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Debt and Financial Optimism in the UK Continue
With ú1.3 trillion pounds worth of debt in the UK, Scotland's Citizens Advice Bureau has welcomed a new Bill to regulate lenders and protect borrowers from creating un-repayable levels of personal debt.
Chief executive Kaliani Lyle said: "For years, Citizens Advice Bureaux have been dealing with case after case of ordinary people who have been enticed into unsustainable debt."
"The existing legislation - the 1974 Consumer Credit Act - is simply too antiquated to deal with the explosion in aggressively marketed credit that has taken place over the past decade or so."
The Consumer Credit Act is set up to outlaw "extortionate" interest rates, however it has proved to be ineffective as it doesn't actually define what is regarded as extortionate.
This coincides with an investigation being carried out by banking watchdogs, into suspected mis-selling of personal loans and credit cards at bank branch levels. Following on from the BBC's Real Story programme which revealed banks are offering large staff bonuses to encourage sales of expensive loans, credit cards and other financial products. Staff at Lloyds TSB were shown to have encouraged customers to accept sums of money they could not afford to repay.
"Which?" said it believed it was time the industry had a proper debate over sales incentive structures.
The BBC also criticised the expensive cost of the bank's payment protection insurance and how credit cards were pushed onto customers.
Graeme Millar, of the Scottish Consumer Council, said: "Consumers themselves need to act responsibly and ensure they are not asking for money they cannot afford to repay."
Tougher codes of practice imposing stricter standards on the way products are sold, and the use of financial information qualified financial advisers and from comparison web sites like Moneynet can help to gain consumers the best deals, and reduce the risks of mis-selling.
Independent financial adviser, Alan Steele commented, "Debt has always been a problem for a minority of people. One of the current problems is the willingness of bank managers to hand out loans and credit cards, which means this minority has increased, but the majority are coping with their debt."
It remains to be seen whether the nation's optimistic mood, recently reflected in a Mori survey carried out for the Prudential, in its ability to cope with levels of personal debt is long or short term. The report showed consumers are still failing to save, with one in five people saying they had no plans to increase the amount they put away.
Jackie Ronson, of the Prudential, said that many people are viewing their disposable income as decreasing, and yet they are happy to maintain their current level of debt, "add to that the continued concern about pensions in the UK, and we are looking at people who are likely to seriously struggle in retirement."
Richard works in Edinburgh for a media company, occasionally writing for the personal finance blog Cashzilla, and drinking too much coffee.
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Debt Collectors; And what you can do to Get Them Out of your Life
FTC opinion letter on validation Section 809(a) of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.
5 Ways to Get Out of Debt
It has been said that everyday more and more people in the world are getting into unsecured debt. Once reason for this is the relative ease in which credit card companies and banks are extending credit to their customers.
Ten Ways to Get Out of Debt
1) Use your AssetsIf you have assets with some significant equity, such as a home or a car you may be able to use these to get control of your debt. For example, you could get a loan on your home sufficient to pay off your debts.
What is Bankruptcy?
Here is a useful guide to bankruptcy. It should be noted that bankruptcy is not to be entered into without first having sought professional advice.
Reduce Your Debt
Do you want to reduce your debt? Having trouble paying your bills? Getting dunning notices from creditors? Are your accounts being turned over to debt collectors? Are you worried about losing your home or your car?You're not alone. Many people face a financial crisis some time in their lives.
Bad Credit Home Loan To Get You Out Of Debt
A "bad credit home loan" can help you climb your way out of debt and get you started back on the road to upstanding, good credit. There are many lenders who are willing to make bad credit home loans to you - a loan based on your equity in your home even if your credit has slipped or isn't as perfect as it could be.
Eliminating Credit Card Debt
The overwhelming task of eliminating your debts can often seem like an uphill battle. Without the knowledge and expertise of a professional on your side, unfortunately, the odds are not in your favor.
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While driving around your community, you may have seen signs posted on telephone poles that offer "foreclosure help." These seemingly generous offers to help financially troubled homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure are actually scams.
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Debt settlement is the process of negotiating with your creditors so that you are able to pay off a certain percentage of the debt amount that you owe. A debt settlement company will use different types of strategies to negotiate with your creditors so that you get the best outcome.
Is Filing for Bankruptcy an Option for You?
Bankruptcy laws give debtors a way to resolve debt by dividing their assets among their various creditors and in some cases will allow debtors to be freed of outstanding debts that cannot be paid, even after the division of assets. For individuals who find themselves unable to pay their debts, bankruptcy can be a viable option.
Creating A Realistic Budget
Budgeting -- ooh, what a scary word! If you want to frighten someone whose finances are out of control, suggest that they tally up their expenses on a piece of paper. We all understand the value of such an exercise, but when it comes to the practicality of putting a budget together, we get cold feet.
Different Ways Of Dealing With Debt
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Pay Off Your Student Loans and Reduce Your Debts
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Deal with All Your Debts with Care!
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Debt Relief -- Why Most Programs Have A 75% Failure Rate
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Eliminate Your Credit Card Debt, But How?
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The Effects of Consumer Debt
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Debt Handling Solutions
Sometimes debt can seem overwhelming. In those instances, or even before things get that far out of hand, get back to basics and try some of these debt handling solutions.
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