Covid19: UK Payment Holiday Extended for 3 months

The UK government has told banks to give more time to millions of people struggling with debts owing to the coronavirus crisis.

Credit card, store card, catalogue credit and personal loan customers will be able to defer repayments for another three months.

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The help was first ordered by the City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in April.

Anyone taking advantage of the freeze must still pay back the debt at the end of the deferral period.

This has prompted debt charities to warn of the potential for individuals’ financial problems to simply be stored up for a later date.

The FCA said that if borrowers could resume their repayments they should do so, to avoid getting into more serious difficulty in the future. Banks may also be stricter in who qualifies for the payment deferral, and might only agree to a reduction in minimum repayments.

The regulator stressed that using the payment deferral should not affect a borrower’s credit rating. However, it warned that loan providers did have other ways to check on whether payment holidays had been taken, such as asking for bank statements, when making decisions on whether to agree to credit applications.

Although these extensions are currently proposals, banks only have until Monday to comment and the FCA expects the rules to be implemented soon after.

Help for people with car finance, payday loans, rent-to-own deals, pawnbroking, and buy-now-pay-later agreements will be updated by the regulator at a later date.

Most Banks are currently offering interest free overdraft up to a certain amount with reduced interest rate.

Check for details on your banks website. Most application can be done online.

Source: BBC News

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Covid19 financial difficulty & what UK banks are offering

Many banks are offering help to customers in financial difficulty due to coronavirus, by offering mortgage, loans and credit card payment holidays, increasing limits for overdrafts, credit cards and cash withdrawals, waiving overdraft charges and offering other financial difficulty solutions.

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It is recommended to contact your financial provider or lender, first visit their website to explore the various ways you can get help or support if you are impacted financially by coronavirus and can’t afford to keep up with repayments or manage your finance.

Coronavirus help and support UK major banks are offering:

  • Barclays Bank – See the source imageMortgages; Payment holiday of up to three months. Personal Loan; 3 months repayment holiday. Credit card;  No late payment or cash advance fees for the next 90 days starting from 19 March, and you might be able to increase your credit limit to help you in an emergency. Overdraft; No interest between 27 March and 30 April 2020. You don’t need to do anything – it’ll happen automatically. Savings; No penalty charges for withdrawing your money early. Visit Barclays website here for more information and updates.
  • Natwest Bank – See the source imageMortgages; Payment holidays for up to 3 months. Personal Loans; Payment deferrals of up to 3 months. Credit card; Refunds on request for cash advance fees to access cash in an emergency, and you can apply to increase your credit card limit. No late payment fee from 1st April until 30th June 2020, you don’t need to get in touch, it will be done automatically. Overdraft; From Monday 30th March, for 3 months, if you are a personal Banking customer using your overdraft, you will pay less as overdraft interest will be at current rates (Representative 19.89% APR (variable) for most customers) and you won’t pay any fees or charges. Savings; Close and access cash with no early closure charge from your fixed term savings account. Visit Natwest website here for more information and updates.
  • Lloyds Bank – See the source imageMortgages; 3 month payment holiday. Personal Loans; Repayment holiday of up to 3 months. Credit card; Payment holiday for 3 months. If agreed, you won’t need to make the usual payments to your personal credit card. Apply to increase your existing Credit Card limit using internet banking. Overdraft; Automatic £300 overdraft buffer if you have an existing arranged overdraft on your current account. This buffer will be interest-free from 6th April to 6th July 2020. Apply online for new overdraft and existing overdraft limit increase. Savings; Access your savings held in a fixed term account, charge will be waived. Visit Lloyds website here for more information and updates.
  • HSBC Bank – See the source imageMortgages; Payment holiday of up to 3 months. Personal Loans; 

    You can request to defer your next 3 repayments. This gives you the chance to pause repayments for 3 months. Credit Card; You can request a 3-month payment holiday. Overdraft; From 26 March 2020 until further notice, no interest charges on the first £300 of overdraft borrowing. Savings; Access restrictions and early closure fees waived for the Fixed Rate Saver product if you need to access your money.  Customers can still close their Regular Saver account and withdraw the funds if they need to, as normal. Visit HSBC website here for more information and updates.

  • Santander Bank – See the source imageMortgages; Get up to 3 months holiday from your mortgage payments. Personal Loans; Online application forms for repayment holiday will be available soon. Credit card; From 31 March until 6 July, late payments fees and cash advances will be automatically removed. Online application forms for repayment holiday will be available soon. Overdraft; Automatically waive interest on the first £350 from 6 April until 6 July. If you need to add an overdraft to your account further information on this is being prepared and will be shared next week. Savings; Access your money held in Santander fixed rate bonds and fixed rate ISAs before the end of the fixed term, free of charge. Visit Santander website here for more information and updates.

