of small print that so many of these agreements commonly contain.
  • So surely it wasn’t just the unexpected extra child that led you into this mess?

Well, despite being one of those baby boomers born just after the end of World War Two, whilst many have been very lucky, there are some that seem to have fallen foul of every possible financial mishap.

  • For all too many a family the story reads like this:

Taking an endowment out in the 80’s, just prior to the Wall Street crash, was not the best of starts. A failure to capitalise on Maggie’s privatisations followed, prior to the blackest of black Wednesdays meant that you then lost a job in the early 1990’s, right in the middle of the era of ageism. That is before Brussels interfered!

The remnants of the ‘Power 80’s’ meant you were finished at 40-something, with none of that modern thinking that the middle and end-career applicants have oodles of experience to offer.  Sadly, there was more to come. Being loyal to the bank had meant that you enjoyed a good relationship with a bank manager (who still wore a mac in the pouring rain), but also meant that you missed out on the Abbey National, Alliance and Leicester, Halifax & more demutualisations that handed out £thousands in a short space of time. Then finally, when interest rates started to come down at the end of the 1990’s and the turn of the century, you took a 5-year fix as 6.5% seemed like a great rate (you recalled only just hanging onto your house when rates topped double figures in the 1980s). So you missed out on several good years when you could have been paying a sizeable chunk down on your mortgage.

  • Sob story over, put quite simply, what are you going to do now?
  • The first step in any financial planning is to understand the here and now.

Start by calculating how much you really owe and who you owe it to. Continue by detailing the everyday regular expenses that you incur and your anticipated earnings for retirement. By contacting your pension provider to understand your exact pension income and lump sum options, you will now know exactly what retirement means for you and so it is now possible to look at the options available.

Many people approaching retirement opt to work beyond the standard retirement age. Although the ability to do this varies by industry and employer, start by having a chat with your boss to see if this is something that might be possible – if you want to stay on that is!

If you are worried, unsure or simply don’t know what to do next, then contact Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868. Lewis Alexander are personal debt management consultants who can help you understand what options may be available to you.

By calling FREE for a confidential financial healthcheck, we can talk you through the debt solutions available and find one that is best for you at the moment. As we are independent, we look at all cases individually and without bias, prior to agreeing with you the best next steps to take.

We offer a range of financial solutions, from debt management help to insolvency advice. Call one of our debt management consultants now on free phone 0800 018 6868 and start to work out a way to clear your personal debts.

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Single Father of Two with Bills, Bills and more bills!

On November 16, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • The number of single parents in the UK is increasing all the time.
  • Divorce rates are on the up, marriage in the first instance is becoming less popular and children who move between two homes is becoming part and parcel of modern day society.

free credit report UK from ExperianAs part of this change in social trend, is the increasing existence of the single father who takes on the full-time responsibility of raising the children.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2009 there were 200,000 lone fathers in Britain, compared with 1.8 million single mothers, but it is single fathers in the UK who now have the higher rate of increase of the sexes.

No matter whether the single parent is male or female, it is clear that the reliance on one salary can take a significant strain on any one individual.  Balancing the needs of full or part-time employment alongside paying the mortgage, insurances, utilities, communications and childcare costs can be a real budget killer, and that’s before any consideration has been made for having that well-earned break from the kids for a bit of personal relaxation and indulgence – even if that’s fitted in whilst the kids are at swimming lessons!

With the role of budget-keeper traditionally falling to the parent who stayed at home to raise the family, it is perhaps the single father that is least well equipped to balance all the various asks of his skills and experiences.  Sure, bringing home the money for food may be a role he is familiar and comfortable with, but what about household budgeting and making sure that all the supplies are there for when the children are sick or invite their entire classmates around for a sleepover!

  • Modern day life can be expensive and when you take on all of these responsibilities, it is easy to forget that you do still need to make your books balance.

With the recent proposed changes to the Welfare State, it may also mean that your income is about to take a dip.  Traditionally, whilst the man of the house might be involved in the key financial decisions, it was the female influence that developed ‘pots of savings’ – small amounts invested with different financial institutions, saving for holidays, school uniforms, a new handbag and the Christmas bills.  In neglecting to pay attention to these key subsidiary savings, it can mean that there is less of a cushion available for times of struggle, such as a pay-freeze at work, rising heating bills or worse still redundancy.

  • Do you identify with these trends and these issues?
  • Is this something that keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep?

Then a conversation with one of Lewis Alexander’s debt management specialists could be the springboard for you to a more balanced home life and an improved ability to ensure you obtain a strong financial footing that allows you to provide the best for your children.

  • Call Lewis Alexander FREE and in confidence today using 0800 018 6868.

They will offer you a financial healthcheck with a trained debt specialist.  Lewis Alexander can review your incomings and outgoings to help you understand where you might need some expert help.

Whether it’s a debt management plan to help repay some of the unsecured debts that have mounted up or to help with the everyday expenses, or simply some help to better understand when your financial pressure points occur each month.

Our professional debt management advisors are ready to take your call now, so contact Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868.

