The number of bankruptcies in Scotland has fallen by 20% over the past year.
Even though the number of bankruptcies in Scotland is in decline, the number of people in Scotland seeking alternatives debt solutions is on the rise with approved Debt Payment Programmes being up 40% to 4,632 in 2012- 2013.
The number of companies going into receivership and liquidation in Scotland is also down in 2012 – 2013 with figures from the Bankruptcy’s Annual Report showing a 25.3% drop. In 2011 -2012 there were a total of 1,369 liquidations recorded which compares with just 1,022 liquidations in Scotland in 2012 -2013.
Despite the current financial climate and personal debt being on the rise the figures do relate with the number of Bankruptcies being at their lowest level in a decade and show that people are seeking out alternative solutions to solve their debt problems.
There is a marked rise in the number of people using a Debt Arrangement Scheme or a Debt Management Program, which provides a less severe solution to debt problems.
One other Scottish debt solution on the rise is a Scottish Trust Deed. With a trust deed, the debtor only has to pay off as much as they can afford over a 3 year period. At the end of the 3 year period, any remaining unsecured debt is then written off. This solution can be much more appealing as it does not tend to place the debtors home at risk and the repercussions of a trust deed are less strict.
With the improvement of alternative solutions to bankruptcy and sequestration it is clear that we are seeing a trend of Scottish people looking for ways to avoid bankruptcy.
As per the reports of the Scottish government and the latest survey of the Scottish Household Survey, the personal and household finances of scottish residents have been through a disaster in the years 2009 to 2012 and this has been reflected by the spiraling personal debt level. It was in the year 2012 that scottish residents started feeling positive about their finances as an increasingly large number of people started taking help of the professional debt solutions through which they could rejuvenate their present financial state. In 2012, when asked about their ability to cope with their soaring financial problems, only 5% replied that they were deeply in a financial plight. Thousands of people participated in different debt forums and in a debt community in order to enhance their knowledge on debt repayment in Scotland.
According to the studies and reports, the percentage of households who thought they could manage their finances ‘well’ remained stable throughout 2011 and it was an unsurprising fact that the households with income less than £10,000 were more likely to say that they couldn’t manage their debts well and age also played an important factor while deciding the level of people who were and who weren’t able to manage their finances. If you’re a resident of Scotland and you’re desperately looking for the debt solutions through which you can eliminate your debt burden, you might enhance your knowledge by reading the concerns of this article.
The Debt Arrangement Schemes in the UK – Government’s way of helping the hapless
The Scottish government, on seeing the huge amount of debt level has introduced the Debt Arrangement Scheme or DAS that allows the residents to repay their debt amount in easy and affordable repayment plans. Scottish debtors turn to this debt relief option when they’ve incurred a huge amount on their credit cards and are looking for an alternative debt repayment option. A certified professionals might help the debtor create a DPP or an alternative Debt Payment Program through which you can contribute a monthly payment and gradually move towards a debt free living.
The Basics of a Debt Arrangement Scheme
If you have one or more debts, have enough disposable income after meeting your everyday necessary expenses, you may qualify for a debt arrangement scheme. As per the regulatory restructuring of 2011, those individuals who are not protected through a Trust Deed can also qualify for the DAS. A Money Advisor, who will be an accredited individual can help you with a DAS and also help you locate one. This person will assist you in establishing a DPP in order to repay your debts and will also protect the individual from any negative action from the creditors. The DAS will help you repay the entire debt amount and not at a reduced level.
The Debt Arrangement Scheme in Scotland – How does this work
When you’re repaying your debts through a DAS, you can easily make a single monthly payment and these payments will be issued to a Payments Distributor who will be approved and appointed by your Money Advisor. The individual will disburse off the payments to your creditors and the payment can be in any form. Once you pay off the entire debt, the DAS ends and if you fail to make the monthly payments on time, the deal might also be canceled and you can even lose your funds that you’ve already paid. The Money advisor negotiating with your creditors, frozen interest rates and other charges, an affordable repayment plan and a protection against the covered creditors are some of the benefits that you may reap from this option.
