Category: Personal Finance

Many people have often wondered exactly what the time limit is when filing a PPI claim and exactly how far back can they go when filing a claim? So when is the PPI deadline? Most banks and financial institutions give the impression that the time limit is six years with some case even in some cases up to 30 years. The banks and other financial institutions will insist that it is six years because they try to limit the number of claims.

All banks and other financial institutions are required by law to keep all financial records for six years after the completion date of the loan. This is the minimum number of years that all financial institutions and even businesses are required to keep all client details. In some cases, lenders will even have records that go back into the early 1990s. The biggest problem is that most lenders have different methods and lengths of time that they keep financial records of their clients. This means that is you have a claim from 10 years ago you may be able to file with one financial institution but not with another.

Another big factor to consider is that some companies are regulated by different financial organizations. However, this became more standardized in 2005. this means that some companies can be required to review claims and others would not have to because of the regulations that were in place back then.

Currently, the time limits to file claims are being considered to bring about a timely conclusion. In order to protect the consumer, the FCA or Financial Conduct Authority are considering setting deadlines in 2018.

remember that it is crucial that you check your financial documents to see if PPI was applied to your loan or any loans that you have had in the last 30 years regardless of what type of loan it was such as mortgages, loans or credit cards. Also always read all paperwork to see if PPI is part of your monthly payment. If you do not want PPI and have been paying for it you may be entitled to a refund. On the other hand, if you are paying for PPI as part of your monthly payment and want the protection you will have peace of mind knowing that you have protection in the event of accident, sickness, disability or death.

Personal Finance

Millions of people owe money on more than one loan or credit card. Some have a complex web of personal loans, credit cards and other accounts, all charging different levels of interest and all requiring regular monthly payments.

If you fall behind on any one of them, then you risk damaging your credit rating and getting into a spiral of late payments where you will constantly be struggling to catch up. Left too long, this circle of arrears and missed payments can snowball into serious financial difficulty.

This is the point that a personal loan can be used to consolidate your debt. A personal loan used in this way will lump all of your debts into one and mean that you only have to worry about making one payment each month. You will only have one interest rate to worry about and the certainty offered by a single monthly payment will allow you to plan your household finances for months, often years, in advance. Using a personal loan for debt consolidation can take much of the worry and hassle out of managing your finances.

Let’s take a look at how a personal loan might work for consolidating other debts and how using this method can help you to get your financial affairs back on an even keel.

How do they work?

When you take out a loan to consolidate other accounts, you move all of your borrowing – or the majority of them – on to this new loan. Once you’ve done that, you are then free to close your other loans and credit cards by transferring the money you’ve received on the new personal loan onto these accounts. If you do this for all of your other debts, then you will only have one monthly repayment to worry about.

If you do go down this road, it’s important that you contact the organisations you hold existing balances with to check whether you will face any hidden fees for paying off the accounts. Some loans, in particular, come with early redemption penalties, which the lender uses to limit the loss of interest they incur when people settle accounts early.

If you do face early redemption penalties, it’s important that you take account of these before applying for the new loan because you might leave yourself out of pocket if you have not borrowed enough to cover them.

The vast majority of loans used for debt consolidation are unsecured. You don’t have to put up your house as security or find a guarantor. But just because they are not backed by security, does not mean that you shouldn’t act responsibly when looking for one. Be realistic about how much you can afford to repay each month and don’t be tempted, once you’ve got the money, to start spending it on other things like holidays, cars or electronic gadgets. If you do this, you’ll be left with some or all of the debts you are already struggling with plus the new loan.

The advantages of consolidating debt

By far the largest advantage of debt consolidation is that you only have one loan, one interest rate and one payment to manage each month.

This will allow you to plan ahead with much greater certainty and to concentrate on your household budget.

When you take out a debt consolidation loan and then close down the accounts, which you have cleared, you will also be improving your credit rating, making it more likely that you will be approved for other forms of credit in the future.

Things to look out for

You need to pay close attention to the interest rates charge on various personal loans before applying to ensure that you don’t end up paying more than you have to. If you are planning on closing credit card accounts by transferring the money from your new loan, you will have to pay more in interest than if you simply took advantage of an interest free period for balance transfers on a new credit card. This route may not be open you you, however, if you have a poor credit record because you will struggle to get approval for a balance transfer card.