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Lewis Alexander launches FREE phone Financial Healthcheck!

On October 23, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander

Do you need a Financial Healthcheck?

  • Lewis Alexander are offering a Financial Healthcheck to people who find themselves struggling with personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts etc.

A Financial Healthcheck is conducted by looking at an individuals income and expenditure and other personal details such as home ownership or possible savings and age so that it can be worked out by a professional adviser what the best option for them is financially.

The need for such a service has never been greater and Lewis Alexander is proud to launch this service nationwide throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Most people that call our personal debt helpline for a financial healthcheck find that it is a starting point of understanding and getting to grips with what solutions are available to them to sort or clear personal financial problems.

  • Financial problems occur at all different times of life.
  • The most important thing is that an individual recognises the problem they have and takes action to solve the problem as soon as possible.

The main solutions available to people in the UK to clear personal debts are as follows,

It is difficult for people to self diagnose themselves financially as they usually have experienced a change in circumstance and are preoccupied with the problems they face due to that change.

Once you have suffered a change in circumstance such as a loss of job or illness, it is very hard to catch up with finances that may have fallen behind.  These could include rent or mortgage payments or even Council tax or electricity / gas arrears.  Not all companies are sympathetic to your circumstances but you should make sure they are aware and put it in writing and send it recorded delivery, that way you can prove you made your creditor or lender or utility supplier aware of your change in circumstance and lack of ability to pay as normally expected.

If you do not contact your respective lender or utility supplier they cannot be expected to guess what is going on, if contacted they usually will make some sort of arrangement for you to catch up and pay off any arrears you may have been or are currently creating.

To best help yourself you can take advice from a trained adviser who knows what is best for you from experience of helping others in similar if not the same situations.

A financial healthcheck is one way of starting to find out exactly how good or bad your situation is.  Whether you take the advice and act on it is totally up to you, those who do tend to act on advice sooner rather than later really do benefit from being pro-active as a financial problem usually does not go away without attention.There is no obligation to use our fee charging services after a financial healthcheck with Lewis Alexander.

You should be wary of paying upfront fees for any services that are not fully transparent, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!

If you think you would benefit from a financial healthcheck you can call Lewis Alexander free and in confidence 24 hours a day using 0800 018 6868.

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If you have heard adverts on the radio and TV for debt management comparison sites or debt companies asking you if you are confused by debt, the way to actually clarify your questions or confusion is to speak to each company you have selected directly.

Prepare a list of questions that will help you identify if they are trust worthy and reputable, how can you be sure you can trust the actual comparison web site itself.

  • Who is doing the homework on the debt management companies being compared and how often is the information updated?

Lewis Alexander was approached by a service claiming to be a debt management company comparison website for people confused by debt, they offered us the opportunity to pay them to be listed on their site, we asked them why we should pay to be compared for the consumers best deal, they could not answer our question so we did not advertise with them.

The lesson we can learn from the likes of Direct Line Insurance is that they cannot be found on comparison websites. This is a very large company owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, why would they not be on comparison websites if they were so beneficial to them or their customers?

The only way we could see a debt management comparison website working was if it listed every debt management plan available in the country to a consumer at the time of the consumer search, without a total comparison of all debt plans available, how would the consumer know which company offered the best deal?

  • They would only be aware of the best deal amongst the companies advertising on the debt comparison site. This is NOT a total comparison!

You should be very careful when taking information and advice on something as important as your personal finances.  A company that specialises in comparing companies is doing just that, you should take financial advice off of a company who specialises in giving financial advice and clearing consumer debt, not just one that tries to compare companies that actually do just that.

If you are confused by debt problems and solutions available to clear debts, you can call our free from a landline debt helpline 24 hours a day in absolute confidence using 0800  018 6868.

  • Our trained advisors are waiting for your call!
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Improve Credit Score without Money in the Bank

On July 4, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander

  • Did you know it was possible to improve your credit score without actually having much funds available in your personal bank account?
  • It is even possible to obtain a good credit score after having a bad credit rating, when living in and out of a personal overdraft!

To increase your credit score or improve your credit rating you need to pay any credit account you have on time and make sure your payments are for the correct amount. It does not matter how much money you have in your bank account. It is as simple as that, if you are struggling with credit accounts get rid of them where possible.

 Start a fresh and gain control on a monthly or weekly basis!

free credit report UK from ExperianCar finance and all other types of credit agreements are listed on your credit report so it is important too keep up with all agreements not just the ones that are important to you.

Most people suffer from a bad credit score due to not being able to keep up with regular monthly repayments, some months they encounter extra unexpected living costs, such as motor breakdowns and domestic appliance problems.

  • These tend to need immediate attention which costs and these costs are what tend to set the individual back.

When payments are then missed for credit accounts, the credit companies are duty bound to update the credit reference agencies monthly such as Experian and Equifax.  These credit reference agencies keep your credit file up to date so that when you apply for any borrowings or credit, the lender you are applying too has the right with your permission to search your credit file for any information they may require to either approve, or decline your application.

