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Money

Another £400m Into RBS’ PPI Compensation Fund, Says Missoldppiclaims.info

The Royal Bank of Scotland has earmarked an additional £400m to cover the cost of compensation and refunds relating to mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), says leading PPI Claims Company Missoldppiclaims.info.

The nationalised bank has released figures for the last quarter showing a pre-tax loss of£1.26bn, a proportion of which is due to the allocation of a further £400m to its PPIcompensation fund. In a move echoed around the banking industry in recent months, RBS now has increased its total PPI allocation to now stand at £1.7bn. However, it is unlikely to be the end of the compensation claims for the beleaguered bank.

Its recent computer problems resulted in significant numbers of RBS, Natwest and Ulster Bank customers being locked out of their accounts for days, a mistake which has cost£175million so far with a further £50m of compensation put aside.

RBS is also part of an investigation by regulators in the UK, US and Asia – including the fraud division of the US justice department – over the part it played in the manipulation of the LIBOR inter-bank lending rate. With settlement negotiations imminent, the fines that could potentially be applied RBS believe could have a “material” impact on the company.

Despite the problems, RBS showed operating profits for the third quarter increased from£650m to £1bn, while bad debt fell by £159m and staff costs were 5% lower due to a 7% reduction in staff.

Stephen Hester, chief executive of RBS, said: “The extraordinary challenges which RBS faced following the financial crisis are being worked through successfully. The five year restructuring plan is now in its later stages with important work still to do, including an emphasis on dealing with reputational issues now that the bank’s safety and soundness has advanced so well.”

A spokesperson for leading PPI Claims Management Company, Missoldppiclaims.info said: “It’s good to see RBS recognising its responsibilities towards customers that were mis-sold PPI policies, in particular the responsibility to put customers first and treat them fairly. This can be seen in its decision to increase lending to its business customers even though there was a downturn in loan applications, but it would be good to see a similar helpful response to borrowing for its non-business customers with personal loans and residential mortgages.

The reputational issues Mr Hester refers to are likely to be industry criticisms that RBS customers play second fiddle to the short-term interests of shareholders and staff. As a result, RBS has relaxed its lending position towards its small and medium (SMEs)businesses, which has led to a an increase of new lending by 3% since the second quarter despite a 25% drop in SME loan applications due to the Olympics and doubts over the stability of the UK economy.

Analyst Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “There is no doubting the immensity of the task RBS has faced in executing its turnaround plan, nor indeed the progress made so far.”

Via EPR Network
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EquityRelease.net Publishes New Beginners Guide Factsheet For Equity Release Mortgages

The equity release resource website EquityRelease.net is pleased to announce that they have added The Essential Equity Release Factsheet to the website to provide UK residents with a concise and easy-to-read introduction to equity release schemes in the UK. EquityRelease.net is an independent equity release information resource website that provides a detailed information resource of equity release as well as free equity release advice and quotes.

Many older UK residents look forward to retirement as a time when they can engage in hobbies and activities that were not possible when they worked. Unfortunately, there is growing concern over whether people’s pension and retirement savings are enough to maintain their standard of living and spend their time as they please. As many retiring homeowners look into equity release as a means to provide the income they desire in retirement, the information website EquityRelease.net hopes to answer their basic questions with the addition of “The Essential Equity Release Factsheet” to the website.

“Our goal as always is to help older UK residents understand how equity release in their homes actually works, and the new infographic reduces our voluminous information contained on the website to its most basic terms, primarily using graphics to explain how equity release works,” said an EquityRelease.net representative.

As an introduction to equity release, the fact sheet begins by explaining the basic nature of home equity release. The equity of a home is the current value on the open market minus the debts held against it. Equity release allows the homeowner to obtain cash for this value without having to move out of their home. Equity release is for individuals over the age 55 who own property valued at around £70,000 or more, and most schemes also stipulate a minimum and maximum amount that can be released.

A common question answered by the fact sheet is who can take advantage of equity release. The new infographic shows the general profile of people that routinely take advantage of equity release as well as the eligibility requirements that they must meet to qualify. Many people have a fear of losing their home with equity release schemes so the fact sheet explains the limited risk of losing a home and how it can be avoided.

When it comes to the basics of releasing equity, readers will learn about its two forms, which include lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans, which are both approved and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). While the Essential Fact Sheet infographic is meant to be an introduction to equity release, readers can find far more detailed information on the website about all aspects of equity release. Website visitors can also take advantage of free advice and a quote provided by one of their specialists. For more information, please visit http://www.equityrelease.net/

Via EPR Network
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Payday Loans Paid Enter the UK Payday Lending Market

Paydayloanspaid.co.uk has entered the payday loans online market in the United Kingdom. With a team of financial experts who bring with them an inordinate amount of experience in the unsecured loans sector in the UK, they aim to bring something different into the challenging internet, payday lending sector.