Be realistic about your debts when shopping around for loans. Remember that the more that you borrow on your new personal loan, the lower your interest rate will be although you will, at the end of the loan, have paid more in total interest than with a smaller loan. Always try to borrow a little bit more than you need to clear your debts if this means that you will benefit from a lower interest rate.

If you are using the new personal loan to get your finances back on track, then you might be planning to pay off the new loan early. If this is the case, then make sure that you check the loan’s terms and conditions before applying to make sure that there are not any early redemption penalties. If there are, balance these against the total interest that you might save by paying the loan off early.

Shop around

Remember that there are many different loans from a multitude of different providers to choose from. The days when personal loans were only issued by the high street banks are long gone so it pays to shop around to find the best deal for your particular circumstances. Doing your research up front will save you headaches later on.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Solution Loans, a technology-led finance broker with many years’ experience in advising clients of their most suitable type of credit.

Personal Finance

When you get turned down for any form of credit – a card, a loan, a mortgage or even a mobile phone contract – it’s likely that your credit rating is impaired in some way. That means that the record held by one of the credit reference agencies contains information which is marking you down as a poor credit risk for the lenders. That could be because you’ve made a few financial mistakes at some point in the last six years or there could be something more serious registered against you like a county court judgement (CCJ) or defaults.

While this will make it difficult for you to be approved for credit in the short term, there are a number of steps you can take to improve the situation over the medium or longer term. Even those with the worst credit scores can start to do things that will improve their prospects of obtaining credit in a year or so.

It’s important to stress that there is no single quick fix when it comes to repairing your credit rating. To do so takes time, discipline and a bit of patience. While you are in the process of repairing your credit record, it’s vital that you don’t try to ‘test the water’ too much by making too many applications for credit in a short space of time. Lenders see multiple credit searches on your account as indicators that you might be in financial difficulty or that you are not disciplined when it comes to money.

If you want to find out what your credit rating is while you are attempting to repair it, the best thing to do is to sign up for one of the subscription plans offered by the three main credit reference agencies – Equifax, Experian and CallCredit. You’ll be able to see your credit score, the status of all of your loan and card accounts and whether there are any other black marks like defaults, CCJs or not being on the electoral roll.

You can also use on of the pre-eligibility checks that some lenders now offer online. These are also available on some of the major credit comparison sites and give you a good indication of what credit cards or loan applications would be successful without a credit search being registered on your account.

In the meantime, here are the five major steps that you can take to improve your credit rating:

  1. Commit to making your repayments on time

Even if it is just means making the minimum payment each month, keeping all of your credit accounts up to date is an absolute must when it comes to repairing your credit rating. These are updated every month by the credit reference agencies and will either show that everything is up to date or that there is a delinquency (a late payment). A delinquency will show as a number of days and the amount that is overdue). If you continue to make payments on time, every month on all of your accounts, this will have a dramatic effect on your overall credit score in a matter of months assuming that you don’t have anything more serious registered against you.

  1. Settle accounts that you don’t use

It may feel safe to have a large number of unused credit cards in your wallet but it does you no favours when it comes to your credit rating. Lenders don’t like to see that you have too much credit available – indeed, they prefer it if you have a smaller number of cards or loans which are used regularly and are kept up to date because this will show that not only do you represent a low risk, but that you are actually likely to make them more money in interest if they decide to offer you more credit. So, it makes sense to close any accounts that you are not using to bring your total amount of potential debt down.

  1. Apply for a ‘credit builder’ card

Some of the major banks and larger financial institutions have versions of their mainstream cards that are specifically geared to people with impaired credit ratings. These are known as ‘credit repair’ or ‘credit builder’ cards and two of the most well-known ones are offered by Barclaycard and CapitalOne. They come with higher interest rates and lower credit limits than those offered to people with good or perfect credit records but they will allow you to borrow a small amount of money and then demonstrate that you are financially responsible by making your repayments on time every month. Every time you make a repayment, this will be shown on your credit record and will improve your overall score.

  1. Guarantor loans

You may not be able to successfully apply for a loan on your own but that doesn’t mean that you can’t apply for credit and then start repairing your credit record by making payments on time. A guarantor loan uses a third party – somebody close to you who is able to guarantee your borrowing – as security against your borrowing. While the lender will use the guarantor’s credit record when making its decision on your loan, it will be your credit rating which will improve each time that you make a repayment on your loan.