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TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

 

How to protect your identity

CIFAS (the UK’s fraud prevention service) warns of the danger of identity theft if house owners are not scrupulously careful about securing all personal data in their home effectively and when moving home. It cites the case of a man who took himself off the electoral register in his old home and redirected his post through Royal Mail only to find himself targeted by identity thieves six months after the move.

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The fraudsters had re-registered the homeowner onto the electoral roll, set up a company in his name and run up large utilities debts and other bills. The fraud only came to light after his application for a credit card was refused.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is when a person’s personal details are stolen, and can happen whether that person is alive or dead.

Identity thieves can steal your personal information in a number of ways, including going through your post or rubbish to find bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers or tax information.

They could steal personal information from your wallet or purse by taking a driving licence, or credit or bank cards, or could obtain your credit report by posing as someone who has a lawful right to the information.

Some individuals may use the internet to acquire the personal information you share on unsecured sites. They may also use

Your information could even be stolen while you shop. In some cases, fraudsters may even ‘skim’ your credit card information when you make a purchase, leading to card cloning or card-not-present fraud.

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The following are ways to help prevent you from identity theft:

  • Keep all personal document secure and ensure there are no personal documents or other papers carrying your name and details anywhere in the house when you leave
  • Protect your internet-connected devices with up-to-date security software, and make sure you install all official software updates and security fixes on such devices
  • Don’t throw out anything containing your name, address or financial details without shredding it
  • Keep checks on your credit records regularly
  • If you are moving home, make sure you redirect your mail, register with the Mail Preference Service and make sure to inform your utilities, service providers and everyone of your new address in good time to avoid any mail going to your old address
  • End utility and landline telephone contracts before you move out of the home
  • If any of your things are going into storage, make sure there’s nothing personally identifiable from the boxes
  • Be careful when using public wi-fi networks. Never use them to access sensitive apps or sites, such as mobile banking

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TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Finance Management: Knowledge is power

People are living in credibly hectic lifestyles and this lack of spare time means many put off reviewing their finances. Keeping on top of your money matters should be a priority and doesn’t necessarily have to be a labourious, time consuming task.

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The reality is that circumstances change – prices fluctuate, our personal situation change, such as jobs and family affairs. So being equipped with knowledge about the health of your finance is a necessity, so you can react should circumstances in your life change.

Top financial priority

  • Paying down debt – mortgage, credit, loans etc
  • Building savings – financial savings, energy savings, etc
  • Paying bills – rent, energy, utility, tax, etc
  • Essential living expenses – food, clothes, health care, etc
  • Lifestyle expenses – holiday, entertainment, hobby, etc
  • Investment – cash, securities (equities, bonds and derivatives), commodity, etc
  • Retirement – pension, personal plan, annuity, etc

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

 

UK Soldier commit suicide over £13k debt used for property investor training

A soldier killed himself after paying £13,000 for training with a property company that promises to help people become “financially free”.

The family of army reservist Danny Butcher, 37, said he never made the money he thought he would.

Dozens of people want refunds from Property Investors, which has been described as operating like a “cult”.

The company, run by former illusionist Samuel Leeds, said: “People should only purchase courses they can afford.”

Mr Butcher, from Doncaster, had spoken about his mental health in the past and his family said he had existing debt before he took on loans and credit card debt to pay Property Investors.

His family said he had been led to believe he would make enough money from property deals and rental income to replace a wage or salary.

Mr Butcher’s widow Charlotte, 32, said: “I think that he felt that he’d let everyone down, that he’d messed everything up and that there was no way out of it.

Danny and Claire on their wedding day
Mr Butcher took his own life just 11 weeks after his wedding

“All he wanted was his own chance at making something of himself for me and his son, he saw this as his opportunity.

“Obviously taking out all of the loans, he put himself on the line, but it was a bit like ‘yeah it’s scary but without risk there’s no reward’.

“He genuinely thought this was his chance because of how easy they made it all sound.”

Property Investors puts on free two-day crash courses, offering people the option to sign up to a training academy where they will learn how to become “financially free” by investing in property.

The company described Mr Leeds as having “found his own success” after attending training courses, with his wealth coming “primarily from his property investment activity”.

Mr Leeds posts videos on YouTube nearly every day promoting his methods. In one he joked that he would punch people in the throat unless they subscribed to his YouTube channel.

In one clip he promises to work one-on-one with his customers, to provide “a custom, tailored, bespoke plan” and “hold your hand, make it happen”.

Mr Butcher attended a free course in March with his brother-in-law Glyn Jones.