Therefore, when you’re wondering about your soaring credit card debts in Scotland, you can take resort to the DAS repayment plan mentioned above. Make sure you get help from the authentic people who have your best interests in mind.
After being discharged from your bankruptcy, it may be extremely difficult to open a new bank account. The first thing you should do, even if you are in the process of going through a bankruptcy, is to open a basic bankruptcy bank account. These accounts are designed specifically for those with terrible credit ratings such as individuals who have/are going through a bankruptcy.
Step By Step Instructions on Opening an Account after Bankruptcy
By following the steps detailed below, you should little to no trouble opening a bank account after bankruptcy. Remember that these instructions are not a guarantee; they just provide the best guidelines to follow in order to successfully open an account after bankruptcy.
Step 1: Research which banks will actually consider opening a new account for those that have been discharged from a bankruptcy. Finding banks that are not associated with ChexSystems are your best bet. This means that small banks and credit unions will be your best option.
Step 2: You can actually improve your chances of opening an account with banks that use ChexSystems even if your credit rating is extremely low. The best ways to do this are by requesting the bank to remove it from your file if your debt has been paid, and by getting a statement placed on the ChexSystems report that shows you have paid off your debt in its entirety.
Step 3: Before opening a checking account, open a savings account. The majority of banks will agree to open a savings account for you since they will not have to worry about checks bouncing or an individual incurring overdraft fees. If after some time you have successfully maintained your savings account then you may request to have the bank open a checking account for you. This demonstrates to the financial institution that you indeed capable of being responsible for your finances.
Step 4: Obtain a certificate of deposit from a bank and pay in cash. Kindly ask the financial institution to open you a checking account using your certificate of deposit as collateral. When cash is involved, banks are more likely to cooperate.
Step 5: Enroll in financial classes. Some banks actually allow people with low credit ratings to attend classes that discuss the skills you will need in order to keep a checking account current and apply for new accounts.
Alternatives to Bank Accounts
Although some individuals would find it nearly impossible to live without a checking account, it is pertinent to know there are various alternatives out there for you. One of these alternatives would be prepaid cards. Certain cards, such as the Cashplus prepaid Gold MasterCard will actually help you to revive your credit rating, one purchase at a time. The other good thing about this particular card is that it has a 100% acceptance rate. This card does not require a bank account nor a credit check; not to mention, your wages can be paid directly onto the card!
Another option would be managed bank account for those who have undergone bankruptcy. Although there is a small associated with the managed accounts, these accounts are becoming more and more popular since you are guaranteed to be accepted, even as an individual who has gone through bankruptcy.
What Is the Best Option
All in all, it is ultimately up to you to decide what benefits your more. Depending on the individual, different options will be open to different people. If you are unsure still of the best way to go about opening a new account then seek professional help. There is no shame is asking for help when it comes to your future. There are a multitude of banks offering a plethora of options for those who wish to open a new bank account either after or during a bankruptcy. Do your research and you will make the decision that works best for you.
The basic proposal of consolidation loans is combining several higher interest debts in one lower interest debt. Because of low interest one may save up money for basic needs and keep cash for bad times or use that amount to pay off the amount of principal loan.
But there is always a catch, to gain something you always have to take the risk. Consolidation loans, is like digging a big hole to put in the dirt of other tiny holes dug earlier. It only has placebo effect on the person burdened by deadlines and interest on different loans. It mentally relaxes you that you are not answering and addressing to different lenders every month.
One of biggest disadvantage of consolidating loans is finding fair interest rates without hidden fees, if not handled properly and can only make the financial situation worst. Those offering consolidation loans don’t provide proper information on interest till application form is filled, thus leaving little room for comparing the market. A consolidation loan may lead you to pay more in total debt payment even though it has lower interest rate than your existing debts. At a surface, it may seem like you are paying less with smaller month payment and lower interest. But, if you add up the total payments that use to clear the debt, you will find that you are paying much more than if you paid the debts with consolidation.
