How to Pay off your Overdraft

If you have an overdraft then you may wish that you could pay it off or perhaps pay it off more quickly than you are already. They are different to other loans in the way that they work and it is important to understand how they do work and how you can save money by not using them.

An overdraft is associated with a current account. Customers that have a good credit rating will be offered the opportunity to have an overdraft. The amount will be set by the bank and they will be able to spend more money than they have in their account as long as it is within their overdraft limit. There will be an interest rate for this borrowing as well as possibly a fee as well. Some people manage to borrow more money than they have been allowed. This is known as an unauthorised overdraft and it will cost a lot more money, using having a one off charge and daily fee for being overdrawn. Each financial institution will have different ways of charging and will charge different amounts and so it is worth looking at their terms and conditions to check this before using the overdraft facility.

Having an overdraft can lead to problems though. Some people will go overdrawn every month due to the fact that they spend more money than they have and it can get worse and worse. For example if you go overdrawn by fifty pounds one month, when you get paid the debt will be paid off plus the fees and interest. Then next month you may find it just as hard to manage so you find you are fifty pounds short again. However, due to paying off the last month’s overdraft plus interest you will owe over a hundred pounds. If this keeps happening then you will get overdrawn more and more each month, until you have to go into a very expensive unauthorised overdraft to manage. It is therefore best to avoid going overdrawn if you can and if you are overdrawn pay it off as soon as you can. Otherwise it may not be long until you are so far in debt that your pay will not even pay off the overdraft.

It can be worth looking carefully at how much you are spending and what on. See where you can cut back on your spending so that you are not struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month. This may mean that you have to cut back on luxuries, find cheaper utility suppliers, shop in cheaper shops and perhaps making your own food rather than eating out, getting take away food or eating ready meals. You may also consider using a loan company such as to help tide you over. Keeping a note of how much money you have and what you are spending really helps as well. You may not really be aware of where all of your money is going, but by looking carefully at bank statements and then noting down all purchases, you will soon get an idea of where you spend money and where you could potentially cut down. Make sure you are aware of any direct debits and when they go out of the account as well, so that you do not get caught out.

It could also be wise to find more ways to add income each month. This could mean taking on more work, perhaps doing some overtime or working a second job. It may even be worth looking to change jobs so that you have one that pays more. This may not be easy, but it is worth looking into and considering. It could make a big deal of difference and may be the only way that you will be able to pay off the overdraft.

It could be worth considering asking the bank to cancel your overdraft facility to help you not to use it when you do not need to. Sometimes it can be tempting to spend that money, even though you get charged for doing so and by cancelling it, you would be taking away that temptation. You would have to be very careful to make sure that you never went overdrawn though as an unauthorised overdraft could get you into even more trouble and so you will need to keep a very close eye on your bank balance and your spending, noting down everything that you spend.

Understanding Credit Scores and Credit Reports: A Borrower’s Guide

There is no question that your credit score plays a very important part in whether or not you get approved for the loans you want. Many people only have a very vague idea of what a credit score is and what it means. Because it is such a big factor in getting loans, you should make a point of learning all you can. This information can go a long way towards helping you to get the loans you need with minimal hassle.

Credit Reference Agencies

We will start off by discussing CRAs or Credit Reporting Agencies. There are three of these such agencies in the UK—Equifax, Experian, and Callcredit. These companies are in charge of keeping your individual credit reports and modifying them based on your credit activity. They take all of the information on your reports to generate a score, which is your credit rating. Lenders use these numbers to determine the eligibility of applicants.

Finding Out Your Credit Score

Credit scores range from 300 to 850 in the UK, and you can find out what your score is by going online. There are certain websites that you can use to do this, but you need to do your research. Make sure that you only use reputable, secure websites to get a copy of your credit report.

Equifax’s Report and Score service charges a small monthly fee, but you can take advantage of a free month-long trial. Some of the websites that offer this service are free while others will charge you something. You can get a free copy of your TransUnion or Callcredit report through their service, which is known as Noodle.

Experian gives people the ability to access their credit report for free through the Money Saving Expert Credit Club. You also have the option of getting the CreditExpert service for a monthly fee.