Head of online operations, Jenny Statham explained, ‘’Many payday loan applications are declined from a number of the main lenders in the United Kingdom due to their reliance on passing one application. Our payday loans are slightly different in that we can use our strong relationships with some of the payday lenders to ensure the majority of the applications are approved.”.

Payday loans are a somewhat sensitive subject and have featured heavily in the mainstream British press in recent times, but it appears they could be featuring in the UK lending sector for some time. With some APR’s of payday loans surpassing 4 figures, they have – in some quarters – been rightly criticised. Jenny Statham added, ‘’ we try to make sure any potential applicant are fully aware of the associated costs that come with the payday loan agreement they enter into.  Our advice to people who are considering entering into a payday loan agreement with  a lender they have sourced through Paydayloanspaid.co.uk is to primarily focus on the repayment terms, if they are unable to meet the repayments costs then it is important they do not take on the payday loan.”

With a plethora of payday loan operators frequenting the internet it can be difficult to decide what lender to choose from.  Jenny Statham advised, ‘’if you are looking to secure a payday loan, it is important not to use the first lender you find. Spend some time researching the different providers to ensure you get the very best deal. As there are so many in competition with each other now, there could be some great deals to be found out there”.

Paydayloanspaid.co.uk is one of countless payday loan lenders in the United Kingdom in what some commentators are calling a ‘’saturated market”. They hope, however, to hit the ground running with an easy to use online portal, quality customer service and modest acceptance rates for new applications. Jenny concluded, ‘’we hope to attract people to our online portal who may not have used a payday loan, but have the capacity to service the loan, as new applications will typically have a greater chance of being accepted for a payday loan through our approval system”.­­­­­

Via EPR Network
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Paydayloansavailable.com Aiming to Decrease Application Times

Paydayloansavailable.com is the latest online payday lender to have adapted an online lending portal to service UK residents who may be in need of an unsecured lending facility. With the onset of broker style lending,  payday loans are now being processed online in the UK by many service providers using state of the art ‘’Pingtree” technology, working in unison with the UK’s leading payday lenders, and the application facility now being operated by Paydayloansavailable.com is certainly no exception.

The application harnesses secure technology to enable new and existing applicants to push their details through to a panel of lenders after submitting one application form online. The details are transmitted through to the lenders via the application and the subsequent decision is made by one of the chosen payday loan lenders. Jenny Davis, applications manager at Paydayloansavailable.com explained, ‘’we have decided to integrate a Pingtree style application within the site to give applicants a credible opportunity to access funds. The main advantage we have is that all of our applications are submitted to different lenders. The payday providers will then either accept the loan application based on the data that has been submitted, or it will be declined. Either way there is a reduced time implication which can only serve to benefit our customers”.

Online payday lenders are now entrenched within the UK’s unsecured finance sector and it is evident the increased competition has not always culminated in an improved service provided. But, Paydayloansavailable.com aims to at least serve their customers quicker than ever before, as well as giving them increased opportunity to secure short term, unsecured funding online. Jenny Davis added, ‘’there is still a real need in the UK for short term loans and unfortunately there is not the availability of funding through the mainstream lending channels. Whilst we do not condone irresponsible lending, it is important to acknowledge there is a need for credit and we hope to be able to provide an opportunity for finance”.

Paydayloansavailable.com is aiming to make an impact on the lending sector in the UK. Despite their relatively short time operating online, by implementing cutting edge technology into their service provision, they may well be making a positive statement of intent.

Via EPR Network
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Pockit announces exclusive 5% cashback at over 70,000 hotels with HotelStayUK

Market leading prepaid MasterCard® provider, Pockit announces exclusive 5% cashback for all Pockit cardholders on hotels and short breaks with HotelStayUK.

Prepaid MasterCard® provider, Pockit has announced a new exclusive cashback for Pockit prepaid cardholders on top of its existing partner offers.

Pockit has teamed up with HotelStayUK, the UK’s only hotel and short break member benefit provider, to provide Pockit cardholders with fantastic discounts on hotels and short breaks across the UK, Europe and worldwide.

HotelStayUK offers guaranteed savings between 10% and 60% off 74,000 hotels across the world. However, Pockit cardholders can also receive an additional 5% cashback off their already discounted rates.