Consolidation loan is not for everyone, but the companies are full of scam thus if not taken proper guideline and counseling one might end up in a very tough financial situation. With consolidation loans you may be required to give some form of security/collateral e.g. your home, car etc. If due to some reason one loses the job or misses a payment you put your valuable asset e.g. home at risk by missing one payment.
With consolidating loans one ends up owing debts for longer time, thus straining your budget for longer time period and annoying you psychologically. If you had difficulty making your payments on several small loans, you may end up trouble paying one large loan. The biggest disadvantage of consolidation loans occurs when you do not address the problem that brought you into debts/loans at first place. People take out consolidation loan to pay off credit cards and end up using them again, thus making it difficult to manage debts. The debt world is full of unscrupulous people. You may well end up with a loan that has a high interest rate costing you more in the long run. Other debt consolidation businesses may pocket your monthly payments for the first few months leaving your creditors unpaid.
Consolidation loan doesn’t always work as intended. If you get involved with a small lender who goes out of business or passes your loan along to a less than fussy third party, you could find yourself in legal and financial serious trouble. Consolidation loans often can be very risky and nay be a bad idea to take up especially if you are struggling with your debts.
To pay your debts one needs to change the habits, ways of living and how you handle your money. To pay off loans you need to plan, make budget and save. Consolidation loans do not help in saving, planning or budgeting, thus leaving the cancerous cells that caused the disease is still there. Consolidation loans just ease the pain for the time being and hits you hard if not handled seriously and properly.
Everyone is aware of this term. We may deny on face to prove ourselves to be responsible but truth is everyone is in habit of overspending. Mostly overspending happens in things we take for granted or we have a good excuse to justify. But it doesn’t matter what we say, by the end of the month, bills on the table, calculating the expenses and tension of going over our income is a feeling shared by all.
“I went for shopping because I was feeling depressed” (an easy way out for buying happiness). “I saw this amazing handbag and couldn’t resist buying it”. Later “I shouldn’t have bought that bag, these credit card bills are killing me”. The above mentioned examples are the most common doses of regret almost every one of us faces every now and then. We can’t restrain ourselves from buying unnecessary things and go after our itch or sudden impulse for instant satisfaction, without thinking of the consequences: the never-ending struggle to pay off the credit cards and bank loans. Spending money for buying things for life is must. No one can deny this fact, but a line has to be drawn between what is necessary and what is unnecessary. For certain reason people ignore or fail to see the financial crisis and tensions they surround themselves in by overspending.
One other mostly ignored reason of overspending is buying small things on our every visit to the market or trip outside the house e.g. buying a coffee or drink on our way to office, taking something to munch from the gas station. These small purchases add up into a good amount.
Our craze to stay in fashion and following the latest trends also hits us hard by the end of the month; when we go on our unplanned and impulsive shopping spree buying latest cell phone, play station game, electronic gadgets, or fashion accessory we saw in the magazine. Purchasing different application for mobile, music from iTunes are the unnecessary yet addictive expenditures we cannot retrain ourselves from.
Mostly people live in a guilt of not being able to provide the luxuries of life to their children, thus give unnecessary gifts or purchase thing that are out of the budget. Living up to the social standards and status is major reason of people falling into debts and financial crisis. People usually take loans for luxurious living standards and eventually end up in deep waters when they are unable to pay back the loans and interest.
Boredom and laziness also are some common factors that contribute to our overspending habit. Not in mood to cook, let’s order something. Too bored, let’s go out with friends to for dinner. Unplanned gas and restaurants bills!
Saying no to friends, is a trait very few people know how to use. You are out for movie; concert or dinner and the friend want you to pay for the ticket or bill. Feeling pressurized to pay even when it’s out of your budget is a dilemma most of us face.
SALE, it’s a mesmerizing word, you can’t ignore it. You feel compelled to buy things that were out of your range before. Usually the credit card bill shoots up during sale season.