  • When an application for credit is refused or turned down, the lender is under no obligation to tell you why.  This can often offend people but the policy not to disclose the reason for decline is normal practice within the credit industry.

If you have never seen a copy of your credit report, it can at first take time to understand.  Once you have seen it you will feel more comfortable looking at it next time you need to, and so on.  It is important to keep a check on your credit report as this can inform you of any searches that have been made in your name without your awareness.

Credit Expert from Experian is the most well know of the credit reference agencies that allow you to view your credit report online.  They offer a free 30 day trial.  This is a trading name or brand of a company called Experian who advertise on Television, you may have seen the credit expert TV adverts.

Lenders use different parts of your credit report to assess if they are able to lend to you, this differs from lender to lender.  If you make multiple applications for credit and get refused within a short period of time, say one day to a week or even within one month, you can reduce your credit score that way, so be careful when applying for credit.

Prospective lenders do not like to see many refused applications for credit within your file over a short period of time, it can show that you are desperate to obtain the credit and this can worry a lender.

If you need advice regarding clearing personal debts after suffering a bad credit history, you can call our personal debt helpline 24 hours a day in total confidence using 0800 018 6868.

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Personal Debt, the Banks and UK House Prices

On July 1, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • What have the above got in common?

Personal debt has been driven up by our previous government allowing banks to basically over lend, just like the previous government increased the countries own debt level.  It all has to be repaid at some point and now we find the banks are unable to lend against property unless people can provide a deposit, in some cases being up to 35% of the desired property value. Interbank lending reductions are also showing signs of returning.  This means money becomes even shorter in supply generally throughout the entire economy.

If we look at consumer personal debt levels, these have been created via irresponsible lending and irresponsible spending, but not in all cases.

Some people have also consolidated their personal unsecured debts such as credit cards and loans, store cards and catalogues into either a new secured loan against their home or into the existing mortgage by remortgaging the money from available equity in their home.

This is very risky when you think that in the very near future, interest rates will have to start going up again and that will mean that people again will feel the squeeze in their monthly budget as their mortgage or home repayment costs go up.  Some will be able to manage the increase and some will not, these are the people that really should be looking in their most trusted crystal ball at the moment.

When lending by banks against property reduces it can also mean that house prices in turn may fall, this is because people have to be more realistic about the value of their house for sale purposes if they really wish to move quickly, banks will only lend money against a property for what it is worth, not for what a vendor feels they have spent on it which actually becomes perceived added value.  The perception of increased value is not always there in the eyes of the banks at the point of lending!

International investment from outside the UK from people moving here or buying second homes here, coupled with the fact that demand in the UK for new affordable housing is outstripping supply and has done for the past couple of decades, means that this supply and demand issue for new affordable housing could be the only saving grace to our UK housing market, if the international money which usually goes directly into London stops due to global issues and the banks don’t inter lend, then the only people buying houses will be first time buyers with very large deposits, therefore a reduction in most house prices would follow.

If you have unsecured personal debts and a mortgage to pay each month you should make sure that the credit repayments are not eating up the majority of your income, if they are it is time to seek some personal debt advice.  If you think things could get out of control for you financially if you suffered a change in circumstance, then you should be planning ahead just in case.

When you repay credit cards and loans, sometimes you are servicing the debt by only paying interest that is accruing, this is as good as renting your debt off of your creditor, you must get into a debt reduction plan as soon as possible if this is the case.

  • Taking the first step to sorting a financial problem is usually the hardest, as with most unfamiliar things we do in life.

If you need professional advice regarding your outstanding personal finances then call our personal debt helpline today in confidence using 0800 018 6868, lines are open 24 hours and your call is free.

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Motor or Car, Travel, Home and Life Insurance – Are you getting the best deals?

It never ceases to shock our financial advisors how many people actually are not aware that they may be able to get a better deal on their existing

  • car insurance
  • home insurance
  • life insurance

or for any insurances they may be paying premiums.

  • Insurance can be costly, but even more expensive if you choose the wrong product or type of cover.

For years, insurances of all types were mis-sold and nowadays it is correct to say that the insurance industry within the UK has been regulated and is monitored carefully by the respective authorities.

When you choose an insurance policy, it is not always clear which is your best option, therefore, the advice you get regarding the policies available is of paramount importance.  A broker with access to all different policies made available through many different insurers can be one option for you to buy your insurance, another could be to go direct to one insurer and this way you would cut out any middle man fees, the problem being you will only be advised on the policies that company can offer, there may be a better policy with another direct insurance supplier.

  • So what do you do?
  • Do you call all of them or use comparison sites such as moneysupermaket or gocompare or even comparethemarket?

We would recommend using what we call a comparison broker, this way you feel it is fair to pay a broker fee if the broker explains the different policies available and in turn helps you to come to a sound decision.

When in personaldebt, it can be most important to consider every option available within your means to reduce your outgoings; this includes things such as motor or car insurance, home insurance and life insurance etc. Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised at the savings you can make just by changing insurance company.

The average domestic car or home insurance policy will usually run for about 1 year, and then it will be ready for renewal. The industry and insurance companies change their policies so frequently that when it comes around again for you to renew, the products available could be very different and far more attractive than your last policy, 12 months is a long time in the insurance industry.

Please remember to shop about for the best deal, it is not always the one that is easily found, these companies use clever and expensive marketing tactics and campaigns to generate an enquiry from you, make sure you know exactly who you are dealing with and who will be supplying the insurance.  For most people this information may sound basic but for many of us insurance is still an unknown but necessary evil!

For help and advice regarding any personal debt problems please contact our personal debt helpline in confidence using 0800 018 6868, our lines are open 24 hours a day and your call is free.

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UK PLC needs a Consumer Debt Management Plan

On June 24, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • The UK has found itself in emergency need of a debt management plan!
  • Why?
  • Because the countries debt problems have been allowed to go to such a point that drastic measures need to be taken to control the income and expenditure of the country or UK PLC as it is also known financially.

The above is exactly the same as when an individual or consumer leaves a personal debt problem to grow out of control without taking action to balance the income and expenditure into the household.

The longer the debt problem is left un-managed, the greater the problem becomes to manage!

Debt Management plans have been around in the UK since the early nineties, they offer consumers in personal debt an informal opportunity to pay off debts without having to borrow any more money to do so.  Debt Management Plans came about due to people finding they could not obtain any further credit to consolidate, or put into one, all the other debts they had accumulated.

If you find you are in need of a debt management plan, the first thing you should do is contact a reputable debt management company.  This way you can obtain advice regarding your personal situation.  You should not be charged any fees up front when being advised and only if you decide to use that particular debt management service should you be asked to part with any money.

Debt Management in the UK is very common place in the personal finance industry and when a debt management plan is operated professionally by a reputable personal debt service, consumers can find that a debt management plan is a very useful solution to clear personal debt problems.

A debt management plan can help you to clear unsecured personal debts such as, credit cards and store cards, personal loans and overdrafts, catalogues, book clubs and even allow for you to repay car finance, mortgages and other commitments as part of the solution if your disposable expenditure allows for it. All secured debts such as car finance, mortgages and secured home loans have to be kept up and cannot be included within the debt management companies’ dealings with creditors, the debt management company must make an allowance within your expenditure for you to maintain these payments as they constitute your priority debts, this is how they form part of the overall debt solution that a personal debt management plan can offer.

Priority debts are debts that must be paid before others are taken into account, for example your mortgage payments must be taken more seriously than your credit card payments.  It sounds so simple but the pressure that credit card companies can put on people who owe them money is often enough to make them prioritise the credit card repayment over the mortgage repayment.

This is why the press report horror stories daily about people who have lost their home due to failing to keep up with mortgage or rental payments.

If you find yourself in need of help and advice regarding a debt management plan or other form ofpersonal debt solution, please contact our personal debt helpline 24 hours a day in the UK using 0800 018 6868, our lines are open and your call is free!

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ITV Tonight on reducing monthly payments

On January 28, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • Did you see the Tonight programme by ITV about reducing monthly outgoings and repayments?
  • Martin was explaining how to save money by cutting back on items in your household expenditure!

Due to rises in fuel prices and the general cost of living, most people are finding it difficult to manage or reduce monthly payments that they have.

There is a point where some people find they cannot cut back any further.

Without the programmes enthusiasm in your front room, how can you implement the same money saving ideas and stick to them. One thing that was mentioned was the “impulse buy”, items bought out of a want, not a need!

  • Fed up of having no money left at the end of the month after paying all the bills?

There are a great number of ways to save money each month and the following are just a few;

  • Change Electricity or Gas supplier
  • Change Internet provider
  • Change Telephone provider
  • Change or reduce TV subscriptions
  • Change Supermarkets
  • Do not make impulse purchases only buy when you need to!
  • Change Clothes Shops
  • Change Petrol Station
  • Change your car
  • Change your Ways!!!

It is okay having this information but acting on it is very hard, sometimes it can take a massive effort as all the changes are a shock to the system.

We say this because when you have to cut back it can seem like a drastic change in lifestyle as you are used to buying luxury items that are not needed, this comes from emotional or impulse purchases, the money you used could have been used to clear other bills but the control is what was lacking.

Once you have impulse purchases under control, changes to your living expenses as mentioned above should start to have a positive impact on your weekly or monthly budget and ongoing expenditure. You should find you are reducing payments and other costs leaving you with more of a disposable income, the money you have left over each month after paying bills and all living costs.

Saving money can start with little things like where you buy your lunch each day or how you make it. Save on holidays, cars, nights out, clothes etc..

Life will seem strange but you will get used to it and then you can start a fresh!

If you have personal debt problems and are struggling to find a way to reduce repayments to credit card and loan companies, you can call our free from a landline personal debt helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Call 0800 018 6868 free.

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If you find yourself with a financial problem and have bad credit or are unable to cope with mounting debt problems, then you may want to search the marketplace for information that can help you discover the best solution for reducing or eliminating personal debt.

There are a number of very authoritative internet debt consultants and resources online that offer information for getting out of debt and they could help you with your personal situation.

Be very careful that you do not jump in with the first company that comes along without doing some research about the company, how long has the debt company been in business? Make sure you ring them to see how professional their approach is. After all you want your affairs to be handled on an individual basis and your interests should be of the utmost importance.

Finding the best and highest quality of companies within the Debt Consolidation field will help and ensure your overall plan to reduce your indebtedness over the longterm is fruitful.

Unfortunately, there are a number of debt consolidation agencies, debt negotiators, and debt settlement consultants who will take you for a ride. If you find they are advertising their services saying that they can get your debts eliminated in 10 minutes or less, they are the kind of companies that you want avoid at all costs.

These claims are not justifiable and simply not possible. You need to work with a debt consolidation company that offers you viable and workable individual solutions to eliminate your debt in the medium to long term.

You must realise the real facts that no one can eliminate your debts without a personal Bankruptcy petition. Most debt management resources reduce debts through renegotiations with your creditors.

You will find that some personal debt consultants even claim to be able to “eliminate your interest rates” completely, this is not entirely truthful.

When a debt management company consolidates all of your unsecured debts, they will gather all of your unsecured debt repayments and roll them into one new single repayment, which then reduces your monthly outgoings.

If you aren’t dealing with an honest debt consolidation company or one that has a high reputation in the industry who can negotiate the best solution, there’s a very good possibility that they will also roll those high interest rates into your total debt, which may still reduce your monthly outgoing but unbeknown to you, will cause you to have a larger overall debt level.  Be very careful with this type of tactic.

Therefore, it is important that you ask the company or debt consultant about what it is they can do for you, after you have provided them with sufficient information for them to work out an overall plan.

Educate yourself a little with regard to what interest rates you have been paying on your current debts, so that you are empowered to have the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Above all, be prepared to pay a reasonable fee for the services of a reputable company. There is no such thing as a “free lunch”.  Someone has to pay the people who organise and negotiate on your behalf. Companies that claim that you don’t need to pay them anything are in fact being paid by the creditors and getting fees somewhere in the process. We find that many people would rather agree to pay a set fee and get on with the task of getting back on the right path.

You are advised to have all the proper paperwork regarding your debts organised and if possible obtain a copy of your credit report.

If you are in doubt, do some research of your own, telephone the companies that you have listed and contact them by phone.

Lewis Alexander Financial Management offer a first class personal Debt Management Service, nationwide throughout the UK. We have in house specialists who concentrate on debt management and loan consolidation and we have been looking after a great number of our clients for many years now.

Call the Lewis Alexander 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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Looking for a UK Personal Debt Consultant?

On December 27, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander

Lewis Alexander is registered in the UK to help and assist consumers with personal debt and other financial problems.

We are specialists in personal debt management consultancy and help many people every day to clear and consolidate personal debt problems.

If you are suffering from excessive charges and interest rates that are being applied to your credit agreements then you should take advice from a personal debt consultant sooner rather than later.

  • Do not stick your head in the sand like an Ostrich, get professional advice from trained personal debt consultants.

Your creditors will be sympathetic to the problem you find yourself with and you should approach them with details of changes in your circumstances or with reason for the lack of your ability to repay.

When credit and debt becomes a problem, it can seem as though you are the only one suffering, this is not the case, if we all could see inside other peoples wallets, we may find a lot of other people in the UK are currently suffering from the same financial problems.

Personal debt consultants can help by advising the best solution to take with advice tailored to your personal situation.

Some people just carry on day after day hoping that the problem will go away, unfortunately it does not and often it will get larger over time if not dealt with.

You must accept that you are not alone and personal debt consultants can help you, they are specialists in what they do and even though all of us are different, the problems we face financially tend to be the same.

If you would like to speak with a trained personal debt consultant in total confidence today, then please call our personal debt helpline using 0800 018 6868, lines are open 24 hours, 7 days.

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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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Worried about Debt this Christmas

On December 5, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • Personal debt causes a lot of pain due to worrying.
  • It’s a major cause of tremendous family quarrels and arguments.
  • It can cause huge upheavals in family and friendships as well as your place of work.

If you are worried about debt problems it can start to escalate very quickly and it almost feels as if it is out of control before it actually is.  The stress of debt can be very upsetting to anyone that is going through times of financial crisis or hardship.

This is not something that is a problem for only adults but it also affects the younger generations.  As times have become harder, many people have dipped into past savings to cope with the harsher economic climate and unemployment.  Increasing outgoings and money for basics such as rent, rates and heating are becoming hard to meet and find.

  • You may already be in a situation that seems to be getting out of control and you think that there is not much you can do to get yourself out of this debt trap.
  • You may be already feeling depressed and unable to sleep.

Let me tell you that even if you are in any of the situations above and as Christmas, the festive season is around the corner, you have many solutions that will make a real difference to the way you feel about yourself and your financial situation.