Why You Have Different Credit Scores

Because there are three different credit reporting agencies, you naturally have multiple scores. These scores are changing all the time based on numerous factors. Not all lenders report to every single CRA, but some do. You need to keep in mind that all three of these agencies have different maximum scores. Experian has a max score of 999, Equifax is 700, and Callcredit is 710. A lot of people go into a confused panic when they find out they have different scores, but it’s nothing to worry about. Just make sure that all of the information in your credit report is 100% accurate.

Do all Lenders Run a Credit Check on Applicants?

Yes, at least all legitimate lenders will run a credit check. You have probably seen a lot of lenders advertise “no credit check loans”. The truth is that they most likely do run a credit check, but bad credit is often accepted. Some lenders don’t pull applicants’ credit with all three of the major agencies. This is something that differs from lender to lender. Credit is something that almost always affects your ability to get a loan to some degree. A lender will consider your credit report as a whole before rendering a decision regarding your application.

Why Should I Check my Credit Report?

There are a couple of good reasons that you should get into the habit of checking your credit report on an annual basis. While it is true that credit report mistakes are pretty rare, they do still happen. It is important that you catch any errors on your report so you can get them taken care of as soon as possible. If you have unknowingly become the victim of fraud or identity theft, your credit report could be seriously affected. Checking your report will let you know if either of these things has occurred.

What is Included

You should know exactly what is or should be in your credit report. When you look at your report, you will see basic personal details like your full name, current address and birth date. You will also see whether or not you are registered with the electoral roll at the address you currently reside at.

All of your late payments will also appear on your credit report. Other things like missed payments, bankruptcies, and county court judgements are included as well. All negative marks are featured in this report, and they all impact your overall score.
What is not included

There are certain things that are not included in your credit report, such as your annual income, medical history, criminal record, student loans, and savings accounts.
Improving Your Credit

If you have a very low credit score, the good news is that there are plenty of effective ways to raise it. Make sure that you pay all of your bills on time consistently. Getting a credit card or loan and paying it off by the due date can also help you improve your credit score dramatically.

A Beginner’s Guide to Credit Cards: What You Need to Know

If you are interested in getting a credit card or just got your first one, you will need to educate yourself as much as possible. The more you learn about credit cards, the more likely they will be to work for you instead of against you. The best way to get the most out of your piece of plastic is to learn everything you can about how it works and how you should use it.

What Credit Cards are for

There are certain things that credit cards are intended for and things they are not. Credit cards can be a very convenient way to pay for things. If you want to purchase something particularly expensive, it’s a lot easier to just use a card rather than pay with a ton of cash. A credit card can also be a good way to improve your credit score, provided that you make all of your monthly payments on time.

You will find that credit cards are also a very secure payment method, and you have lots of protection against unauthorized charges. If you get scammed by a seller, chances are you will be able to get your money back without any issues. Credit cards have effective fraud departments that you can use to your advantage if you ever need to.

What Credit Cards are not for

You should not look at your credit card as free money, because you will eventually have to pay for everything you use it to buy. It’s also important that you know the difference between a credit card and a debit card. When you swipe a debit card, the money is instantly taken out of your bank account. When you swipe a credit card, it’s essentially like you are taking out an advance. You will eventually need to pay the money that you spend with your credit card back at the end of the month.

Types of Credit Cards

There are numerous types of credit cards, and it’s important that you take the time to find out what some of them are. You will need to make a point of choosing the credit card that best matches your specific needs.

Some standard credit cards are low-interest, which simply means that they come with a low interest rate at the beginning, but the rate will increase after a certain period of time. There is a balance transfer, which means that you move your existing credit card debt to another card. You should only do this if you can get a lower interest rate though.

Rewards credit cards will give you points each time you use them. Once you have enough points, you can use them for an airline ticket or something else; these are “travel credit cards.” There are cash back cards, which means that you get a certain percentage of what you spend with the card back after a while. For example, if you spend £10,000, you might get £100 back.