Once you are able sit and realize that you are overspending, you are able to win half of the battle. Taking the steps to cut back and restrain from such impulsive purchases will help you win the fight. To control overspending doesn’t mean giving up your way of life; it doesn’t mean that you have to be a miser: it is just asking yourself “do I really need it”.
Debt refers to money which we owed to some other person or any organization. In today’s world where even countries are surving on debts that they have taken, it is not a surprise to know that more than ninety percentage of the people are living by taking debts in one form or the other. Especially in America this rate is rapidly increasing as the cost of living is rising and the earnings are not rising in the proportionate way.
But how it feels like living debt free? Debt free living; should be a dream of every citizen in to day’s world. But, is it that difficult to lead a life debt free. To some extent we should say that it is definitely hard to achieve a debt free life. But, living debt free and working to eliminate debt, at the same time, can be a struggle. It can feel like you’re always giving up what you really want to meet that goal.
How the debt actually happens? Often companies or people enter into agreement which is formally called standard of deferred payment to borrow something (normally money but some times it can be other forms of money like shares, goods…).
Sometimes we can’t help but get discouraged. Our desires and wishes get the best of us from time to time. But, it seems to me that things always work out for the best if you just hang in there a little longer. Let me quote you one of my previous experiences in this context.
I was thinking of buying a beautiful Ivory dinning table, ever since I watched in an exhibition of the costliest items in my city. It has become one of my dream items from that time. Every time when I see my old damaged dinning time in my dinning room, I really get very frustrated on the fact that I don’t have enough money to buy my dream item. There are numerous number of incidents where I approached the salesman in the show room about that easy pay plan.
Each time I hesitated, and after about 15 minutes of thinking about it, I would walk away. I would tell myself that the purchasing such a costlier item wasn’t necessary right now. Besides all this, my old dinning table was making more and more frustrated every day. And, I finally told to myself that I could get a perfectly fine dinning table for the price which I can bear, when I “really” need it.
Talking yourself out of a purchase is hard when you’ve been talking yourself into them for so long. Justifying a non-purchase for the cause of living and becoming debt free is well worth it. I have about four years to go before I see zero debt. After that, I can save enough to buy any dinning table set I want in as little as two months, based on my current debt payment. By then, my tastes and the styles may have changed.
I got my new dinning table finally. But it is not a brand new Ivory dinning table which I saw in that exhibition on that day. It is an used one which I bought in an open auction. But remember it is still an ivory dinning table that has got a very rich look which I am really fond of. That ivory dinning table really made me a very proud host whenever I invited my friends or colleagues to the dinner. Every body praised it the way I wanted them to. So, I am very happy. No regrets for not buying a brand new Ivory dinning table for al most three times higher price.
Most importantly this purchase of the used Ivory dinning table satisfied my goal to become debt free and it really saved me some useful money. So, it is a debt free purchase with which I can live peacefully and proudly at the same time.
But the matter of fact is that in a world that’s credit card crazy living to become and remain debt free is often a very daunting and some times a challenge task. In today’s world we are in a constant exposure to these credit card offers. Quite often we can not resist ourselves from these offers. But never get carried away with these credit cards and spend too much that you finally are dipped in the debts. Keep a check on your self and try your best to lead a happy life which is debt free. It is possible, if you decide to do.
If you believe in the old adage that nothing in life is free anymore then you will undoubtedly be skeptical about any debt advice that you are offered at the present time that come complete with “free” in the title or indeed the description. In truth, you are probably right to look upon it with a little healthy scepticism because there are very few debt agencies out there that do not make a profit off the debt solutions they advise you to take out. However, that is not to say that free debt agencies do not exist because they definitely do. It is just knowing how and where to find them and the information outlined below will alert you to that.
