Struggling with Redundancy?

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

You set off with considerable enthusiasm for a new start, a reasonable lump sum, a chat with your partner promising that it will ‘all be ok’ and within weeks you are starting to wish that the redundancy letter you thought would bring a new direction to your life had actually landed on someone else’s desk. 

  • You are not alone!

This is a surprisingly common scenario facing thousands of working and middle class families across the country who found that they were subject to downsizing by their employer to cope with the global downturn in economic fortune.

This of course has meant a significant reduction in household income for these families.  Whilst this reduction in income is survivable for most families for one or two months, the moment that it pushes five and six months it really starts to pose a problem.

For months three and four, the life savings start to disappear, before the kid’s university funds and finally the Christmas budget goes and before you know it, you are starting to miss payments on the credit card bills and the car finance etc.

With the job market the way it is, it can be hard to get any job at the moment, let alone a job that pays the same as the one you used to hold.  So, as the month’s creep past and the savings have been eroded, it is understandable that keeping up with the rent or the mortgage becomes more important than keeping up with the Jones’.

  • There are options open to people in this position and quite often things are considerably more flexible than you might think.

First up should always come a full frank review of your household budget.  Detailing the complete list of current incomings and outgoings can often be a combination of emotions.  For many it reveals that the monthly list of regular payments far exceeds the expected amount.  For others it shows that the scale of the ‘nice to have’ expenses – those that really aren’t essential to everyday living.  It may also be a cause for upset as you realise the scale of the problem that you are faced with.

However, once you have completed step one, you are ready to move forward and look to the future for you and your family.  Having understood the scale of the problem, it is much easier to then look for appropriate solutions to combat these issues.

Prior to looking at a debt plan or any sort of further loan, it is sensible to discuss your newly found knowledge with existing lenders.  Having discovered the extent of your financial situation, it may be that existing lenders can restructure your payments.  Extending the term to repay the funds, reducing the monthly payments temporarily, or converting the loan to ‘interest only’ are all options that could be explored.

  • If you have already missed some key points in time, then this may not be possible and one free call to Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868 will help you to understand the best options for you.
  • We start by conducting a free financial health check, which ensures that we understand your financial situation, so that we can offer the solution that suits you best.

As industry experts in debt management solutions and services, we are ideally placed to understand your unique situation and then rather than sell you a plan that may not be suitable, we work to deliver a plan that best helps you move forward in your work and personal life.

We find that our clients respect us more for being honest with them and genuinely helping them with their individual circumstances, rather than pressure selling a specific solution.

We don’t charge any up-front fees for our financial health check (our continued services are chargeable should you proceed) and make sure that you understand all the implications of the debt plan you may approve following the completion of your financial healthcheck.

  • If you want to talk to one of our advisors in absolute confidence, call us FREE on 0800 018 6868.

For those who have used our services, Lewis Alexander is a name that people have learnt to trust to help them start to, or clear, personal debt problems.

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Debt Support Services

On February 19, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • Trying to find a Debt Support Service in the UK?
  • Unable to get a loan to consolidate your financial problems?
  • Struggling to understand how best to help yourself?
  • OUR INITIAL ADVICE IS FREE – ONGOING SERVICES ARE CHARGEABLE

When you need debt support, it is very hard to find a company that you can trust.  Most personal debt advice that you obtain from debt support companies will tell you that the best option is either;

  • An IVA
  • Bankruptcy
  • A Debt Management Plan
  • or possibly even another loan or form of finance such as a remortgage.

It is not usually an every day occurrance being forced to deal with such options of financial relief, however, it is important that you do not allow any individual or company to push you into any debt consolidation agreement without you being fully aware and educated on how you will benefit and in what way your chosen debt solution could affect you.

Debt support services exist all around the UK, some charge the clients fees directly for the service they provide and some charge the clients creditors for the work they do on the clients behalf.

  • These companies trade as charitable organisations and guise themselves as free debt support services.

 A good debt support service will have the clients best interest at heart and by managing the financial problems in a structured manner, the client usually feels relief from the pressure within days of joining the support service.

When a not so reputable debt support company starts to manage a clients finances, the client does not actually get to find out that the service is less than standard until it is too late and the debts are usually in a further mess than they were previously.

Be warned that anyone in personal debt is classed by the Office of Fair Trading as a vulnerable consumer, this means you are at risk of other people or traders / companies taking advantage of your current financial circumstances. People will lie to you even when it is to do with something so serious as personal debt support.

