• From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    Zero Rate Balance Transfers: R.I.P.

    It could be the end of 0% balance transfer deals on credit cards as

    card issuers are forced to introduce charges in order to stem the

    losses caused by “rate tarts” who continually switch from

    one zero rate deal to another.

    Last week Mint, owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, joined the ranks of

    providers such as MBNA

    and Barclaycard when it became the latest card issuer to impose a

    one-off fee on balance transfers form other credit cards onto their

    0% deals.

    Until the summer last year transferring balances to a 0% or low rate

    credit card was free. Last August that all changed as Barclaycard

    heralded the impending demise of free balance transfers when it

    became the first card issuer to introduce fees for transfers,

    charging 2%, up to a maximum of £35, of the total amount…

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  • From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    More Borrowers Plan to Reduce Their Debts

    49% of people with debts say they plan to cut their borrowing over

    the next six months, according to the latest Consumer Sentiment

    Report from the Nationwide building society, a 7 percentage point

    jump from last month and a massive increase from the mere 16% who

    were planning to cut borrowing six months ago.

    Whilst people don’t expect to save more, the report reveals,

    they do intend to spend less and use the increased disposable income

    to reduce their debt.

    “It is encouraging that consumers appear to be taking a

    responsible view of borrowing and more people appear to be planning

    to reduce their level of household debt.”, said Stuart Bernau,

    Nationwide’s executive director, commenting on the figures.

    The five interest rate rises between November 2003 and August 2…

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  • From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    Tougher Bankruptcy Restrictions for Middlesbrough Man’s Credit

    Card Spending Spree

    Colin Robert John Cliff, from Middlesbrough, has become the first

    person in the North East region to be subjected to tougher bankruptcy

    restrictions as he was found him guilty of “unreasonable

    extravagance”, the Insolvency Service reported today. He will

    now be subject to bankruptcy restrictions for the next three years.

    Soon after losing his job last year, Mr. Cliff ran up debts of

    £4,284 on his new credit card. Over twenty days he used the card

    to pay for a holiday, clothes, accessories and to make cash

    withdrawals, even though he had no prospect of being able to repay

    what he spent. Less than six weeks later he filed his own petition

    for bankruptcy with his debts now standing at an estimated £13,740.

    Changes to the l…

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  • From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    Correcting Errors on Your Credit File

    There is a variety of information held on your

    credit report from a variety of sources. If any of it is wrong, it

    could affect your ability to get credit.

    Here’s how to correct the information held on your report.


    The Electoral Roll

    If you have registered to vote and your credit file does not show

    this, please contact the credit reference agencies listed at the

    bottom of this article and they will investigate the matter. If you

    have not registered to vote, you may want to contact your local

    authority about filling in an electoral registration form.

    If you move home you can tell your local authority who will tell

    credit reference agencies about your change of registration in the

    course of the year.


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  • From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    Six Top Credit Score Killers

    Being declined for a loan, overdraft, credit card or mobile phone can

    be frustrating, particularly when all the lender will tell you is

    that you have failed their credit score and nothing else.

    Whilst each lender will ultimately score applications based on the

    services they offer and their own criteria, there are a number of

    factors which will impact your credit score and could lead to your

    application being accepted or declined. Knowing what those criteria

    are can help you improve your ability to get the credit you want.

    These are the Six Top Credit Score Killers . . .


    Not on the Electoral Roll

    If you are not on the electoral roll at the address on the

    application there is a high probability of rejection.


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  • From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    Flexi-rate credit card rewards faster repayment with lower interest rate

    Barclaycard is testing a new credit card with a flexible interest

    rate, Repayment Rewards, designed specifically to encourage customers

    to repay their debts faster. It does so by lowering the interest rate

    the more of the debt you repay each month.

    The interest rate charged reduces the greater the proportion you pay

    off, meaning those who are constructively making efforts to get debt

    free can do so even faster.

    In the current trial, those customers repaying at least 10% of their

    balance are charged a 9.9% interest rate, but paying just the minimum

    2.5% payment will mean you receive a 16.9% interest rate. Those

    paying between 5% and 10% of the balance incur a 12.9% rate.

    The key premise to the card is that both borrower and lender are


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  • From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    Home Repossession Orders Soar 66 Percent

    19,687 mortgage repossession orders were issued in England and Wales

    in the three months ending September, a massive 66% increase on the

    same quarter last year, according to figures released by the

    Department for Constitutional Affairs.

    The figure is the highest since the third quarter of 1993, back in

    the dark days of the property recession and is far removed from the

    low of 9,616 experienced in the first quarter of 2003, just 30 months earlier.

    The number of possession orders being issued has been increasing

    since the early part of 2004 and the trend is expected to continue

    with the expectation that the 25,000-orders-issued mark could be

    breached by the end of March 2006.


    Don’t Panic Just Yet

    Things may be getting worse, but it…

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  • From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    Bad News For Bad Faith Bankrupts

    A growing number of bankrupts are being targeted for Bankruptcy

    Restrictions Orders (BROs) as Official Receivers pursue those

    bankrupts who are believed to have acted in bad faith and contributed

    to their bankruptcy, according to figures released today.

    Anyone thinking they can rack up loads of debt and use bankruptcy as

    an easy way to walk away form their responsibilities needs to think

    again. “The screw is tightening on those who have been guilty of

    misconduct”, says Desmond Flynn, Inspector General and Agency

    Chief Executive of the Insolvency Service.

    In the six months to September 2005, 165 people have been made

    subject to BROs or Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertakings (BRUs) for

    periods ranging from 2 to 11 years. In addition, the Secretary of

    State has issued directions to take p…

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  • From The Debt Advice Bureau:

    Bank of England Surprises with Base Rate Hike

    A reduced seven member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) surprised most

    economists and market watchers as the Bank of England announced at

    midday today that the base rate was raised by a quarter point to

    4.75% from 4.50%, where it had sat since August 2005.

    The immediate reaction was for shares, Gilts and short sterling to

    sell off as the majority were caught out by the surprise move. The

    last time the MPC announced a move, when it cut rates from 4.75% to

    4.50% at the August 4th meeting of last year, the move had been well

    telegraphed. This time, there was no preparation and no hinting.

    It is not that a rate increase at some point wasn’t expected, it

    was. It is just that it hadn’t been expected this month.

    For now the higher rate will begin to feed through into peo…

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