HotelStayUK work with major UK and worldwide hotels, including the finest Hilton, Novotel, Meridien, Marriot, Holiday Inn and Radisson resorts, to provide amazing hotel and short break offers. Whether it’s a room for a night in a vibrant city or a romantic break at a spa hotel over Christmas, they can find the right place, in the right location, at the right price.

Virraj Jatania, joint managing director of Pockit, said: “At Pockit we pride ourselves on offering our prepaid cardholders additional benefits they simply couldn’t find on the High Street.

“We’ve teamed up with HotelStayUK to enable our customers to take advantage of exclusive savings on hotels and short breaks available to Pockit users only.

“This is another fantastic cashback that adds great value to our Pockit prepaid MasterCard®.”

Pockit cardholders have two ways of enjoying massive savings when planning a visit away with HotelStayUK. Cardholders can call HotelStayUK on 08445 007 106 quoting‘pockit’, or view the exclusive Pockit discounts via the HotelStayUK website, using the link provided. Whichever option they choose, they must use their Pockit Prepaid MasterCard® for their booking.

All of Pockit’s partner offers have been exclusively negotiated to provide Pockit MasterCard® holders with maximum savings on retail, insurance, utilities, broadband, travel, optical and dental care and more.

Via EPR Network
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Pensioners Suffering As The Money Runs Out, Says Debt Solutions Company Trust Deed Scotland

A new report reveals that pensioners across the UK are being left penniless as their money disappears every week in a whirlwind of bills, says Debt Solutions Company, Trust Deed Scotland.

An income of £207.15 per week is typical for most pensioned couples, but a report by Standard Life shows it goes straight back out the door as £207.24 is spent on food, fuel, housing and transport.

The report highlights rising inflation as the reason why the average pensioner has difficulties making ends and are being hit hard – many are having issues even affording a new pair of shoes, a holiday or a present for a grandchild.

While the Consumer Price Index remained the same in September at 4.5%, the Retail Price Index was hovering at 5.2% and threatening to rise again. Pensioner have a fixed income that doesn’t change from month to month, and that combined with inflation and large energy rises from utilities companies means turn some have turned towards credit cards to make ends meet.

A spokesperson for Scottish Debt Solutions Company, Trust Deed Scotland, said:
“According to Age UK, British pensioners are the fourth poorest in Europe, with the worst off set to lose up to 22% of their household income because of cuts to local authority services and changes to the tax and benefits system. This report highlights the dire position our parents and grandparents are in. At a time when they should be relaxing after a lifetime of working, they are pinching pennies and worrying about what the future will hold for them.”

The day before Standard Life published its report, the Institute of Fiscal Studies issued a warning about how ‘real’ inflation was hitting pensioners much harder than younger age groups.

“The Insolvency Service reported the fastest rising group of people claiming insolvency is pensioners,” said the spokesperson. “They are six times more likely to go bankrupt or take out a debt solution such as a Scottish Trust Deed or Debt Arrangement Schemethan they were just a decade ago. The number of people entering retirement with unpaid debts has increased, and when combined with increased life expectancy, the recession and limited options to increase income when you retire, it adds up to a lot of older people in real trouble”.

According to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service the average unsecured debt of newly retired pensioners is £21,370 and few have any savings at all. Once all the bills have been covered, there’s just £85 left at the end of the month.

“There are numerous reasons why pensioners are entering retirement in debt,” said the spokesperson. “Previous good house values led to many people remortgaging for home improvements or to loan to children or grand children for house deposits. There’s also the issue of divorce, where one partner will often buy the other out of their share of the property by extending their mortgage. And then some people are marrying and having families much later in life or having second families in their fifties.”

“For many life as a retiree in today’s world is just as expensive as it was when they were working, but now they have less income to live on.”

Via EPR Network
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Couple’s Horror Story With Bank Charges Highlights A Need For Other Short-Term Credit Options

Payday loans are often given negative attention in the media because they’re viewed as a form of high cost credit. However, while banks are clamping down ever harder on customers who don’t stick to the terms of their overdrafts, and inadvertently pushing some customers into unmanageable debts, a leading payday loan company says payday loans offer consumers another option when faced with a need for emergency credit. It also advocates the simplicity and transparency of this option, especially when compared with unauthorised credit charges.

A national newspaper recently highlighted the plight of a young couple who found themselves being expected to pay out a staggering £1,700 to a high street bank – all because they went overdrawn by eight pence.

Angela Hannibal, from Essex, had an account with a high street bank on which she was charged a monthly administration fee. When, one month, that fee took her overdrawn by just 8p, her bank immediately demanded a £170 administration charge.