Mr Jones said: “It felt like brainwashing, like a religious cult kind of thing but done on a much smaller scale.

“What he’s offering never appears, I don’t see how it can.”

According to his wife, Mr Butcher’s “gut instinct” told him not to sign up for the academy and he held out for two days before changing his mind, swayed by the promise of exclusive mentorship and one-to-one training.

Mr Butcher’s family said he did not get the support he had been promised.

The company said academy members had access to weekly video calls and monthly webinars with specialist property coaches.

After failing to make any money, Danny Butcher took his own life in October.

Source: BBC News

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

UK Mortgage Prisoner Action Group launches legal action over ‘unfair’ rates

Mortgage borrowers “unfairly trapped” on high interest rates when their lenders were nationalised are launching legal action against the companies they say are responsible.

Some 150,000 homeowners are said to have been overcharged for years, unable to switch to a cheaper deal after their mortgages were transferred.

See the source image

One man who says he paid an extra £32,000 said it was a “disgrace”.

The Treasury said it was working to “remove barriers” to cheaper deals.

Many of those affected – usually having taken out mortgages in the late 2000s with Northern Rock or Bradford & Bingley – have been paying more than 5% interest on their mortgages for the past 12 years.

In some cases, this amounts to more than double the cost of the best rates available on the market.

The group legal action is being taken against numerous companies.

Damon Parker, from law firm Harcus Parker, which is bringing the legal action on behalf of the UK Mortgage Prisoner Action Group, told the Victoria Derbyshire programme mortgage companies had a “duty” to offer customers a “fair rate”.

“And we say that our clients have been unfairly treated because they’re paying too much… at a time when every other mortgage customer is paying unprecedented low rates.”

See the source image

“It’s not fair to charge people just because they’re collateral damage caught up in a nationalisation.

“Some people have got into terrible financial situations. Some people have been repossessed.”

In March, the Financial Conduct Authority proposed loosening its affordability checks for those affected, saying it would “make it easier for customers to get a more affordable mortgage”.

But banks and building societies would still need to agree to take on these customers.

The Treasury said in a statement it had “worked with the Financial Conduct Authority to introduce new rules that remove barriers preventing some customers from accessing cheaper deals and continue to work on this matter”.

The group legal action, brought by the UK Mortgage Prisoner Action Group, is now looking to claim repayment of the extra interest.

Source: BBC News

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TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

UK household debts excluding mortgage rose to £119bn

Debts excluding mortgages are on the rise in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Debts including credit card debt and personal loans rose 11% to £119bn in the two years to March 2018, according to the ONS study, which is published every two years.

Average household financial debt rose 9% to £9,400.

Debt graphic

Much of the increase is a result of higher student loan and hire purchase debt.

“The figures are skewed slightly by the £32bn of student debts – which the vast majority of graduates will never pay back in full,” said Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown.

“However, even excluding that we’re carrying £87bn in loans, credit cards, hire purchase agreements, overdrafts and arrears.”

Source: BBC News

UK Finance survey shows UK mortgage approvals hit 6 month low

The number of new mortgages approved by British banks hit a six-month low in September, according to a survey that adds to signs the housing market is slowing again ahead of the October Brexit deadline.

 

Industry body UK Finance said banks approved 42,310 loans for home purchase in September, compared with 42,527 in August, according to seasonally-adjusted data. However, the number of approvals for remortgaging rose to the highest level since November 2017 at 32,649.

UK Finance said annual growth in consumer credit rose to a 19-month high of 4.5%, driven by personal loans and overdrafts rather than credit card lending.

Source: Reuters

How to prepare for buying a property in the UK

Buying a property in the UK is a huge investment and most times a life time investment and as such must be approached carefully and with the utmost preparation. Below are key points that can help you prepare for buying a property in the UK;

PIPA property photo

  • Build up your savings by reviewing your expenditures downward to increase your disposable income.  If you’ve got loans or credit cards it makes sense to repay them first. This is because the interest you pay to borrow is usually higher than the interest you get on savings accounts.
  • Save for your deposit. Buying a property requires deposit and the more deposit you have the better change of getting a good mortgage deal.
  • Check your credit score and report to make sure its good enough for a mortgage loan. If not you should work towards improving it.

mortgage-imagery-homes-made-from-twenty-pound-notes

  • Plan your budget based on the most you may have to pay for a mortgage, try not to take the maximum mortgage on offer, and don’t forget to include mortgage related costs and fees.
  • Work out how long you could live on savings if you lost your job.
  • Check what benefits your employer will provide if you get ill.
  • Consider taking out insurance in case you are made redundant, get critically ill or have an accident.
  • Use mortgage calculator to work out how much a change in interest rates would affect your own loan.

For property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk