5 articles Tag finance

How Does A Poor Credit Score Affect Your Day to Day Life?

Everyone should know the importance of sound money management and the detrimental effects of having poor credit. Sadly around 18 million brits are currently thought to be actively harming their credit score and risking their financial future.

How Does A Poor Credit Score Affect Your Day to Day Life?

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Recently the economic downturn due to the Covid pandemic has seen the increased strain on people’s incomes and has resulted in more people missing payments or falling behind with their prices on credit accounts due to reduced revenues or increased bills eating into the money they have.

What Is A Poor Credit Score?

There are two main credit agencies in the UK and a list of variables that make up whether or not al ender accepts your credit application. On Experian, anything under 800 is classed as poor, and 720 and under is very poor. Equifax rates poor credit scores as those with a score of 420 or below with very poor from 0-279.

How Does Poor Credit Affect Your Day to Day Life?

Whether you realise it or not, having a poor credit score can affect more than a simple yes or no for applications you make. The effects can be wide-reaching and have an impact on many different things in your life. However, having poor credit now doesn’t mean this is it for you. You can always change your score and work to improve it by keeping on top of payments. You can follow money bloggers, listen to a credit risk podcast or join forums to get inspiration from others on how to improve your credit score.

This post looks at some of the ways a poor credit score can impact your life.

Renting Accommodation

If you have a good credit score, you can have your pick of homes to rent. Because many landlords and letting agencies conduct credit checks before allowing you to move in, having a poor credit history could jeopardise your plans to relocate.

The prevelance of ‘comprehensive’ credit checks from companies such as Experian has made it possible for landlords to check your financial history before you move in. Over six years, they look for any financial mistakes, such as a CCJ or defaults, that may have occurred in your life.

This isn’t just restricted to those applying for a mortgage now. Everyone is aware of how a poor credit history and bad financial mistakes can stop you from getting reasonable mortgage rates or even a mortgage at all. But a poor credit score also affects your renting ability too.

Buying A New Car

Buying a new car isn’t cheap. Many people consider financing their new vehicle with a personal loan to spread the cost over a more extended period. Personal loans are typically subject to a credit check. The same is true if you choose to go the traditional route and secure a PCP or hire purchase deal through a car dealership, in which case your credit would also be checked.

For the most part, if you’re entering a financial agreement with a company – whether it’s to finance a new car, a new sofa, or anything in between – you’ll almost certainly be asked to provide information about your credit history.

Applying for Jobs

If you apply for a job in specific industries – for example, if you’re involved in financial transactions or cash handling – the employer may run a credit check on you before extending you the offer. This is solely due to the nature of the employment you’re seeking, and it is not a common practice in the recruitment industry as a whole.

Careers that require good credit include;

  • Accounting
  • Police
  • Army
  • Legal

Higher Interest Rates

The better your credit score, the lower your interest rates will be. Lower rates and a good credit score means you are more likely to pay back what you owe on time as per your contract. A lower credit score is reflective of missing payments and bad financial decisions. So frequently, lenders will offer a higher interest rate to mitigate the risk of lending. Meaning, you are paying more money back as a buffer in case you default.

Insurance Premiums

Do you have household or car insurance? Or how about life insurance? All the insurance premiums you are offered will be based in part on your credit score. Much like with loans, the more chequered your history, the higher your payments will be. If you are paying a lump sum upfront, you can usually eradicate this. However, if you make monthly instalments, you are being credited the insurance premium you are paying back, thus accounting for the higher interest rates or increased premiums.

Household Bills

Whatever your mobile phone tariff or utility bills, if you’re looking to set up a Direct Debit to pay your bills, it’s likely that your credit report will be scrutinised as part of the process.

When it comes to paying your bills, you’ll most likely have no issues whatsoever. If, on the other hand, you have a poor credit history – for example, if you’ve defaulted on a loan in the past – your utility company may require you to have prepayment meters to avoid running up bills meaning you end up paying more than direct debits.

New Relationships

While this might not be a make or break topic for new relationships, it can impact budding relationships, especially if you haven’t gotten your financial situation under control. People want to know what type of person you are embarking on a relationship with and your credit history and money habits play a big part in this. If you have experienced financial difficulties you have recovered from, you may find this isn’t an issue. But if you are exhibiting poor financial choices and errant behaviour as far as your credit is concerned, this can be a warning flag in a new relationship.

On the face of it, a poor credit score can simply look like being refused credit. However, suppose you fail to make amends and improve your credit score. In that case, you may find that you are experiencing the effects of this in other areas of your life, such as getting preferable energy rates or being able to advance your career or maybe even pursuing a new relationship.

The Benefits of Car Leasing

The Benefits of Car LeasingWhen it comes to being a motorist, there are a lot of expenses to consider. Aside from the initial purchase price of a car, there’s the tax, insurance, MOT costs, maintenance, fuel…it all adds up. There are, however, cheaper ways of running a car, such a leasing, so we’ve teamed up with Car Lease Supermarket to talk to you about all of the benefits of leasing a car instead of buying outright. Here are a few of them:

You’ll Get More for Your Money

When you lease a car, you usually find you’re driving a better vehicle than you would if you had bought one. This is because, with a car lease you only pay the car’s depreciation for the lease period, not the value of the car (because you don’t own it). As a result, your monthly payments are usually lower compared with other forms of finance, so you can lease a better make, trim or option.

You’ll Always Have a Newer Model

After the initial lease period ends, you will be able to exchange the car for a brand new vehicle. This means that you will be able to reap the advantages of having a new car on a regular basis, allowing you to get the maximum benefits of fuel economy, performance and safety. It also means that you will be able to avoid massive depreciation costs, as you do not own a vehicle that is likely to be rapidly losing value.

You’ll Reduce Your Monthly Outgoings

Apart from fuel and insurance, when you lease a car you know exactly what motoring is going to cost you because your expenses are rolled into one – monthly payments, Road Tax and breakdown cover. And if you include a maintenance package, your ability to budget becomes even stronger because you’ll know what’s going out of your account all in one go.

Cheaper Maintenence

Leasing provides much lower maintenance costs than other forms of buying. This is because the person leasing the car does not retain ownership, so general maintenance costs are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty period. If the car being leased requires servicing or repair, the costs will be covered; this usually includes tyre and exhaust replacement.

No MOTs to Remember

Generally speaking, lease car are less than a year or two old, and cars don’t need to be MOT’d until they’re three years old. This means that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to worry about MOTs with a lease car because you’ll have upgraded to a newer model before it’s even due.

Bonus Tip

If you really don’t use a car that much but still need one to get around occasionally, why not think about using All Transportation Network to book reservations for chauffeured transportation? You’ll be travelling in serious style and saving yourself a whole lot of hassle.

Cars Are Expensive – How Do You Pay For Them?

Paying for a new car, whether it’s second hand or not, can get quite pricey. Even when you have a budget that you’re working well within the parameters of, you can question if forking out this much money is really worth it! After all, the car in front of you won’t last forever, and who knows if you’ll ever default on the payments?

And with all that in mind, it’s time to think about the ways to pay for a car. They’re expensive, for a variety of reasons, but there are three main financial categories you can choose from in the car world. Let’s go through them below.

Pexels Image – CC0 Licence

With Your Own Cash

Using your own cash is often the most pricey and financially risky way to go – you never know when you’re going to need your savings, after all, and now you’ve just used them all up. However, it’s also one of the safest ways to ensure you’ve got a car for as long as you need it – there’s no payments to default on, and you’ll never be out of your transportation thanks to the lease being revoked.

As long as you’ve got the savings to do so, you can pay by cash. You could also use your cash to put down an even bigger deposit than is actually required, which will stop you from having to pay too much in financing in the future.

Using a Scheme

There are plenty of car financing schemes out there – you just need to look for them! It all depends on fitting into certain brackets, such as being the right age, or being from the right financial background, and then applying to the right places.

For example, you could make use of the Motability scheme. This allows people who live with disabilities to retain their independence, and have some much needed transport in their lives. And these schemes are available everywhere, and for all car models, such as VW Motability. Next time you go into a dealership, be sure to ask for a specialist to guide you around the application process and what’s currently on offer.

On Finance

And finally, you can always get a car on finance, of which there are many different options to choose from. Depending on the money you have to work with, you’re not going to find a one size fits all financing solution here.

From hire purchase to conditional sales (which is the more traditional form of purchasing a car on finance) to PCP (personal contract purchase), you have quite a few variable rates to choose from here. However, be sure to do some more research into each one of these options before you sign one, as they all have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Paying for a car can be done in a variety of ways, and working out which is best for you is important to do beforehand. So, do your research, and make sure you’re getting the right deal here.

Managing Financial Stress This Christmas

Christmas is typically a time of joy and love, giving and receiving, peace to all men and all the lovely things that we look forward to around this time of year, from tasty treats and delicious Christmas dinners to meeting up with immediate family and having a laugh.

There is a darker side of Christmas however, one that parents usually keep wrapped up in their own mind; financial stress. Too often do people believe they need to go over the top every year and have a bigger, better Christmas than years before. This can quickly lead to debt which casts a dark cloud over the New Year celebrations when you are more focused on saving the pennies to make it through the typically longer pay period between Christmas and January.

If you are concerned about the effect financial stress is having on your mental health and home environment, here are some tips to make your Christmas less about the cost and more about the sentiment.

Reduce Santa Presents

A modern trend that is causing more harm to children than good is the increase in cost and number of presents from Santa children get each year. While in your own home it might be wonderful to see the joy on your child’s face as they open their gifts from Father Christmas, however, this is often the greatest cause of financial stress for parents, who see no appreciation or gratitude for the presents they get from Santa.