  1. Other sub prime loans

Thankfully there is a strong and growing market for the so-called sub prime sector – people whose credit records are impaired and face rejection by mainstream lenders. Virtually every kind of credit is offered by lenders in this market – loans, mortgages, car finance, etc. While the criteria that sub prime lenders use to make their decisions are less strict than the high street banks, the effect of repaying these forms of credit on time are exactly the same: your credit score improves gradually over time to the point that you can once again start applying for mainstream credit.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with technology-led finance broker Solution Loans, who were consulted over the information in this post.

Personal Finance

If you have been turned down for a loan or other form of credit, then you are one of hundreds of thousands of people who are refused every year. While the financial crisis may have ended and interest rates remain stuck at record lows, the mainstream banks are still reluctant to lend to anybody except those with excellent or perfect credit ratings.

So millions have been shut out of the main credit market over the last few years, finding that they are not only unable to borrow the money they need to fund home improvements, new cars or debt consolidation but also not able to repair their credit records.

There may be a multitude of reasons for rejection – an applicant might have made some fairly minor mistakes with their finances in the past, he or she might not be registered to vote and so not on the electoral roll or they may have had a CCJ or default made against them up to six years ago.

This can be a cycle that is hard to break out of: an applicant needs to show a record of good repayments over time but is repeatedly turned down for a loan or credit card in order to build up such a history to begin with.

Guarantor loans

If you are new to the credit market – perhaps you have just bought your first home but don’t have sufficient funds to redecorate it or maybe you want to replace your car but have never borrowed money before – guarantor loans can help you.

With a guarantor loan, the applicant who has either a bad credit record or has never borrowed money before – finds somebody close to them who is prepared to stand as security that the loan will be repaid even if circumstances change.

How they can help rebuild credit:

  1. A clean sheet

Because it is the guarantor’s credit record that the lender is looking at, the borrower’s record is not so relevant when the lender makes its decision.  The guarantor is providing the lender with the reassurance it needs that should the borrower fail or be unable to keep up with repayments, he or she will step in to ensure that the schedule is adhered to. That means that if you are worried you might be turned down for credit, you can apply for a guarantor loan more confident of success. This avoids the problem of having repeated credit searches on your record – something that the major financial institutions have come to recognise as a sign that a borrower might be in financial difficulty.

  1. Credit repair

While the lender will be looking at the guarantor’s credit record when making its decision, the repayments will be registered on the record of the borrower (so long as he or she sticks to the schedule). This means that while you may have a poor or non-existent record to start with, so long as you make all of your guarantor loan repayments on time, your credit record will start to improve almost immediately. Because borrowers look for a history of payments made on time when making lending decisions, this means that your record can go from poor to good quickly when you enter into a guarantor loan agreement.

  1. Safer for the borrower than other forms of credit

There are plenty of other forms of credit offered to the so-called sub prime market. These include payday loans, logbook loans and forms of doorstep lending. But all of these come with much higher interest rates than guarantor loans and often have other fees and admin charges. Some of these are also secured against property meaning that you could lose your home if you fail to keep up with repayments. With guarantor loans, the lender is taking the guarantor’s credit record into account when setting an interest rate meaning that a borrower can often benefit from a loan that is easier to manage.

  1. Longer repayment schedules

The longer your history of repaying loans on time is, then the more likely it is that you will be approved for other types of credit. Guarantor loans can help with this – they have longer repayment schedules than other forms of sub prime lending and larger capital sums on offer. If you take out a guarantor loan for, say, five years and always make your repayments on time, then this will reflect on your credit record throughout the life of the agreement. These longer repayment schedules also mean that a borrower can plan their finances more effectively for months, even years ahead. That gives them a better chance of keeping everything up to date and, as a result, continue to maintain their good record once things improve.

  1. They are looked on more favourably

Payday loans – while appropriate for short-term borrowing in some circumstances – have had a bad press. Not least has been the acknowledgement by the big banks that they will not touch applicants who have taken out a payday loan in the previous six months, sometimes 12. This is because some financial institutions regard payday loans as signs of financial distress and that those who have taken them out are less likely to adhere to other repayment schedules. There’s no such worry with guarantor loans which are recorded on your credit record just like other more traditional forms of credit. So long as you continue to make your repayments on time, then banks and other financial institutions will regard other applications for credit more favourably.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with technology-led finance broker Solution Loans.

Personal Finance

Everyone faces financial challenges throughout their lives. Those going to college begin fairly early because in most cases that involves taking out a student loan which will need to be paid back when they start out on their careers. Their prospects should be fairly good if they graduate successfully because statistics show they have a better chance of a highly paid job than non-graduates. Whether they handle their finances well is another matter. Those that don’t in general may find that in their later years life is not as comfortable as they would want.