Angela, who had a young son with her partner, Wayne Green, could not understand how they were continually paying back money to the bank and then getting charged again every couple of months, which kept the debt spiralling out of their control.

Payday Express maintains that their instant payday loans offer consumers a choice in the short-term credit market; an alternative to being at the whim of fees imposed for unauthorised credit. Angela could potentially have avoided those extra charges had she taken out an emergency loan to clear the debt initially or, better still, to avoid going into unarranged overdraft in the first place.

Via EPR Network
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Debt Free Direct Sees Mixed Results As Q1 Insolvency Figures Are Released By The Insolvency Service

The latest insolvency figures released show personal debt is continuing to rise in the UK, with Q1 of 2010 the fifth consecutive quarter to do so. Official figures declared for the first three months of 2010 saw a 17.9% increase in the number of personal insolvencies in England and Wales compared with the same period last year. Company insolvencies however were down 17.8% on the same period last year, rounding off a mixed year for the nation’s debt.

Debt Free Direct Sees Mixed Results As Q1 Insolvency Figures Are Released By The Insolvency Service

There were 35,682 personal insolvencies and 4,082 company insolvencies in the first quarter of 2010, however Derek Oakley, Insolvency Director at Debt Free Direct has warned of the trends of previous downturns; “In previous downturns the UK has experienced a double spike in formal insolvencies: the first representing the actual downturn itself and the second coming during the recovery of the downturn as under capitalised and weakened businesses struggle to cope with increased activity levels.”

The figure for company insolvencies, 4,082, equalled out at a decrease of 8.4% on the previous quarter. The figure can be converted to 1 in 120 active companies going into l formal insolvency(or 0.8%), which is a decrease f r o m the previous quarter, when the figure stood at 1 in every 114 countries (0.9%).

The official figures on insolvencies are released by The Insolvency Service and are compiled f r o m administrative records of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The records show that the 35,682 personal insolvencies consisted of a variety of different types. The traditional way of dealing with unmanageable debt; Bankruptcy was at 18,256, which was down 10.7% on the same quarter last year, but up 7.3% on the previous quarter.

There were 11,782 Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA), up 20.1% on last year but at the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009. An IVA is a legally binding agreement between debtor and creditor in which a reduced payment plan is committed to. Introduced in 1986, the agreement typically lasts for around 5 years and the consumer has the potential to settle a portion of their debt.

Via EPR Network
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Trade in Gold – Risk Free

Is it really possible to invest in the gold market completely risk free? Well according to Best Invest in Gold the answer to that is a resounding yes. In conjunction with the launch of their new website, www.bestinvestingold.com, they are offering an incredible incentive to attract new investors.

With international offices in Milano, Italy, and Frankfurt, Germany, Bestinvestingold.com has been professionally branded for the retail investor in almost any country, be it the United States or the United Kingdom, to have access to information and trading platforms dealing in gold futures contracts not typically available through their brokerage accounts. In addition to the company’s new logo, it has selected as its tagline, “Trading Your Gold Futures”, to indicate not only its known expertise in trading the gold futures and gold options contracts, but also to communicate its message that in today’s economic environment, commodity and other type investors can look at gold trading as another alternative investment vehicle to build their future portfolios.

A spokesman for the company said that with gold currently trading in the US$1,200 area, and having tripled over the past eight years, he sees no reason for this trend to end. However, f r o m a trading perspective, it does not really matter which direction gold is moving as the company uses sophisticated trading models to lever up the investment for maximum returns by following short-term trends occurring on different exchanges in response to fast moving market conditions as they happen.

“It may not be uncommon for a U.S. based gold commodity investor to be familiar with The Chicago Board Of Trade or The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, but, just as an example, how many have taken advantage of the opportunities on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchanges which has historically been an international hub for the physical trade of not only gold, but also many other commodities? Being specialists based in Europe, we have been making these platforms available to American and European investors since 2005.”

In addition to receiving newsletters and updates regularly, Bestinvestingold.com has their unique first trade strategy for new clients. The firm will match you dollar for dollar in your investment and guarantee to absorb any loss through its tightly controlled risk management trading strategies. If the market moves in the planned direction, through the use of futures and options contracts, each dollar invested becomes more valuable by $1,000. Should the market move against you, the traders will sell out the position and send you back your investment plus ten percent (10%).

Thus, as the company boasts, “You really do have nothing to lose. When introducing a new client, we want them to know we are confident in our ability to make money for them as they deploy risk capital,” In conjunction with the release of the Bestinvestingold.com video website, the company is currently offering a free downloadable report titled, “The Five Reasons Gold Will Hit $5,000”.

