Insights from the UK and beyond
Financial website Unbiased.co.uk announced this week that as a nation we spent the first 83 days of the year working just to pay the interest on our debts. Personal loan levels increased to 11.4 billion pounds in 2008, up by over 1.6 billion pounds on the previous year and mortgage debt from equity release loans also increased by 6.5 billion pounds. Credit card debt, on the other hand, decreased by just over 4.9 billion pounds.
If you are struggling to pay off your debts, here are some useful online resources to help you out.
You can start by reading our top tips to help you beat debt problems. Budgeting properly is essential and you can use Unbiased.co.uk’s budget calculator to rein in your spending and borrowing and work out how much you will be left with each month to service your debt.
If you feel like you need expert financial advice then Unbiased’s website is the best place to find an independent financial adviser you can trust. You can also talk to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, a charity which offers free and confidential advice and support to anyone dealing with debt problems.
The energy regulator has said that it is considering a ban on unjustified price differences in the energy market to address concerns that customers are being charged differing amounts according to their payment methods.
Ofgem also said that it was planning measures that will improve customer service, including simplified information about tariffs to help people decide whether they need to switch supplier.
A major survey has found that women are more responsible with money than men. They’re less likely to get into debt and they work hard to become financially independent.
The global Reuters Synovate survey polled some 4,500 women in 12 countries about money matters. An equal number of men were also asked several questions related to finances.