70% Of Final Salary

There are competing demands for your money; you will want a good retirement fund but there is always the temptation for short term gratification; a new car, big house, latest smart phone and exotic holidays. These trappings of apparent success often take priority over taking action to secure a happy life in later years. It is a worrying trend because the Social Security System is unlikely to ever be more than a support in those years. Estimates suggest that you will need to have as much as 70% of your final salary as income once you retire and the monthly pay checks stop.

A recent Wells Fargo survey finds that people over the age of 60 only have an average fund of $60,000, and a significant number have nothing at all according to Bankrate last summer. Realistically many cannot afford to retire but may have no choice. Social Security falls far short of what anyone will need. The average benefit check is just $1,335 at a time when there is the likelihood of older people facing more health issues alone. Those that have struggled and used their credit cards to subsidize their lifestyles are in even greater danger.

The options vary with age. Those who graduate, get a good job and start making retirement provisions in their 20s should have few problems. Those in middle age and older that are in the position outlined above with insufficient savings must act immediately. That includes plans to downsize at the same time as getting rid of expensive debt, typically that on credit cards where balances incur a high rate of interest.

Downsizing and Its Impact

Downsizing is likely to make a significant difference to your life. If you own a large family home you are unlikely to need so much room in later years with the children gone. There is often a chance to cash in and put some dollars sameday into your bank by moving to somewhere smaller. Perhaps if you are a couple with two cars you will able to make do with one?

Take Loans and Reduce Burden

It is dangerous to be carrying expensive debt. It makes sense to take out a personal loan to pay off such debts because the rate of interest will be lower, even if you have a poor credit score. You can budget far more comfortably if you have a single monthly payment over an identifiable time rather than varying amounts payable on existing card balances.

Even if you have cleared such debts prior to retirement you will still face a challenge. Perhaps you can get a part-time job but you surely don’t want to work too many hours and for too many years after reaching the official retirement age? You may be able to work online of course which allows you to have flexible hours in most cases. Whatever choice you make you will need extra income.

People are living longer, often more than 20 years after retiring. That is a long time for those who have not saved towards those years when the pay check is no longer an option. It makes you wonder why many seem to be ignoring this potential problem. It appears that the phrase ‘live for today and tomorrow will look after itself’ is the principle by which many are living. Few it seems are asking themselves about ‘tomorrow’ and there will be consequences. If they do nothing else they should live within their means and pay off high interest rate debt so they are debt free on retirement. How they will live from then will depend on Social Security and perhaps a part-time job. It doesn’t sound much of a reward for a working life!

Personal Finance

Living modestly doesn’t always mean living a life without fun and whistles. Actually, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to reduce your spending with a little planning and patience. The more you can save on your everyday expenses, the more money you will retain for potential emergencies, vacations to exotic locations, a college education for your children (or future ones), or whatever big ticket item you want in life.

Here are 5 ways to get you started.

Save where it counts. The most affordable option isn’t necessarily the best option. There’s no point in buying a cheap pair of shoes if they’re simply going to become rugged and worn out within a few months. Understand value over cost. Purchasing an original and branded item is oftentimes more frugal than buying an imitation that has to be replaced repeatedly throughout the year.

Also, you need a clear goal why you’re saving. It may be for a new car, a dream vacation, or a house of your own. If it’s the latter, NPBS mortgages can back your home ownership dream while you’re on your way to saving more cash.

Go for generic groceries. Have you tried comparing a name-brand product with a generic one in a grocery store? If you haven’t yet, then do it the next time you go shopping.  Compare the ingredients of two similar products, and then check the difference between their prices. Heck, you can buy a $5 bottle of peanut bottle that tastes virtually the same as its $25 name-brand counterpart. Purchasing name brands doesn’t mean paying for the product itself, but for the idea and the name behind the product. In other words, name brands are expensive because they have a more expensive marketing (not higher quality.)

Reduce food waste. What percentage of your groceries are left unused and end up tossed in the trash? To avoid wasting your grocery, change the way you think about shopping. Create a list of items by writing down a weekly schedule of the types of meal you’re going to cook before heading to the store. If it isn’t a part of the ingredients, then it doesn’t belong the cart. End of story.

Patience is a friend. Smart buyers know how to be patient. It’s not a good idea to spend a $100 dollar on a skirt now if it’s going to be discounted in the future to make room for seasonal clothes. Be patient and you will be rewarded with an awesome price cut. You can also check group-buying websites. They offer up to 90% discount on regular items.

