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Financial

Advice and Tips on Saving and Investment

Investing - Loans - Consumer Protection - Fraud - Debt - Credit Rating - Swindles - Mortgages - Credit Cards - Cashback Websites - Energy Costs -

Save money to spend on your holiday - Advance planning can result in significant savings. If you need to park your car at the airport use long term off-airport parking, you will be bussed from the airport to another location but that will save a bundle over short term or even airport long-term parking

did you know that changing your money at the airport is really expensive compared with other sources. Some credit/debit cards offer zero or very low exchange rates. It is worth checking out with good financial websites, a good one in the UK is www.moneysavingexpert.com

Improving Your Credit Score 

You’ve checked your credit score and found it to be less than stellar. The problem is, you will soon be in the market to buy a new home or new car. You’ve got to take steps to improve your score or you risk paying higher interest rates or even worse, not qualifying at all. Credit scores are used by lenders to indicate a person’s credit worthiness......more

The above was taken from an article by Steve Baik who has an a very useful website dealing with all matters financial - www.creditservicer.com - - Read on

Thinking of investing in shares or property. First do a reality check. Do I have credit card debt and /or outstanding loans? Deal with those first. The return from investment is not likely to be more than the interest you are paying.

Investing.

"It is OK sometimes to pull all of your money out of the equities market. Oh and please don't put my name on the Website" ~~ London stockbroker

Mony a mickle maks a muckle. (small, insignificant contributions can over time add up to quite a lot) ~~ Old Scottish saying

Sage advice.  Never invest in anything that eats  ~ omeomy  

Loans

†Do not just accept that the rate of interest gives a true picture of the cost of the loan. Ask what the monthly repayments are, then phone around and see what other companies are offering. The APR is not always the true cost of the loan. Most payment protection schemes can add greatly to the cost of borrowing and are in most cases almost worthless ~~ levitater

Household Finance

1. Keeping a record of all of your transactions, although taking a short while to enter, can save a lot of headaches and time later. a list checked against your bank statement is sufficient for those who are not financially minded.

2. Budget by putting by one twelfth of your normal yearly household bills in a bank account each month. Do this with items such as household insurance's, gas and electricity, water, community charges, car insurance's and tax etc. When a bill comes in you can pay it with your mind at ease that the cash is there to meet the bill. Regards, ~~ Ian Richards

Be wary of signing anything that isnít completely filled in. Donít accept oral promises, get†everything in writing.

Consumers. 

  • Putting your signature to a piece of paper is something we all do many many times in the course of a lifetime.  Most times the act of signing a piece of paper has little effect, there are times, however that a small squiggle on a piece of paper can change a life dramatically and usually for the worse.

  • If there is anything you donít like in the contract donít sign it until the seller has changed the contract and†initialled the changes. Always read the small print on the front and back of any contracts before you sign them. 

  • Ask for explanations for anything you donít understand, and  Keep all the relevant paperwork such as contracts, guarantees, warranties, or receipts. ~~

  • Donít Buy large items with cash. Credit cards can give free insurance, and additional rights. - Sebastian Henderson, Guilford. 

Taxation

Income Tax Returns. Always remember to double-check your arithmetic. Remember to sign†and date the return as well. - Anon

Swizzle

Guaranteed stock market linked bonds. UK Investors should check the small print. The performance of the bond could be dependent on not one but several entities performing well. A bit like winning a lottery!

Fraud

Prime bank Instrument Fraud, (PBI) The perpetrators convince their victims that there is a hidden international market in bank instruments. Victims rarely complain.

Debt

In the UK, for independent debt advice visit www.gov.uk/options-for-paying-off-your-debts

Credit Rating

Patience is needed to improve your rating.  Ignore the organisations who claim that they can clean it up overnite. Find out about your credit rating - US: www.experian.com www.equifax.com In the UK www.experian.com www.equifax.co.uk

Energy Costs

Invest in solar The cost of production of both thermal solar and Photo Voltaic solar panels is dropping significantly year on year and the reverse is true regarding the cost of electricity and gas from the utilities, OK Fracking has reduced the cost to some gas users but how long will it last and what are we paying in environmental degradation and climate change? David Edmunds

Gas Boilers have improved in efficiency over the years, you could be throwing away good money because your old boiler is low efficiency to start with and has further deteriorated over the years. Check out the current crop of Condensing and Combi Boilers, Your investment could pay for itself in a couple of years and you will then be set to save money as energy costs rise - as they must.. Dave Schuman



Credit Cards

Credit Card Companies Are Out For Your Money You're probably thinking "Tell me something I don't know" but in this time of low interest rates you might be thinking that you've got a great deal since credit card interest rates are low. Wrong. Credit card companies have a cut-off as to how low their interest rates will go. So when interest rates are low for lending, that doesn't mean your credit card rate will be low as well. If you don't know, or aren't sure, if your credit card company has a minimum interest rate just look at the fine print on your next credit card bill. If you can't read that small of print, and most of us can't, give the customer service a call. If your credit card company does have a minimum interest rate then I'd plan to look around and go with the credit card companies that don't. Because when the interest rates drop, you should get a break on your credit card rate.

The fixed rate on credit cards actually rose in the last twelve months. Why? Because the credit card companies have been actually losing money due to record numbers of delinquencies and bankruptcies. Those who can't pay now for their purchases in the past are sticking their bill to the rest of the credit card holders. 

So you may think that you want to get that credit card insurance being pushed by credit card companies that will pay your bill if you become disabled or unemployed. Not so fast. The average payout on a credit insurance policy is 30-50%. The National Association of Insurance Commissions actually recommends a payout of at least 60%. Payouts for debt cancellation and debt suspension is in the 1-3% range. That's definitely not worth the premiums. Get enough regular life insurance and disability insurance to cover your debt as their premiums are much cheaper and have greater payouts.

Beware of a credit card company trick that I recently ran into. I mailed a payment a week early but yet was still charged a late fee. Impossible I say. I found out the payment had to be in the credit card company's processing center by a certain time on the due date. Think of my credit card payment making it's way through the mail, to a P.O. box, then getting picked up, sorted, sent to the processing center, opened and recorded. And this has to be done by a certain date on the due date. Ouch. I suggest mailing in your payment at least two weeks early. ~~ Christine Breen

Useful links:
www.experian.com www.equifax.com  - Your credit rating in the USA 
www.experian.com www.equifax.co.uk - Your credit rating in the UK
www.lendersmark.org - Some really useful articles on Debt, Tax, Loans etc. Use the calculator to set payoff goals.
Creditscore

 

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