  • You can make one simple phone call to a professional who knows how to deal with your situation!
  • You may be going through phases of guilt and shame because of your financial status?
  • Professional counsellors have been dealing with these kinds of situations for a long time!

Worrying about your debt can take over your whole life and start you on a path of creating negative views and differing judgment on everything around.

  • All of a sudden the situation seems bleak, but there is help available!

Approach a reputable debt management company and you will be put at ease immediately.  The most difficult situation is to come to terms with the debt itself, ask for help, seek professional advice from people who have your interests at the heart of what they do, talk to them, and discuss your situation today in confidence.

Once you have made that initial contact you will find that things are not too bad.  You will certainly feel that you have the courage to deal with the problems and suddenly you can see a glimmer of light at the end of what seemed to be a long bleak tunnel.

  • Are you lying awake at night worrying about debt problems with Christmas just around the corner?
  • Have you been wondering how you will cope with trying to keep the children happy over the Christmas period?
  • Find yourself getting angry with you and the people around you?
  • Are you feeling depressed and feeling that you are all alone in debt?
  • Stop… Make one free call now!

Take a look around a few of the best debt management companies, spend a few minutes and check out their credentials.  Make a simple phone call and the hardest part is finally over. Your advisor will have a confidential chat with you to see where they can help and with what solutions.  Always remember that you need to take action to help yourself make the decisions that may seem difficult initially and start making adjustments to your own lifestyle and expenses.

Lewis Alexander Financial Management offer a first class personal Debt Management Service, nationwide throughout the UK.  We are based in Manchester and we have helped thousands of client’s in our history.  We employ specialists who concentrate on debt management and loan consolidation and we have been looking after a great number of our clients for many years now.

Contact Lewis Alexander online or call them using UK personal debt helpline 0800 018 6868, lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and your call is free.

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A Debt Management Plan that Works

On December 5, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • “A Debt Management Plan that actually worked, thank you so much”
  • “You did what you said you would, I am now debt free”
  • “It was a struggle but you gave me the support I needed”

The above are comments from within client testimonial letters, received by Lewis Alexander Financial Management.

We have been reading through some of the many letters and emails we receive from clients that have been using the services of a Lewis Alexander debt management plan.  The identity of the person has been changed to maintain their privacy of course and permission has been received from them to list the letter on our blog.

“I just wanted to write and let you know that since contacting your company I have been making progress with my life and my personal debt.  Before I contacted your team, I was going through a very difficult time, since I had never before been in any kind of financial arrears or personal debt but I found myself exasperated at circumstances with my work and the debt that I had built up due to compounding problems in my personal life.  I had done my research on quite a few companies and your company came up in my online searches, so I took the plunge and gave you a call on your free from a landline debt helpline.  That was a very difficult decision to make but I had realised that once I accepted my situation and that I had to accept my own part in the process, I had to take action and do something about it.  I wanted to let you know that it was probably the best decision I made.  You personally answered my call and put me at ease straight away and were very sympathetic to my predicament.  The mere fact that you listened to my debt problems and came up with solutions with regard to the debt management plan and the various paths that I could go down lifted a huge burden that I had been carrying around with me.  I know that it was affecting me and everyone around me.  Once you outlined what I needed to do and the details I needed to send to you so that you could work out what I could reasonably afford to pay and manage my debt, I felt like I could go out and get on with my life again.  The fact that you were also able to negotiate with my creditors with the repayment plan we came up with was a leap in helping me along and coping with the mountain of worry I had built up.  I had worries of the bailiffs and debt collectors turning up from the credit companies who I had not been able to pay and realised that had I not buried my head in the sand so to speak earlier, I would have been in a much better situation.  Once the debt management plan was in place, I was almost a different person. Knowing that I would be sending all the nasty letters received from my creditors directly to you to deal with every week and not worrying about it made a huge difference to my daily life.  May I thank you for at first helping me come to terms with my mounting personal debt problem, helping me to deal with the situation by talking to me when I needed someone to talk to about my concerns and finally, negotiating with my creditors for a reduction of interest and charges being applied to my accounts.  I would not have been able to do that on my own, regardless of my past business successes and knowledge!”

Allan – (Real Identity hidden due to data protection)

That was an extract of part of a letter we received after we accepted Allan as a client and we were able to help him deal with his debt worries and work out a solution for an affordable debt management plan.

Please be aware that we try to help people in these situations and no two people will have the same circumstances, we will advise the best way forward depending on the individuals current circumstance.

A debt management plan may be one of the options that we suggest for you. You must make the first move and contact our team, so that we can discuss your personal financial problems.

Lewis Alexander offer a first class national debt management service throughout the UK.  We are based in Manchester and have helped thousands of people in our history.  We have in house specialists who concentrate on debt management plans and personal loan consolidation and we have been looking after a great number of our clients for many years now.

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

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How does Debt Consolidation work?

On November 27, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • How does Debt Consolidation work?
  • What is the best way to get Debt Help?

In our business of managing hundreds of clients finances and helping them with their debt consolidation, we have found that the biggest cause of stress in families is always regarding their personal debt and how best to manage the debt problem that can spiral out of control very easily.