Go thrift shopping. Macklemore spoke the truth. 20 dollars in your pocket can go a long way if you use it for thrift shopping. Thrift shops are full of deals on great selections of barely used clothing, saving you a lot of money on your wardrobe. If you’re afraid that the quality won’t be up-to-par, well don’t be. Most thrift shops are quite picky about the items they accept. You’ll be surprised what you can find.

That sums up our short list on money spending. Good luck!

Personal Finance

The CEO is the highest ranking executive in a company. The CEO’s main responsibilities are developing and implementing high-level strategies, managing the overall resources and operations, make major decisions and acting as the point of communication between the corporate operations and the board of directors. CEOs sometimes have a position on the board and sometimes are even the chairman. However, as seen in David Kiger’s blog, every CEO has a unique approach to the role.

The CEO’s Main Tasks

Shareholders and the board of directors usually elect the CEO. In large corporations, the CEO directs the company’s overall growth, but in smaller companies the CEO is often involved in the day-to-day operations. In large companies, it is the CEO who leads, creates policy and motivates the employees.

Good CEOs are realists. It’s all right to think positively and maintain professional optimism, especially in public settings, but CEOs should not live in a fantasy world. They can go with their gut feelings, but it is usually an educated gut feeling.

The CEO’s Responsibility

The first responsibility of a CEO is strategy and vision. Investors may approve a business plan and senior management may help develop strategy, but the CEO sets the direction. This includes selecting markets, considering competitors, choosing product lines and how to stand above the rest in their niche.

The second responsibility of the CEO is to build company culture. Happy employees are more productive. The top candidates will choose a company with a good culture. A second-rate company culture will drive away high-performers. Some ways in which the CEO send the message of company culture are how he or she dresses, who they talk to, how mistakes are treated, how much risk-taking is recommended as well as who is fired, who is hired and what the rewards are.

The third main responsibility is team-building. The CEO selects the senior management team, who in turn, hires and fires the rest of the employees. It is important for a CEO to be able to fire non-performers as well as resolve differences between senior management, so they continue to work together in a common direction.

The CEO must also convey values. These tell employees how the company will achieve its goals. The CEO sends the message through their behavior. If they support and model trust, openness and honesty, the whole company will follow suit.

The fourth responsibility is to set budgets. The CEO must fund the projects that succeed and cut the budgets or close down projects that lose money.

A company or organization depends on their CEO for success. If the above duties are done properly, the company will earn more profit.

Personal Finance

A short term loan, often referred to as a payday loan is a short term unsecured loan. Many areas refer to them as cash advances however, the term is often confused with short term lines of credit provided by banks. Two things are required in order to apply for a payday loan that is employment or a verifiable source of income and documentation to prove how much you make.

The annual percentage rates for this type of loan can verify greatly between lenders. Many countries have recently passed legislation to limit the APR on payday loans.

A payday loan is repaid on the next payday for the borrower. Once the income is verified and the application is processed the borrower can receive their money the same day or the next business day.

With today’s technology going to the actual location of a payday lender is a thing of the past. You can now apply for a payday loan online. All you need to do is either email or fax documentation that proves you have a job, how much you make, proof of residency, and a voided check as proof you have a checking account. Once your loan is approved it is deposited directly into your checking account as early as the same day or next business day. On the next payday the amount plus any fees are withdrawn from your checking account and the loan is repaid.

A payday loan can be a great way to help out when unexpected circumstances arise. These can be anywhere from an emergency medical bill to emergency maintenance on the family vehicle. They can also be a good way to reestablish credit. Many payday lenders report the payments directly to a credit agency. While you should never consider getting a payday loan just to improve your credit score it’s a fact to keep in mind should you need to apply for one.

As with any type of loan there are payments that need to be made to pay back the loan. These types of loans have very high interest rates that are added into the payment. Before applying for a payday loan be sure your budget can accommodate the extra payment. If you find yourself applying for too many payday loans you may want to take another look at your finances for ways to cut back thus having more cash available. Because as with any loan, you obviously do have to pay it back eventually, and the sooner the better.

 

Personal Finance

As a small business owner, you have a lot of paperwork to complete, government regulations to follow, and financial records to maintain. Unless you are engaging in some illegal business on the side, money laundering probably isn’t something that you think about much. Unfortunately, the federal government may be linking your business with these suspicious transactions, and once they suspect you – with or without any evidence of criminal behavior – you could lose everything.