Via EPR Network
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UK Savers Losing Billions Of Pounds In ISA Accounts Each Year

As billions of pounds of British savers money is being lost in ISA accounts, the government’s consumer watchdog Consumer Focus is due to launch an official complaint on the matter. The move which could potentially ‘shake up the ISA industry’ is a long time coming suggests Matt Spencer, founder of UK based personal finance blog Moneystand.co.uk.

Consumer Focus have highlighted numerous ‘unfair obstacles’ financial providers have put in place for savers to transfer their accounts to other banks, which pay higher interest rates.

The cash ISA market is currently worth around £158 billion, as savers flocked to the tax free service introduced in 1999. Upon its launch rates averaged a healthy 6.32 %, however this figure has plummeted to 0.42 %, a figure that is below the Bank of England base rate.

Mike O’Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus suggests that a slow ISA transfer process and bureaucracy from the banks has caused many of these problems. He suggests that only 12 % of people have moved their ISAs to a more preferable savings rate, which is costing UK savers millions per year in lost revenue.

As a large consumer group, Consumer Focus can launch a ‘super-complaint’ to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). This would force the OFT to give an official response within 90 days to the matter and a decision over what action it would take towards the issue.

Common issues that arose include the length of time it takes for transfers to occur when sending funds and information from one bank to another. Official government guidelines recommend a limit of four weeks for this process. Findings from Consumer focus show that a third of people switching their ISAs waiting more than five weeks for funds to clear into the new account.

Customers should be wary when looking for a new ISA provider however warns Matt Spencer, suggesting:

“Banks are offering introductory rates with high interest levels to entice new customers to open new ISA accounts. These short term bonuses often hide very poor interest rates once the honeymoon period is over.

It’s time for savers to get the rates they deserve, so be sure to make your money is working as hard as possible for you. This might mean that you need to change your current ISA provider, despite the long transfer times between banks.”

Personal finance blog MoneyStand provides unbiased personal finance, IVA help and debt related information. Founded in 2008, MoneyStand was created in response to the worsening financial situation of individuals in the UK and across the world. For more information on personal finance, visit www.moneystand.co.uk.

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British Banks Continue To Put Pressure On Customer Finances

According to recent data released by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), banks are rejecting thousands of requests every month from customers looking for help with their finances.

The Financial Ombudsman Service, which is an independently run service that deals with complaints from consumers and businesses in the financial industry, revealed that 13,053 cases were brought to its attention from consumers looking for more leniency from their banks. Debt management and IVA company Debt Free Direct expect to see this number of complaints increase in 2010 as thousands of individuals sought debt advice with the company in Q1 of 2010.

Derek Oakley, Insolvency Director at Debt Free Direct comments:

“We are continuing to see an increase in debt help enquiries from individuals worried about their finances. For many of these people, overdraft charges are adding to their already stretched budgets. We would always recommend that individuals seek professional debt advice if they find themselves struggling to pay their bills each month.”

Compared with just 2,800 similar complaints to the FOS in 2008, the 360 per cent increase in complaints may indicate the UK banking organisations are responding poorly to their customers needs during the economic downturn. In particular customers concerns include individuals in debt who are being charged fees on their overdraft facilities or insurance policy holders who have not been paid out on their claims.

Although traditional legal routes for reclaiming money lost through overdraft charges have now ended, there are still ways in which individuals can claim this money back if they are in financial difficulties. With charges of up to £35 every time the overdraft limit is exceeded, such fees could be contributing to furthering levels of personal debt for many customers in the UK.

According to the Ombudsman service, many banks will ignore individual’s pleas of hardship and refuse to suspend overdraft charges, renegotiate overdraft limits or restructure outstanding debts, despite this going against the industry lending code for personal banking. In the case of most complaints put forward to the Obmundsman, the customer will have already been refused a refund by their bank on any outstanding overdraft charges.

Debt Free Direct recommends the best course of action for anyone with financial worries is to seek professional, confidential debt advice. Many individuals may feel ashamed of their financial difficulties, but seeking advice is one of the first steps to becoming debt free.

They state, “Our aim is to suggest an effective debt solution for every individual using our Best Advice Model (BAM). BAM quickly and accurately analyses the financial information for each person and recommends the most appropriate, least drastic solution for them.”

Debt Free Direct, the UK’s leading Insolvency practitioners receive thousands of insolvency inquiries each month for debt advice. The company, which was founded in 1997 specialise in providing impartial debt advice and guidance for individuals in financial hardship.