The first point to make before looking at some of the best debt agencies that offer free advice is that the use of the term “free” should be taken with a real pinch of salt. Free advice can come from almost any agency out there because you rarely have to pay for it up front but some are biased and will advocate taking certain debt management solutions whether they are the best options for you or not. They do this because they get commission from the products and that is how they make their money. Unfortunately, if the products are not in your best interests then you end up the loser. As such, you need to pick and choose your free debt agencies with care.
So what exactly are free debt agencies and how can you find those that you should choose? Well, first of all, the free debt agencies that you should be choosing are non-profit. That is to say that you do not pay them but they are funded by governments, charitable funds and so on. As such, they are only interested in helping you for the sake of helping you rather than as a result of the huge commissions.
Free debt agencies should really be your first port of call if you need a little helpful advice concerning creditors chasing you. They will be able to offer unbiased advice and talk you through potential solutions. From there, no pressure will be exerted on you so whether or not you choose to take up various management solutions is your call. However, they will tell you that, after seeking advice from free debt agencies, you should inform debt collectors that you have done so in order to make sure that you get 30 days worth of breathing space from being chased. Even better, many of them will do just that for you.
Now that you are aware of how to spot free debt agencies that will work for you and those that will not, you may want to know a few of the options that are available for you. The following list includes some of the most popular ones out there:
• Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) – The CCCS offers a full debt counselling service, as the name suggests. They tend to specialise in personal debt and can offer advice that can help people to get back on track financially.
• National Debtline – Similar to the CCCS, National Debtline has fully trained operators waiting to take your call and offer a full debt service. They also offer advice to businesses that are in debt.
• Citizens Advice Bureau – Perhaps the most obvious source of help, the Citizens Advice Bureau is one of the most trusted and respected free debt agencies available so you can either call or drop into your local branch.
As you can see with the free debt agencies above, those that offer unbiased advice are also pretty well known and can definitely help you. Whether you take their advice is up to you but asking for it is often the first step to regaining control financially.
Payday loans were virtually unheard of a few years ago, yet in the past two years or so numerous companies offering this form of finance have begun to advertise online, set up stores on the high street and even market their products through TV adverts. As such, most people have heard of payday loans even if they know little about them and have not taken one out. However, there are many people that have taken advantage of them to help them pay bills and make it from one payday to the next. Some of those people will tell you that they love them whereas others have gotten into a financial mess as a result of them, so should you consider taking out payday loans when you are struggling or not? Read on to find out more.
So what exactly is a payday loan? A payday loan is literally a relatively small loan, usually of less than £1000, that is approved by a lender and due to be paid back on a specific agreed date. It may be that you have an unexpected bill that you have not budgeted for one month or that you have expenses that exceed your income on a temporary basis. In either scenario, payday loans could get you the cash that you need quickly and enable you to pay it back when your next pay packet comes through.
As with all financial products available today, there are numerous advantages and disadvantages associated with payday loans at the moment. Dealing with the advantages first, the main one is that payday loans can literally get you out of a tight spot. If you have no savings to draw on and need a small financial boost for a short term purpose then it can really offer the solution that you are looking for. Of course, there may be a fee and there will definitely be interest applied to the loan but this expense may be worth it if there is no other option. In addition, payday loans companies do not discriminate against those with poor credit histories. In many cases, they do not even perform credit checks, instead asking only for proof that you will be able to afford to pay the loan back.
However, if something sounds too good to be true then it usually is and payday loans certainly have their disadvantages.
Firstly, as previously mentioned, there will be interest applied to the payday loan and it can be as high as 300% to 400%. That is only if you pay it back on time as well so imagine what it could end up costing you if there is a problem. This brings us neatly to another disadvantage. If, for whatever reason, you cannot pay the debt back then the interest will continue to be added along with charges and this will soon double or even triple the debt. Paying it off may therefore become impossible.
Whether or not you decide to take out one of the many payday loans that are available, you need to weigh up the pros and cons and make a decision that suits you. It may mean taking a big risk but as long as you are comfortable with that risk then it may well work for you. However, if there are other options, such as savings, friends, family or even regular loans then it is worth considering them too. Never rush into payday loans because they will definitely come back to bite you if you do. Instead, take your time and work out the best course of financial action for you.