Civil Asset Forfeiture – Legal Extortion

This scenario may seem hard to believe, but there were 639 seizures of cash, called civil asset forfeiture, in 2014 alone. Out of those cases, only a fifth of the businesses targeted were prosecuted criminally. This means that the other four out of five were probably innocent small business owners; eighty percent of the accounts that were seized and emptied into federal accounts belonged to people who were entirely innocent!

The Bank Secrecy Act

This federal practice is protected by a couple of laws that are difficult to overcome. The first is the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act. This law sounds fine on the surface. It requires banks to report any transactions that exceed $10,000. The purpose of the law is to allow the government to recognize criminal activities such as money laundering, illegal gambling, and tax cheating. Criminal organizations responded to this law by “structuring” their deposits in increments just less than $10,000.

Transactions Under or Over $10,000? Could Be Suspicious

Now the law has been revised to require banks to report patterns of transactions just under the ten thousand mark. If you own a small business and regularly move cash amounts under $10,000, your financial institution is required to report you to the federal government. Although you may not even be aware that your transactions look suspicious, your bank is not allowed to alert you to this fact! If you haven’t engaged in any illegal activity, if you handle cash in amounts less than ten thousand, you could lose everything in your bank account to the IRS. According to the Bank Secrecy Act, banks:

  • Are prohibited from advising customers that their activities may look like structuring.
  • Are prohibited from alerting customers to the fact that they have been reported to the federal government.
  • Are required to report transactions exceeding $10,000.
  • Are required to report patterns of transactions totaling less than $10,000.

Guilty Even When Innocent

Ultimately, if the IRS determines that civil asset forfeiture is necessary, all of the money in your bank account could be seized. Without the money in your account, however, you may have limited resources for your defense. If you do win, it’s best to expect only part of your money back. Small business owners have struggled to overcome this law. Fortunately, the banks and public interest law firms, such as the Institute for Justice, are also involved in the battle.

Personal Finance

If you’re like many Canadians, you struggle month to month to keep on top of your debts.  Truth be told, there’s a good chance that you are buried under more debt than you can handle.  There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to getting out of debt, but there are several tips that you can use to reduce your debt load more quickly.

Exceed the minimum

You will never pay off your credit cards if you habitually make only the minimum payments.  Paying even just a little bit more than the minimum can help to carve out your debt more quickly.

Beat your budget

It’s always a good idea to have a budget each month.  That way, you know how much you can afford to spend on the extras in life once you have covered the necessities and put a bit away for a rainy day.  However, a better strategy is to try to beat your monthly budget.  Play a game with yourself.  Can you spend less than you plan to spend?  Chances are that if you really examine your spending habits, there is room to trim the fat.  Use that extra cash to put toward paying down your debt.

Tackle the big debts first

It can be tempting to get smaller debts out of the way first, before diving headlong into your bigger ones, but it’s actually a smarter financial strategy to take care of the bigger debts first.  Figure out which debt (probably a credit card) is charging you the most interest and pay that one off first.  Once you pay that one off, transfer the money you were using to pay off that debt to your next-biggest debt, and so on.  Eventually, your smallest debt will be the only one left and you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

By used when you can

There are lots of opportunities to buy things used.  Clothes, furniture, toys and even your car can be bought used.  Buying second-hand can save you a lot of money, money that can be put toward your debts.

Shop strategically

The reality is this:  Some expenses can’t be eliminated entirely.  Things like groceries are necessities, but there are ways to save money even on the necessities.  Shop strategically.  Look for deals on things you already buy, and stock up when those items go on sale.  Use coupons.  Sign up for online deal websites.  By stockpiling your pantry and freezer you can skip one or more trips to the grocery store per month, which can quickly add up to more money you can put toward paying down your debts.

Write everything down

One of the best things you can do for your financial situation is to keep accurate records.  Write down how much money you are bringing in and how much goes out.  This is the best way to keep track of your expenses and find ways to cut back.

Consolidate your debts

If your debts are drowning you, there is help available.   A consolidation loan is a good option because it brings together all of your loans into one payment and one interest rate.  That can help you to pay down your total debt load faster.

Refinance your mortgage

If you own your home, you can take advantage of the equity in it to help pay down some debts.  Take to a mortgage broker Hamilton residents, to see if refinancing your mortgage is something that could be possible.  That will give you extra money to put towards your debts.

Personal Finance