Most people that call our free from a landline personal debt helpline for debt support, struggle to find a way that enables them to pay bills when they can afford to pay them and the amount that they can afford to pay.

If you set a budget each month that you stick to, this can be the first step to financial freedom, you may not have all the things that you wanted that month but you will certainly not have a credit card bill for items that you most problaby never needed. Not all personal debt is built up from what we call “retail therapy” but you would be surprised at how much is.

When you have decided that you need to obtain confidential support regarding your financial situation, please call our helpline without delay, often the sooner you sort and solve a debt problem, the easier it actually is to manage.

Call Lewis Alexander free using 0800 018 6868, lines are open 24 hours / 7 days a week and your call is free!

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How can a Debt Management Plan help me?

On December 16, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander

How can a Debt Management Plan help me?

  • Need Debt Management Help?
  • Find Debt Management Questions and Answers!

During the course of our business day, we receive a lot of questions from prospective clients about debt management, how we can help them, how much it costs and the best debt soltuin for them to follow.

As you can imagine, all situations are slightly different and we specialise in helping people from all walks of life, you could be a single parent with a low paying job or even a footballer.  Yes, even they get into these kinds of financial situations and need help with their debt problems. They are fully aware of the quality help a debt management plan can give them should it be needed.

  • We have listed a few of the questions below,

One of those often asked questions is – How can a Debt Management Plan help me?

Debt Management Plans can help you if you are struggling and unable to repay consumer debts such as personal loans, credit cards, store cards, bank overdrafts and catalogues etc.  If your income is lower than your outgoings, this will cause you to get further into debt each month.

A Debt Management Company will gather all the information from you regarding all your unsecured debts, your income from wages and any other means including state benefits and then decide with you, how much you are able to repay as one monthly sum to start the pathway to reducing the total indebtedness over time.  One, new and affordable simple monthly payment is arrived at with the client to ensure they are comfortable with meeting that payment.

  • The Debt Management Company will then negotiate with the various creditors as to the amount they will each receive monthly.

As you can imagine this involves a fair amount of work and negotiation with the various creditors.

One of the most common types of feedback we receive is that clients are so thankful that we make this process as pain free as possible and we manage to arrange a new debt repayment plan without the clients having to even write one letter.

It is possible to arrange all this yourself, but imagine just for a moment how much time energy and cost would be involved in the process if you were trying to deal directly with your creditors.

  • A client who is already in financial trouble is less likely to be able to cope with such situations as well as trying to negotiate the best terms possible.

Yes, it’s true that a debt management plan will cost you a small amount each month, payable as part of the payment plan and usually included within your monthly payment but the cost is negligible when you consider the many aspects involved in arranging a structured repayment plan yourself.

  • One needs to peek into the management side of a plan to see what is involved and appreciate the complex negotiations a reputable debt management company undertakes on behalf of a client.

Once a sensible monthly payment is agreed, the debt help provider will normally distribute your payments monthly on your behalf to your creditors on a pro-rata basis, minus the costs of the plan.

  • A second question we receive is;

Do I need to pay any legal fees and Do I need to put my property up as security?

The answer to that question is NO in both cases!

A Debt Management Plan is not a legally binding agreement and therefore no legal fees are involved.  If you have a property, this will not be needed for security when entering into an informal debt management plan.

What you will also find is that once a fair payment plan is arrived at, most creditors are very flexible in their attitude towards a debtor.  This is very probably due to the fact that many lenders or loan companies look at it with the attitude that the person involved has taken the positive steps to approach a Debt Management Company and made efforts to re negotiate their debts.

  • This is a very positive move!

They can also be very flexible depending on your track record of repayments.

You must bear in mind that under normal circumstances, debt management plans usually do not deal with but do take into account any secured loans such as mortgages or court fines and any tax arrears. These debts are normally budgeted for within your expenditure part of debt management plans financial statement.

For impartial advice on how a Debt Management Plan can help you right now, contact Lewis Alexander and ask to speak to a personal debt counsellor for free advice.

Professional debt companies like Lewis Alexander understand what people are going through and are willing to offer assistance that allows you to cope in these difficult circumstances.  We will help you review all your finances in private and make a suggestion for a positive solution.

Lewis Alexander Financial Management, offer a first class personal Debt Management Servicenationwide throughout the UK. We are based in Trafford Park, Manchester and we have helped thousands of people in our history.

We have in house specialists who concentrate on debt management and personal debt 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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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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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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