Category Archives: Personal Finance

Personal Finance

Artistic Checks “Kimono” Personal Check Design

As one of the most recognized personal check printing brands, Artistic Checks continues to offer customers new classic check designs. The new “Kimono” product suite is a bright addition to the Artistic line with its display of traditional Japanese flair.

On August 11, 2008, Artistic Checks released the new “Kimono” product suite through its website, www.artisticchecks.com. The personal checks offer four rotating scenes that feature subtle backgrounds of flowers portrayed in the classic Asian style of art. To compliment these backdrops, Japanese figures pose in traditional make-up and beautiful kimonos to match the colors and flowers that are pictured behind them. The address labels feature only the colorful Asian flower designs as backgrounds, but in the same sequence as the checks. With deep blue base colors, the personal contact cards and checkbook cover enhance the artistic white lines and flowers that appear on them.

Artistic Checks is always creating new and imaginative check designs that speak to the likes of all customers. The launch of the ethnic “Kimono” design is sure to attract first-time and repeat consumers. This pattern adds to the large check design collection that Artistic already offers and gives users one more beautiful option when ordering their accounting tools.

About Artistic Checks:
Some of the most creative and unique check designs for checks and check accessories are available through Artistic Checks. If you are interested in a classic or heartwarming check design, then Artistic Checks has just what you need! Visit the site today to see all the different images available and choose the one that fits you best!

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LV= Reveals More And More Brits Are Chasing The Ultimate Holiday Thrill By Heading To Risky Destinations, Despite Government Warnings

New research by travel insurer LV= has revealed that more and more Brits are chasing the ultimate holiday thrill by heading to risky destinations, despite Government advice warning against visiting.

The latest research from LV has found that since 2003, Brits have taken nearly five million holidays to destinations highlighted on the FCO’s ‘don’t go list’, with a further 8% of Brits planning a trip in the next 12 months.

The LV= report has found that many of these travellers were unaware of the dangers they could potentially face, leading to increased numbers of UK tourists becoming victims of theft, robbery and intimidation.

Current destinations considered unsafe for UK visitors include much of Africa, plus parts of the Russian Federation, India, and even certain areas in countries like Turkey, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The government currently warns against visiting areas in over 30 countries and the list is regularly updated. Only half of the people travel insurer LV= interviewed said they were aware of the FCO advice.

The research also revealed a worrying disregard for the Government warnings with nearly 50% of travellers stating that they would pay no attention to the advice and would carry on with their plans regardless.

Unfortunately this attitude is proving naïve, as these trips are ending up as perilous for many. 46% of the travellers heading to these destinations fell victim to crime while they were away.

It would seem that the desire for adventure or seclusion is the driving factor behind travellers heading to these dangerous destinations, many of whom (19%) claim they’re bored by predictable resorts.

18% of travellers said they specifically set out to travel to an off beat destination in an attempt to avoid other tourists, while a further 17% say for them the ‘holiday fear factor’ is all part of the experience.

Emma Holyer, Spokesperson for LV=, said: “As a nation we are getting more adventurous when it comes to our holidays and although it’s great to see new places, it’s also very important that travellers understand the risks they face if they are going to a potentially dangerous destination. Foreign travel is so commonplace these days but we’d urge anyone going on holiday this summer to pay attention to the Government travel advice.”

She continued, “Aside from the obvious risks to safety, the vast majority of travel insurers will not provide cover for areas that the Government warns against visiting, so travellers need to do their research thoroughly before booking an unusual destination.”

It’s not just the threat of violence that is leaving travellers at risk. 18% of Brits are putting themselves in danger by visiting tropical countries and not bothering to take the recommended medical vaccinations.

Emma Holyer, commented: “Although the LV= travel insurance policy will cover travellers if they fall ill with one of these diseases if they didn’t get vaccinated, many insurers will not, meaning policy holders will have no medical cover and are at an increased risk of becoming seriously ill.”

The findings also reveal that it’s not only intrepid travellers to far off exotic destination who are failing to make themselves aware of the risks when they go on holiday, as 13% of tourists journeying to Spain were able to identify it as a high terrorist risk, despite 10 million planning a visit in the next year.

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Sunwest Trust Witnessed An Unprecedented Rise In Demand To Open Up New Accounts, Breaking Its Own Previous Record, Which Was Set Previously In Better Economical Conditions

Sunwest Trust, Inc. (the “Company”), the only New Mexico company acting as an escrow agent and IRA custodian, has achieved a new record by opening up new accounts. July is the eventful month that ended with the hiring of new people to serve better.