Not only does this cause financial worry in the household (which your children can and will pick up on), but this can have a knock-on effect on less-fortunate children when they go back to school and see the disparity between what Santa brought one child when compared to them. Of course, while no family needs to curb their spending to protect somebody else’s feelings, your child won’t be worse off from one less gift.

Introduce Secret Santa Amongst the Adults

Secret Santa is typically a gift giving activity that takes place in offices and between large friend groups, however, with bills ever increasing and the cost of goods going up, buying decent gifts for the adults in your family can soon get expensive. Consider introducing the opportunity for Secret Santa in your family. Each person puts together a list of different things they would like to receive below a certain budget, choosing multiple items so the gift giver can offer a surprise rather than an expected gift. Names are then put into a hat and picked at random, just make sure nobody picks themselves out!

Sell Things Around the Home You Don’t Need or Use

Sometimes things pop up that are unexpected, and you may find that an expensive bill or expenditure is going to leave you short for the season. To make a quick bit of cash without taking up more of your precious time (like getting a second job would do), consider having a look around your home for bits you can sell, popular items that sell well second hand include; children’s toys, baby and toddler clothing, working homewares and unblemished furniture. If you are crafty, consider putting together some homemade Christmas cards or decorations, you can even work with your local shop to sell your creations or create an online store via Amazon, eBay or Etsy.

Other Small Areas to Make Savings

There are few things we typically do at Christmas that can be changed up in order to save money, for example, rather than sending out physical cards, put some effort into creating a digital card and email this around your friends and family. Rather than give gifts that don’t offer anything value, like gag gifts and silly presents, you could instead give the gift of a charity donation, adopt an animal or even sponsor an orphan. These sorts of gifts can make the receiver feel like they’ve helped a bigger cause and save getting something cheap and plastic that will be thrown out in the next house clearing.

 

If you are worried about funding Christmas this year, think about the places you can cut back and consider setting rules, a popular one going around at the moment is a “ban on unnecessary gifts” where you reduce the giving circle to immediate family only. This stops people thinking they need to give you a gift in return, just make sure to discuss with friends and colleagues before hand so you don’t receive a gift and feel obligated to give back.

Christmas shouldn’t be about the monetary aspect, so spend more time with the people you care about and let them know how special they are to you with your words and actions, rather than your wallet and if you do find yourself struggling from month to month, without the extra cost of holidays, consider talking to your employer about a pay review.

Monday Morning…

I think, until I sat down to write this, I didn’t quite realise the enormity of what’s happening next week. As of Monday, our lives change completely.

Monday is the day that I start my new job.

I know I worked up until April of last year, but that was three days a week, 9.30 til 2.30. It fitted around Sausage’s nursery and I had four full days a week to spend with my girl. My new job is 34 hours a week, 9.30 til 5.30 (except Fridays when I finish at 4.30), which means I get to drop Sausage at school and by the time I get home I won’t have seen her for nearly 9 hours. That’s a LONG time for me to spend away from her. I’m not even going to start talking about the guilt or I’ll never stop.

The thing is, I realise I’m very lucky. A lot of people simply can’t afford to go back to work as even with an extra income they still won’t have enough to cover childcare. Because Husband works from home, he’s able to collect Sausage from school which means we won’t need any childcare. And quite frankly, in the current financial climate*, I’m lucky to have found a job at all, let alone one that pays decent wages and is flexible enough to let me come in after I drop my kid off at school.

I’m excited about my new job, I’m ‘Payroll Manager’ now, as opposed to ‘clerk’ or ‘assistant’ and once the lady who’s training me has retired in April, I’ll be running the whole department. It’s a great opportunity for me and my ten-odd years of experience in the same field are finally paying off, in title and pay rise.

But I still have a sinking feeling. A bit like what it must be like for those ‘celebs’ (I use that term with the full quotient of irony that it deserves) on that diving show ‘Splash’. Standing on the edge of the high-diving board, toes dangling over the edge, waiting to jump and not knowing what it’s going to feel like when they hit the water. 

We’ve been lucky (there’s that word again…) since Sausage was born, I’ve been able to stay at home, do some social media work to keep me in extravagant Barry M nail varnish purchases (it’s like a sickness, honestly) and generally take things easy. I feel like my life is about to kick up a notch and involve a whole lot more rushing round than I’ve been used to since, well, since before I buggered off to Asia and got married. But that’s a story for a different day.

I’m sure I’ll be updating you all on how things are going, but for now, I’m going to climb down off the diving board and try to relax before Monday morning, when I become a fully-fledged Working Mum.

Wish me luck!

*Is anyone else sick to the back teeth of sentences which contain the phrase ‘in the current financial climate’? YAWN.