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Moneystand.co.uk: Take Advantage Of Saving Strategies

Savers must look for smart new ways to make the most out of their accumulated wealth in the midst of continual drops in saving rates. With easy access and notice accounts both dropping their rates in recent months, savers must act swiftly to ensure they make the most out of any savings they may have remaining.

For those relying upon savings accounts to support their income the consistently low rates of the past 12 months will have been particularly difficult to stomach. Moneystand.co.uk founder Matt Spencer suggests that there are ways around this reality for individuals willing to put in the extra effort to ensure they actually see a real return on their savings.

“Savvy consumers who assess how separate bank details can be played off one another are likely to see the best return on their savings. In these tough economic times, it is always important to make your money work as hard as possible.”

Some savings accounts, such as the Santander offer will reward you for making regular monthly payments in to their account; paying 6% as long as at least £1000 is deposited per month. Other banks, such as the Halifax are offering £5 per month payouts as long as a minimum £1000 monthly deposit is made.

Clearly logic implies that multiple accounts across banks will ensure maximum return and with both of these banks accepting direct transfer from other banks this technique is completely plausible. Many customers are already making use of this process to ensure that they acquire the saving rates they need to ensure they see a real return after tax and inflation are taken into account.

Moneystand suggests consumers must be wary not to fall into the overdraft facility if they do decide to take this approach. Multiple current accounts, all of which have had their overdraft facility used will reflect very negatively upon an individual’s credit rating and must be avoided at all costs. Proper planning must go in to making this decision to ensure that all accounts are clearing whilst still in the positive.

For the latest financial news and advice on individual voluntary arrangement, debt and insolvency issues visit our personal finance blog, http://www.moneystand.co.uk.

Via EPR Network
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Understanding Texas Home Insurance Options

It is a smart idea that no matter what state you live in, you familiarize yourself with the types of policies and market rates for that particular state. Texas is no exception to this rule so it is important that when you’re shopping online for home insurance quotes you know what policies insurance companies in Texas offer.

Understanding Texas Home Insurance Options

According to an article recently published on InsuranceAgents.com, searching for homeowners insurance quotes in Texas is just like searching for homeowners insurance quotes in any other state, only the rates may fluctuate from company to company. However, the types of policies are usually standard no matter what company you check out.

The article states, “Insurance companies in Texas offer their own particular policies that are relevant solely to Texans. Once you have a sampling of what Texas homeowners insurance offers you can shop for homeowners insurance quotes more effectively.”

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Finding Cheap Life Insurance Easier Than You Think

To those who have wondered whether or not a cheap life insurance policy exists today, a newly published article on InsuranceAgents.com answers with an emphatic “yes.”

Finding Cheap Life Insurance Easier Than You Think

“Cheap life insurance does exist and its target market are people under 30, that are starting a family,” the articles, ‘Cheap Life Insurance’ states. “Most times cheap life insurance is term life insurance.”

Term life insurance is a policy that has an expiration date. After the term is over, the coverage ceases, as well, unless the policyholder passes on during the term. It’s typically the cheapest life policy to buy. More expensive (but more comprehensive) is a whole life insurance policy—these policies aren’t cheap unless you invest in them very young.

Life insurance can be the line between a financially-broken grieving family and a family that can focus on the death of a loved one because they don’t have to worry about income.

“The death of a loved one is tough enough; combine that with financial devastation and the situation just got worse,” the article states. “A life insurance policy takes care of those you love, should the unthinkable occur.”

The funds from a life insurance policy can be used for any number of things the beneficiary(s) may need to pay for like funeral costs, any mortgage or debts left behind, sending the children to college, and even allowing the family time to grieve before returning to work.

A great way to find cheap life insurance rates is to search online for quotes. You can obtain several life insurance quotes and policies, allowing you the opportunity to compare coverage, rates and insurance providers.

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Apex Signs up to Tracesmart’s Online Debtor Tracing Facility

Tracesmart Corporate has been appointed by Apex Credit Management to provide their proprietary data cleansing and online tracing services. The intuitive web based tracing system offers a single source solution, which permits the rapid and confident tracing of gone aways and absconded debtors. The facility will provide Apex with the means to conduct their tracing activities, both efficiently and ethically.

Apex Credit Management is a rapidly growing credit management provider. Headquartered in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the business is focused exclusively upon providing debt management services to the financial services sector; notably early arrears outsourcing, debt collection, debt purchase and tracing services. The company was established in 2000 as a specialist UK based consumer debt collection agency.

