What is the difference between good debt and bad debt?
10th August 2011
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Your mortgage is a good debt and even re-mortgaging to make home improvements will add value to your property.  The bad debts are your credit cards and loans (always look at the small print in that agreement).  That outfit you bought for a night out will make you feel good for a short time, especially if you got it in the sale, but if you don’t pay it off on your credit card, it could end up being very expensive!

Banks are all about PROFIT, not RISK – The decisions they make with regard to lending you money depends on how much money they will make out of you in return. Savvy customer’s who always pay off their credit cards in full each month, may well get rejected for a loan as the bank won’t make any money out of them! This varies with each financial product such as loans or insurance policies. Before considering any kind of loan ensure you get as much advice about it as possible.

There are many websites carrying information with price comparisons about the  most competitive loans, but what you really need to do is to find out exactly how much you owe and how much is coming in through salary or benefits each month.

When applying for any sort of loan it’s important to find out what your credit rating score is, you can do this by asking for a copy of your credit report from companies such as Experian – www.experian.co.uk or Equifax – www.equifax.co.uk. It will cost as little as £2.00 to get this information.  

With regards to mortgages, there has never been a better time to take on a fixed rate mortgage, the Nationwide. Chelsea and Yorkshire Building Societies are all offering good deals.

We are all busy people and life isn’t easy and has a habit of throwing us a curve ball now and then, from illness, redundancy, boiler breakdown, car repairs etc, so start saving wherever possible and be prepared for whatever life throws at you.

Don’t be a hostage to fortune. Careful spending, shared resources like your car, shopping trips etc can make a real difference to your bank balance. Vintage is the latest buzz word. Vintage clothes are very in fashion and on trend and you can get yours for a fraction of the cost from many charity shops. Don’t get pressured into providing your kids with the latest, biggest and best just because their friends are doing it. Make shopping for a bargain into fun, check online sites such as ebay instead of paying full price for that evening dress, iphone, camera, gadget.

With the holiday season upon us be wary of using those credit cards abroad. Remember most cards will charge you for payments and withdrawing cash with up to 2.5% interest. An easy alternative to cash and wads of traveller’s cheques is the prepaid card. Check out www.moneysupermarket.com for the FairFx which you can apply for free if you load the card with more than 60 euros. You will still pay some fees for cash withdrawals but it will be cheaper than the usual credit card and you can only spend the amount that you put on the card. 

Don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore debt. Take action now and get help and advice. You’ll feel so much better once you are back in control of your finances.


Article by Jane Hardy, One Stop Financial Security

For more tips and advice on your financial security, visit: www.osfs.co.uk or for sound financial advice, contact Jane directly on (07768) 197 507.


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