Monthly Archives: June 2012

Which Debt Management Company Should A Person Choose?

Many clients get confused when it comes to which debt management company to choose. This is mostly because even though they have problems relating to debts and need IVA, they just do not understand the qualities that they need to look for in such companies. Because of this, many of them end up getting poor services and do not know whom to blame for the resulting situation. It is important to note that a person can only be successful in getting out of debts if you hire the right person to help you. Choosing without considering anything will definitely lead you into more problems and confusion. People must understand their own situation first. Many situations make people to look for professional help. For example, one person may be seeking for help because he is finding it difficult to pay his loan while on the other hand, a client could be looking for assistance because he has enough money and would like to know which one is the most suitable way to clear his debt fast. It is obvious that such people do not need the same type of services because clearly, they are in two different situations.

It also is important to state what the client wants from the debt management company. Not everyone wants an IVA even though it is a good way to manage debts. People go to such companies because of different needs. It is important for them to note that while there are companies that help people to handle problems related to debts, others will only deal in one aspect. This is the reason why some of the companies will only come to your aide when it is evident that you are unable to pay and that you are obviously headed for a default. Knowing which debt management plan offers services that are most relevant to you will put you in a better position to get good services and handle your debt in a better way. People who want information related to an IVA want to know how to use it to get better and should therefore look for a company that will deliver that. In order to know what to expect from the company, look at how they serve their clients. The most suitable companies are those that always satisfy their customers by serving each one of them in a unique way depending on his needs.

PPI Claim Making to Be Made Easier by Banks

The scandal over missold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) continues to rumble on in the UK, and for consumers who think they have been a victim of misselling, it is important to make a claim. One of the key things to remember is that not all people who bought PPI are actually entitled to make a claim, and it is first vital to ensure that any application has substance.

A number of financial institutions have revealed that they are to make putting in a claim application far easier than before. Last year, £1.9bn was paid out to customers who complained about missold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). With banks still having to pay out vast sums of money to thousands of consumers, there is still a lot of compensation to be made to individuals, meaning that filing a claim is important.

One of the reasons that banks have decided to make the process of filing a claim easier is because of a small number of unscrupulous claims companies that are trying to take as much of consumers compensation as possible. Banks said that they had worked with some claims firms that were both professional and legitimate, but called upon justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, to clamp down on bad claims businesses.

Whilst new measures to make claiming easier are discussed by the financial industry, many people may still turn to claims firms to help them gain their compensation entitlements. Choosing the correct firm is important to ensure that a swift, seamless, and profitable process can be achieved. In cases where individuals were sold insurance without their knowledge, where cover was found to be invalid because of age or employment status, or where people were told that protection was vital to ensure credit agreements were approved, there is a real case for making a claim.

There are number of areas to consider for those who think they may have been missold PPI. When taking out a credit agreement such as a mortgage or credit card, was PPI said to be mandatory or was it implied that taking out such insurance would help applications be successful? Was PPI bought, only for consumers to discover that it was invalid for them because they were self-employed or of retirement age? Did consumers discover that they had been sold PPI without even knowing it? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then there is a real reason for making a compensation claim.

One of the first steps to take should be to contact the lender directly in writing, or seek help from professional PPI reclaim experts. If lenders do not respond, or consumers are dissatisfied with results after eight weeks, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) can then be contacted.

Currently, the average payout is £3,000 and three out of four applications are successful. This means that, should a missold PPI case have real backing, a claim should be made so that the rightful compensation entitlement can be received.

How to Analyze – And Understand – Your Credit Report

If you are looking to buy or refinance a home, purchase a new car or even get car insurance, your credit score will have a big impact on the rates you’ll be able to get. In some cases, your credit score can help you get a better loan interest rate or less expensive insurance price. Your credit score is directly linked to the information contained in your credit report, so making sure that your report is as clean and accurate as it can be will help you get the best terms on your financial transactions.