We find that many people are not aware of the debt help that is available for people who genuinely want to reduce their debt and be able to cope with managing their income and expenditure.

There are many financial companies who have an excellent track record in helping people in this situation and these companies are able to ease their clients’ worries very quickly.

Debt consolidation is one method that can be used very effectively to reduce your outgoings and balance it with your in comings, especially with expert help.

  • Many people need educating in what one needs to do in this situation!

Contacting a debt consolidation company will help and educate them as to what decisions need to be made to effectively manage the current situation in the best possible way.  This in itself is a way that a client can receive immediate relief from the worries of not being able to cope financially and the ability to sit down or talk to a consultant over the phone will have long term benefits for the individuals financial future.

Over the many years of managing and clearing clients debts, our experience tells us that once a client contacts a debt management or debt consolidation company, they are put at ease, knowing that that they will not have to deal with a bailiff or collection agent knocking on their door demanding monies that they cannot afford.  The fact that the debt agency is there to help in this situation makes a huge difference.

  • What Is Debt Consolidation?

In the simplest terms, debt consolidation means that you take all of your individual unsecured or secured repayments such as credit cards, overdrafts, loans and catalogues etc and put them all together as one full amount owed. This full amount is the amount that is then arranged into one consolidated loan, offering the benefit of making one lower, affordable and reduced monthly repayment over a longer period initially, if necessary with the effect of reducing ones monthly outgoings.

  • The main purpose of this is to;

1)  Reduce the total amount of debt – this can be achieved effectively when you work closely with one lender who will pay off all your outstanding debt and consolidate it into one monthly repayment.

2)  Create one new payment to a new lender that is far smaller than all the individual payments to various lenders. Debt consolidation companies have much more experience dealing with lenders in this scenario and can also negotiate a much better rate of interest, effectively reducing your overall personal debt.

3)  Allowing you in time to reduce your overall debt if you can make slightly larger payments in due course will have the net effect that you would pay much less in interest over the whole period.

  • One of the benefits that occurs as a result of the above is that you end up with a much better organized financial statement regarding your income and expenditure.

We all find that many bills to pay means you have to be so much better organised and able to meet all the various payments at the due dates or end up paying penalties for late payments, causing you to pay much more in the long run and also affecting your credit rating along the way.

One outgoing for a loan is much easier managed than 10 different payments to various lenders!

  • What are my options when Consolidating my Debt?

1)  If you own your own home and have a reasonable amount of equity in your home you may consider the route of refinancing your existing mortgage to pay off other debts which will reduce your overall interest paid.

2)  If you have a fairly good credit rating you may be able to obtain a personal loan and many people would favor this as the equity in their homes has been drastically reduced in the last few years. You can find out more information about these specialist loans from good debt consolidation companies or debt counselors.

3)  If you have credit cards with large balances then you may opt to transfer all your other debts onto one single card, but you will end up paying higher interest or charges with this method.

4)  Many times you may be able to get help or assistance from family and friends, however, when one wants to keep a certain amount of privacy with financial affairs, most people are swayed against this course of action unless they have very good and open relations with family.  You are also likely to create tensions in family when the last thing you need is further tension, lack of privacy and stress.

5)  Seeking out a professional debt consolidation company – For many people this would be the best option, working closely with a time served and reputable company who have specialists in debt consolidation, debt management and debt reduction will really help you. The advantage is in the fact that they have an in depth knowledge of the areas concerned and also have very good working relationships with banks, credit card companies and general debt collectors and lenders. It is possible in many cases that they are able to negotiate better rates of interest and settlements.

It is important to note here that lately, there has been a surge in new companies operating in this debt arena, many of whom have very little track record and your interests are, shall we say, not their first priority!  It is very important that you do your homework and work with only the best companies that are prepared to look after your interests first, not their own.

Lewis Alexander Financial Management offer a first class personal Debt Management Service, nationwide throughout the UK. We are based in Manchester and we have helped thousands of client’s in our history.  We have in house specialists who concentrate on debt management and loan 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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Struggling with debt?

On November 25, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander

If you are struggling with debt in the UK, you must obtain personal debt advice as soon as possible.

  • Unable to manage monthly repayments?
  • Are you receiving letters and calls from credit card and loan companies?
  • Have you missed payments on any of your credit agreements?

If you answered YES to any of the above, you need personal debt information that will assist you in clearing debts without further loans.  Struggling with debt in the long term is not the way forward and the sooner you find away to end your debt, the better!

There are many different debt solutions which you can explore to find the one that suits you best, what you do need is the correct advice and this is not always available.  The reason for this is due to most debt companies wanting to take you down the route that is most profitable to them, not YOU!

The most usual ways to clear your debt without another loan are listed below;

Debt Management

IVA in England or Trust Deed in Scotland

Going Bankrupt

You may have already considered some of the above if you are struggling with debts and may not have received the correct advice based on your current situation.