Apex recently created a new division, Apex Discovery Solutions, which provides dedicated tracing solutions to the financial services sector. Based in West Malling, Kent, the new enterprise boasts a large team of tracers to fulfil the recent uptake in demand from this sector. Head of Trace is Jamie McGrath, who with over twenty years of experience in the debt recovery and debt purchase sectors has extensive knowledge of tracing and compliance. Commenting on the company’s new partnership with Tracesmart, McGrath remarked, “Forging an alliance with Tracesmart enables us to broaden our data cleansing and tracing services across our client base, which will assist us in our goal of becoming a data led, ethical and compliant trace provider.”

Tracesmart is one of the UK’s leading data specialists, providing debtor tracing and consumer data services to a vast number of the country’s credit management companies. In addition to people tracing, the company also offer identity checks and anti-money laundering services to a varying and growing legion of businesses and industries.

Commenting on the new partnership, Chris Rothwell, Tracesmart’s Sales Director remarked, “We are delighted that Jamie and his recently established Apex division have chosen Tracesmart for their tracing and data solutions. Our debtor tracing facility is industry leading; we are confident we can provide increased productivity and efficiencies to any credit management organisation. We look forward to providing a first-rate and cost-effective service to our new partner, Apex.”

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Consumer Price Index Rise Hits UK Savers Pockets

With bank rates predicted to stay low for the next 12 months, savers are in an increasingly tricky situation, according to personal finance website MoneyStand.co.uk.

As the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) is often greater than the savings account interest rates, MoneyStand.co.uk believes some individuals are actually poorer in real terms by keeping money in certain accounts. The UK website, which focuses on giving advice and information on personal finance, debt solutions, and IVA, has stated that simple and well thought out decisions can make all the difference to consumers in these instances. These are particularly testing times for those who live off the interest of their accumulated wealth to subsidise their pension.

Due to the low interest rates affecting most banks within the UK and the erosive affects of rising inflation, individuals with savings are feeling the brunt of the economic downturn. Even with substantial savings, British savers are missing out on a solid return on their investments once tax is taken into account.

With the Consumer Prices Index rising to 1.9 per cent, basic rate taxpayers need their banks to provide a minimum savings rate of 2.375 per cent before seeing any real return on their investments, and higher rate tax payers need a sizeable 3.166 per cent to see a return. In reality, currently only 9 out of 744 variable rate savings accounts available in the UK actually offer an interest rate higher than this. Compared with November, when 69 out of 744 accounts paid above this rate, experts argue that banks are profiteering at the expense of their customers, warning that the situation will now get even worse for the basic rate taxpayers.

Following a widespread media campaign for better deals for UK savers, the UK government has promised to start taking action against these low yield savings accounts. Despite these claims, Moneystand.co.uk suggests that UK individuals will soon have almost no reason to save.

Founder Matt Spencer said, “Due to the worsening interests rates offered by the banks, we have approached the stage where taxpayers are better off investing their money into gold bullion than they are with savings accounts.”

“Due to the Consumer Prices Index rising beyond economists’ expectations from 1.5 per cent to 1.9 per cent last month, basic rate taxpayers will also feel the knock on effects of the increase for some months to come. Economists have attributed this to amongst other things, rising fuel and energy costs.”

Personal Finance weblog MoneyStand.co.uk has been providing unbiased personal finance, IVA and debt related information since early 2008 specifically to help people through these testing financial times. The authors realise people are facing particularly pressing financial times and seek to alleviate this where possible by providing clear and easy to understand information.

“In times of recession individuals and families often overlook simple financial decisions that can make huge differences to their financial health.” Matt Spencer explained, “Our aim is to highlight and offer financial advice on these sensitive topics.”

For the latest financial news and advice on IVA, debt and insolvency visit our personal finance blog, http://www.moneystand.co.uk.

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Guide to Separating Homeowners Insurance after Divorce Released

While divorce is generally a hard time in many people’s lives, the best way to lessen the pain is to know how to take things apart, like property, rights, and particularly homeowners insurance, according to a recent InsuranceAgents.com article, “Home Owners Insurance and Divorce: An Unfortunate Combination.”

Divorce is a huge life change, and it forces individuals to reassess their finances, and that should include the homeowners insurance policy.

“If you plan on keeping the home after the divorce, it is imperative you follow the guidelines to ensure a convenient and stress-free process. Divorce can be an expensive dispute, but that doesn’t mean your homeowners insurance policy has to as well,” the article states.