You actually have three credit reports, one with each of the three main credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You’ll need to check each report for accuracy at least once a year, and prior to completing an application for a loan. Thankfully, the three bureaus use the same format, so you can simply repeat the same tasks for each to be sure your report is as good as it can be. The report areas are detailed below, along with tips about what these sections should ideally include – and some potential problems to watch out for.

Identification and personal information:

The first section you’ll see contains information about you – your name, address, social security number and your date of birth. Double check this section for accuracy and completeness; it sounds silly, but mistakes happen and you want to make sure all of the information is actually yours.

Credit Information:

This is likely the largest section of the report, and lists each company who has granted you credit, along with a record of how you have used that credit. You’ll find current and past accounts here – most types of credit stay on your report for 7 years.

For this section, you’ll usually see the name of the entity that you owe money to – so your mortgage company, the finance company for your car, and credit cards, if you have them, will be listed here. Each listing will contain the name of the business, your account number, and the type of account it is. You’ll also find details about the account status-is it open or closed, paid in full or still outstanding? These details can be found in this section. Double check each listing to be sure it is identified correctly. A few of the abbreviations you may see in this section include:

I – Individual Account
U – Undesignated Account
J – Joint Account
A – Authorized User on Account
C – Co-maker/Co-signer on Account
S – Shared Account

Each listing will also provide the details about how you have managed the account, including your payment history (on time payments are obviously best), any late payments of 30, 60, 90 days or more, charge offs and accounts sent to collections. You’ll also see details about the total amount you borrowed, how much you’ve paid back and what your current balance is. Some credit reporting errors use numbers to represent payment history – 0s and 1s are good, high numbers are bad.

Review this section very carefully, and double check it against your own records. The information here, even if it shows you paid everything on time, can damage your credit score if it is not correct. Why? Because if your utilization is shown as too high, meaning it looks like you are using every dime of your available credit, your score will suffer. If your balances are incorrect, or an account that has a zero balance is actually showing a different amount, you may need to correct this information.

Collection Accounts:

This is the section that you should review most carefully, since it is the one most likely to contain errors – and those errors can cost you big when your credit score is calculated. Collection agencies are notorious for putting inaccurate information on credit reports, and even a single collection account can damage your score.

Review each collection account for the following:

Is it yours? Incorrect accounts or accounts that belong to someone else are a common mistake.

Is it valid? If it is your account, should it be listed as a collection at all? If something was paid to the original creditor and is mistakenly listed as collections, you’ll need to dispute it and clear it off. Check to make sure the account should really be with collections in the first place.

Is the debt within the seven year reporting period? A debt from 1990 should not be included on your report since it is more than 7 years old, as long as it has had no activity. You’ll need to ask for validation or even begin a dispute process to have old or outdated information removed from your account.

Public Records:

For this section, blank is a good thing – anything listed here will negatively impact your credit score. This section will contain liens that have been placed against your property, lawsuits you’ve lost and other unpleasant items. Double check to see if there is anything listed here that shouldn’t be, and fix any errors promptly.

Inquiries:

This final section details the different agencies that have requested a peek at your credit report. You may see some familiar names here -if you’ve applied for a loan, gotten insurance or even applied for a job in some industries the entity you applied with may take a peek at your report. More of this type of inquiry, particularly credit applications generated by you, can impact your score and you should avoid applying for many different things at once, since they will show up here.

You’ll also see a bunch of companies you’ve never heard of in this section – a basic copy of your credit history may have been pulled for promotional purposes. If you’ve ever received an offer of a credit card or loan in the mail, this is where that company got your information and made an initial determination that you might be a good customer. Promotional inquiries like this do not impact your credit score, though opting not to receive them may reduce the amount of junk mail you receive.

Next Steps:

Once you’ve read through your report, you can spot any areas that need to be changed or addressed-highlight these with a bright marker as you review and you’ll know how much work you’ll have to do to repair your credit. Once you get a handle on reading and understanding your report, you can begin to take control of your own financial outlook and start getting better terms and rates.