At Lewis Alexander, we specialise in helping people every day who are struggling to clear their personal debts, we do this without the individual having to take on further credit or loan agreements.

We will be able to help you! All you need to do is call our personal debt helpline in confidence and have a brief confidential chat with one of our experts.  This way you are not paying for the advice and you can compare our debt help to other companies you my have spoken with, or are about to speak with.

  • Call free today, what have got to lose apart from ten minutes of your time?
  • You may even find that after our brief chat, your problem is not as bad as you originally thought, which in itself is a massive relief to most people.
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Information about Free Charity Debt Management Services!

On November 13, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • Free debt management services and information about who really funds these free debt companies or debt charities in the UK.

  • Financial charities that offer a free debt management plan can certainly not be expecting all their staff to work for free! So who is funding these free debt services or so called charities.

Your creditors are possibly on the large list of banks and credit companies that contribute funds to free debt management charities, these funds are paid to the charities from the banks and credit companies for the work undertaken on clients files.

We are proud at Lewis Alexander that we do charge the client directly and transparently for our debt management service, these charges are all agreed upon with you first and you are not tied into any formal agreement of any type whilst utilising our informal debt service.

  • You are free to leave at any time!
  • We only ask for your personal commitment to our plan for your financial recovery.

Not all debt charities are the same, some are totally free debt services such as the governments CAB or Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you wish to discuss how Lewis Alexander could help you better understand personal debt management, please contact our personal debt helpline today using 0800 018 6868 our lines are open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week!  Your call is free from a landline.

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Clear debts without loans

On November 4, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander

If you are trying to clear personal debts in the UK and have found that when applying for loans or credit you have been refused, there are options available to you that enable you to clear debts without another loan. The 3 best known debt solutions are listed below,

Clear debt without a loan

Clear debt without a loan

  • Debt Management Plan
  • IVA or Trust Deed in Scotland
  • Bankruptcy

Lewis Alexander is a specialist debt management company, we help people clear debts without loans, we also offer a free from a landline debt helpline to UK residents struggling with personal financial problems.  The advice we give is based on individual personal circumstances and is often not what the person (possibly you) wants to hear.

This is where debt counselling comes in, we have a proven method of helping those that wish to be helped.  Often in life, the truth is the hardest to accept, usually with any personal financial problem, there is an element of truth that needs accepting before the individual can move ahead.  That is the hard part to get over and after what we call the acceptance period, the individual feels so much relief from the stress of the debt problem that they really can continue with a normal daily life just like they experienced before being in debt.

If you are suffering with financial problems such as mortgage arrears, missed or late payments on credit agreements etc, you must deal with the situation as soon as possible, in the time it has taken to read this article so far, you could have dialed our free from a landline debt helpline using 0800 018 6868.

Our advisors will help you to make a fresh start financially and offer you tested and proven methods that you can employ to combat the pressure from debt collection agents or lenders that may be chasing you.  Letters and phone calls are the most worrying to people along with the threats of court action.  There are laws that appertain directly to debt collectors and the procedures of collection that they undertake, more importantly, the Office of Fair Trading sets out debt collection guidance that the collection industry is expected to adhere to, just the same as the debt management guidance set out for debt agencies and not for profit debt charities.

For further advice and help on how to clear debts without loans, contact our personal debt helpline today, lines are open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week and your call is usually FREE from a landline.

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National TV Advert

On October 29, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • Our national TV advert for personal debt management help and advice in the UK.
  • Clear debts without a loan is the name of the advert, we did not spend much on producing the advert, we prefered to spend on showing it.  We are proud of how it gets our message over without having to have spent a small fortune.  This benefits our clients by helping us keep our costs down.
Debt Help Service

Our National TV Advert for Debt Management Plans

Call today for free debt help and advice if you are struggling with any personal debt issues using 0800 018 6868

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Debt Helpline UK – Enquiries Doubled!

On October 29, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander

Lewis Alexander, the personal debt consolidation service based in Manchester England, reports that calls to the debt helpline they offer have doubled for the months of September / October 2009 when compared to previous years.

The “credit crunch” has obviously been the contributing factor of changes in circumstance for most people within the UK over the last 18 months.  Many people will just carry on and find new or alternative employment where for others, it is much harder to do so.

This can be down to several factors such as age, ability, health, stress, depression, location etc.

Most calls received by Lewis Alexander on their personal debt helpline are from people who have recently suffered a change in circumstance and need initial advice on how to deal with personal debt based on the change they personally have suffered.

  • The main advice to take on board is that all priority debts such as Rent, Mortgages (including secured home loans), Council Tax, Electricity, Gas and Water are paid, or at least the companies are contacted by the individual to make new and possibly reduced payment arrangements for the short term future!
  • Many credit companies and lenders will not offer this advice freely to the debtor and they put extra pressure on the situation that legally need not be there. Due to the way priority debts are structured under the consumer credit act, consumers must honour these first!

For more detailed advice regarding a change in personal circumstance, please conatact one of our trained debt advisors today in total confidence.  Our lines are open and your call is FREE from a landline, call 0800 018 6868

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