When a homeowners insurance policy is drafted, its details (like the amount of the deductible), and included coverage options, etc., is all determined by the client(s). In other words, the lifestyle (routine, income, shared personal belongings, and way of life) of a person and their spouse (or soon-to-be ex) determines who the homeowners insurance policy is customized. So when one spouse of is out of the picture, the existing homeowners insurance policy’s coverage is no longer 100 percent relevant and needs to be updated.

It is also important for the spouse who retains ownership of the home to focus on the deductible of the homeowners insurance policy. The policyholder can either get a lower deductible and pay a higher premium, or get a higher deductible and pay a lower premium.

“Depending on your situation following the divorce, each type of deductible may have different benefits for you,” according to the article.

Divorce can be time-consuming, expensive and painful. To reduce the amount of stress and burden on a person, knowing how to split the big things—the home, personal belongings, homeowners insurance policy—will go a long way.

To learn more and/or request home owners insurance quotes, visit InsuranceAgents.com.

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The Children’s Mutual Reports Kids Unaffected By Recession This Christmas

According to research by a leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) provider, The Children’s Mutual, children in the UK are set for a bumper Christmas this year, receiving £5 billion of presents. With generous friends and family set to spend 20% more than last year on youngsters, it seems the recession is not impacting kids’ stockings just yet.

The average UK child will receive £380 worth of presents this year, compared to £316 in 2008. In total, UK kids will have over £4 billion worth of toys and other presents underneath their trees, along with £960 million in cash, with each child receiving an average of £73. More than a quarter of lucky UK children will get £100 or more.

The Children’s Mutual is urging parents to take advantage of the generosity of friends and family this Christmas by asking them to invest in a present that could last a lifetime.

David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “It’s great news that the recession is not affecting kids’ stockings this Christmas. However we are urging parents to think about their children’s futures and ask friends and family to invest a portion of this money for the long-term.”

The Children’s Mutual also found that a lot of money is spent on presents that often don’t last for more than a couple of months.

David White continued: “Around £200 is spent on presents that won’t make it past Easter, but if this money was invested in a Child Trust Fund each year, it could be worth £6,100* by the time it matures when the child turns 18. This way friends and family can give a gift that could last well beyond the child’s 18th birthday and providing them with a nest egg for the future.”

According to figures from The Children’s Mutual, top ups into Child Trust Funds get a timely boost at Christmas with an average increase in ad hoc payments of just under 25% during the festive period.

Child Trust Funds are designed to provide a tax efficient, long term savings vehicle for all eligible children (born on or after 1 September 2002). Each newborn child receives a £250 Child Trust Fund voucher (£500 for low income families) from the Government when their parents register for Child Benefit. The Government will make a second contribution of £250 (£500 for low income families) when the child reaches seven and is considering a third in the child’s teenage years. Parents, family and friends can all then add to this account up to a maximum value of £1,200 each year.

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The Children’s Mutual Launches What I Want To Be Webmercial

The Children’s Mutual, a leading Child Trust Fund provider, has captured the career aspirations of kids in the UK in its new webmercial and microsite.

Dressed to reflect the most popular career choices, babies from seven to 11 months are seen acting out different job roles in the 50 second web ad.

The What I Want To Be webmercial was prompted by research from The Children’s Mutual into the dream jobs of the nation’s children entitled What I Want To Be. Every year the research tracks the career aspirations of children as they grow up, to explore how social and economic factors might affect their ultimate career choices.

The brains behind the ad, Head of Online at The Children’s Mutual and dad of one, Nathan King said: “We wanted to engage with a new generation of parents who enjoy and respond to online media. We understand families and their desire to help their children fulfil their ambitions. So while the ad and microsite are a lot of fun our products support parents in helping their children to reach their goals.”

The project isn’t the first time The Children’s Mutual has broken new ground as a CTF provider. The family finance specialist also created the first branded CTF TV advert encouraging parents to save for their children as well as a recently launched animated guide to the Child Trust Fund. The webmercial and CTF microsite now form part of the company’s evolving social media engagement strategy.

According to King: “Personal finance is very few people’s favourite subject but it is a crucial part of daily life. As a family finance specialist we want to try everything we can to help make saving and planning for the future as engaging and straightforward as it can be.”

Child Trust Funds are designed to provide a tax efficient, long term savings vehicle for all eligible children. Each eligible newborn child (born on or after 1 September 2002) receives a£250 Child Trust Fund voucher (£500 for low income families) from the Government when their parents register for Child Benefit. The Government will make a second contribution of £250 (£500 for low income families) when the child reaches seven and is considering a third in the child’s teenage years. Parents, family and friends can all then add to this account up to a maximum value of £1,200 each year.

Via EPR Network
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