With the masses of Debt Management sites around on the internet, there is a lot of information about debt management out there, but do any of them tell you exactly how debt management works?
A lot of these debt management sites will tell you that they can lower your monthly payments, freeze your interest and charges and all you have to worry about is making sure you pay the debt management company your arranged sum of money each month. Sounds great, but where does your money go and what does the debt management company get out of it?
Ok to start with any self respecting debt management company should be properly licensed. Make sure they have a valid consumer credit license and a data protection license. You can check their consumer credit license stacks up at the following site http://www2.crw.gov.uk/pr/Default.aspx.
Do a search on the company, have a read on some of their reviews. If you see nothing but complaints against the company then it would be advisable to stay clear and find another company.
A good debt company will begin to talk you through your current debt situation and will ask you for personal debt information. They will need to build a picture of your current financial situation by taking down a list of your creditors, outstanding balances and an idea of what your monthly payments are. Once they have this information they will take you through an Income and Expenditure which will list what money you have coming in and what money you have going out. This will be fairly thorough and will take approximately 20 minutes to go through.
Now the advisor has in front of them your income and expenditure in black and white. This will show them how much you can afford to pay towards your debts. Feel free to try this on a piece of paper and see how much money you have left at the end of each month (your disposable income). Please note not to include items such as “beer money”, only essential living costs are allowed.
The advisor should now begin discussing your options and may take you through a few scenarios. If you do have some disposable income available then they might point you in the direction of a Debt management plan or a Scottish Trust Deed. For this instance though we shall focus solely on a debt management plan.
The advisor will discuss with you how much you feel you are comfortable paying each month towards your debts and may propose a figure to you based on your income and expenditure. If you are happy with this figure then the advisor will post out some paperwork to you so that you can digest the information at your own leisure and not have to make an on the spot decision.
If you are happy with everything and wish to proceed with the plan then you will be asked to send some paperwork back so that the debt advisor can proceed with setting up your debt management plan. You will be asked to sign an authority form so that the Debt management company has permission to act on your behalf when dealing with your creditors. You may also be asked to sign a standing order form.
With all the paperwork back, your advisor can proceed with setting up your Debt management plan. Your information will be checked with the details you gave over the phone and will be drafted up to send to your creditors. Upon receiving your first payment, your advisor will send out a letter of intention along with a copy of your signed authority to each one of your creditors. They will also ask for the most up-to-date balances from each one of your creditors so that they can have accurate figures on their system.
The intention of your advisor will be to setup an arrangement with your creditors. This will enable them to agree with your creditors a fixed payment each month based on your monthly payment. Quite often this payment will be lower than your monthly contractual payment as you are already struggling with Debt and are seeking professional advice. Your advisor will demonstrate you are struggling with your contractual payments by sending them a copy of your financial statement.
During this time it is unlikely any payments will be made to your creditors and often a debt management company will retain your first 2 payments as a setup fee.
Having received an up to date balance from all your creditors your debt advisor can then set about making an offer of payment to your creditors. This is done on a pro-rata basis, based on your payment amount. It is also at this stage that your debt advisor will also request that all your interest and charges are frozen due to the fact you are struggling with your payments. The reality is that not all creditors will freeze your interest payments but will often reduce the interest percentage to a more realistic amount.
Setting up arrangements with your creditors can be a timely affair. Correspondence between a debt management company and a creditor can often be slow. It can take anything from 1 – 3 months from initial contact before a creditor will accept or decline the debt management company’s offer of payment. To be cont……….
TrustDeeds.co.uk was launched in 2006 to help scottish residents struggling with debt problems with solutions tailored for the scottish such as a Scottish Trust Deed or Sequestration.
Since we started, we have helped thousands of clients with their debt problems and continue to be one of the leading debt help sites in Scotland. All enquirys are passed through to our partner company Mackenzie Stewart based in Glasgow, and are serviced by their professional debt team.