How they work

When you swipe a credit card when you pay for something, you will need to repay your bank later for the purchases you have made. You will need to know how long your bank’s billing cycle is. After each cycle, your bank will collect the transactions you have made and send you a bill for them by mail or electronically. It is important to keep in mind that billing cycles don’t always line up with each month. The billing cycle could start on the 1st of the month or any other date. Make sure that you ask your credit card provider so you know when your billing cycle begins. This will be key information to have when it comes to making sure you pay off your balance on time.

How Credit Cards Affect Credit Scores

Your credit score will definitely play an important role in getting a credit card. You might have a hard time getting certain cards depending on what your credit score is. It’s also important to remember that you can actually improve your credit score by paying off your balance on time consistently. If you are always making credit card payments late, your credit score can be affected in a negative way.

You have probably heard the term “APR” before, and it is basically the interest rate that you are charged for your credit card. You may get an APR of 0% for your card for the first 12 months, but after that it will go up. The interest rate on your credit card will largely depend on what your credit score/history is like. If you have had your card for a while and you have a good history, you can try negotiating with your provider for a lower interest rate.

Best Investment Tips for 2017

If you are interested in making your investment count as much as possible in 2017, there are quite a few tips that you will want to keep in mind. The more of these tips you have, the better your chances are doing to be of making as much money as possible.

Always Learn something New

There are always new things that you can learn when it comes to investing, and it’s very important that you do so as much as possible. The more you learn about various investment terms and techniques, the more likely you will be to make good investment decisions. Knowledge is key when it comes to being a smart and informed investor, so you will therefore want to expand your education as much as possible.

Know how much you are willing to risk

Before you make any kind of investment at all, you will definitely want to determine what level of risk you are willing to take. There are all kinds of different investments that you can make, and some of them are riskier than others. Evaluate the potential risk for each investment versus how much risk you are willing to take so you can make the right decision in any given situation.

Don’t be too Conservative

You will need to keep in mind that taking risks is what investing is all about, and there’s no way that you will get a nice return if you aren’t willing to take some risks. Don’t stay too safe, because otherwise you will never really profit. Make sure that you don’t avoid risks altogether, but you also don’t want to be too reckless. Investing will help your money to appreciate in value. If your money is just sitting in the bank, you aren’t making anything from that at all.

Read as much as possible

Anyone who wants to increase their chances of making good investments will want to read as much as possible on the subject. You should read books by noteworthy and successful investors so you can gain more knowledge and get good advice. You will most likely find that the more you read on this subject, the better prepared you will be to invest. There are a lot of great investment books out there, and it’s important that you make a point of reading them on a regular basis.

It’s all about diversification

You should also make a point of diversifying your investment portfolio as much as possible. A simple portfolio won’t get you anywhere, so you will have to make sure that you are making different types of investments across the board. The 60-40 portfolio model is still the best one to follow, so you should keep that in mind as well. High-dividend stocks as well as preferred stocks and real estate investment trusts are all great option to look into. The more you diversify your portfolio, the better your chances are going to be of making a significant profit from the money you are putting in.

Prepare for Uncertainty

Uncertainty is a normal part of investing, and most markets can be quite volatile. There is rarely a sure thing when it comes to investing, so you will need to keep that in mind. While you might be unsure about certain investments, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for them. Part of investing is about being bold and taking risks that others don’t dare to. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be smart about investment, because you absolutely should be. The future is never certain for an investor, and the sooner you accept that fact the better off you will be.

Safeguard your Assets

Make sure that you safeguard your assets as much as possible. With how common cyber attacks have become, it is extremely important that you do this. The last thing you want is to lose your assets because you didn’t take all of the necessary precautions. You could lose almost everything by not doing this. One of the best things that you can do to safeguard your assets is to choose the right investment broker, and there are quite a few of them out there.

Consider getting a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor can be invaluable when it comes to helping you with making the right investment and financial decisions in life. These professionals can also help you to save a ton of money over your lifetime, but only if you choose the right one. Take the time to look for a financial advisor with a sterling reputation, because you simply don’t want to take any chances. The more time you spend looking into these professionals, the better your chances are going to be of benefiting in a very big way. A financial advisor can definitely be worth the expense, especially in the long term.