Sunwest Trust offers a wide range of retirement and self directed plans such as Roth IRAs, Spousal and Traditional IRAs, SEPs, and SIMPLEs. It offers direct investment within the retirement accounts and allows their clients to invest in a number of things, including, but not limited to sales and purchase of real estate, mortgages, publicly traded stocks, bonds, private limited liability companies, mutual funds, secured and unsecured notes and more. Credited to this diverse range of plans and options, the Company witnessed an unprecedented rise in demand to open up new accounts, leading the Company to set a new record in July for newly opened accounts.

Following this record-breaking performance, the Company announces the induction of three new employees. Casey Love, Natalie Rodriguez and Sandra McBride are going to contribute in different departments. Casey Love, a bachelor’s degree holder in Secondary Education with a minor in English from the University of New Mexico will work in the IRA Department. Natalie Rodriguez, a California native, brings nine years experience in the escrow and title businesses. Sandra McBride is the third addition who will be handling the Customer Service Department. In addition to her job as Customer Service Representative, she is attending school part time to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Business.

With the recent upsurge, Sunwest Trust now services over $900 million in assets and provides services to over 14,000 individuals and companies. The company management has expressed the hope that the trend will continue in coming months as well.

“We are happy with our progress and we are excited about the growth during a cooler economy and during an election year. I expect to continue to see increased growth over the coming months and years as more boomers and investors get closer to retirement, look to truly diversify, and shift a portion of their funds out of the market and into the local real estate market,” Terry White, CEO Sunwest Trust, says with confidence.

The statement of Terry White attests the fact that the Company is relying upon boomers, which actually are more than 75 million in U.S. As boomers get closer to retirement, they look for alternatives to invest their money in order to have a secure future. By counting on this fact, management is pretty hopeful that the trend of increased demand, with boomers investing more, will continue in coming months and years.

About Sunwest Trust, Inc.:
Sunwest Trust is a New Mexico based company, which acts as custodian for self directed IRA accounts and as an escrow agent. It offers a range of retirement accounts and a multitude of escrow services along with dealings in private mortgages, real estate contracts and other notes. To acquire more information about the Company, visit http://www.SunwestTrust.com/.

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Debt Advisers Direct Have Advised The Public To Keep A Close Watch On Their Finances, And To Seek Expert Debt Advice

Responding to recent research suggesting that the number of people who feel they are still managing well in the current economic climate has fallen, Debt Advisers Direct have advised the public to keep a close watch on their finances, and to seek expert debt advice immediately if they are unable to meet their financial commitments.

Mintel, a leading market research company, have revealed that the number of people who see themselves as living comfortably or managing easily has fallen from almost two thirds (64%) in 2006 to just over half (51%) this year, as rising costs of living and the credit crunch put increasing pressure on peoples’ finances.

The research also reveals a leap in those who feel money is tight, despite getting by financially – this figure rising from just one in four (25%) in 2006 to 39% this year.

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct commented: “The fact that increasing numbers of people are feeling the pinch is to be expected, but these figures give an interesting picture of how people are actually coping with it at this time.

“What’s interesting is that 51% of people still feel they are managing easily, which may seem a high figure to some, considering all the stories in the news at the moment,” she continues. “But it’s telling that the figure has fallen so sharply since 2006, which was a relatively good time for the economy.”

The spokesperson went on to explain that the reported fall in confidence could be the first stage of a more significant downturn. “When the economy gets into trouble, the effects can take a while to filter through. Many people are still managing well following the buoyant economy of 2006 to late 2007,” she says. “But as the problems begin to filter through – for example to homeowners struggling to sell their homes, consumers facing higher food prices and bills, etc. – we may well see more people’s circumstances take a turn for the worse.”

The report coincides with Nationwide Building Society’s latest Consumer Confidence Index, which reveals that consumer confidence has taken a further fall, down 18% since July and down 43% since this time last year.

The Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson said: “Consumer confidence can be affected by things like the media portrayal of the economy, but a large part of it does come down to personal situations.

“Even those who have not been terribly affected by the credit crunch will have noticed how quickly the price of food and household costs are rising. And those people are quite right to be concerned about what the future may hold.

“We would advise everyone to keep a close watch on their finances at this time. Budget well, don’t overspend, and try to save where possible. And if you do think you are getting into trouble with debt, seek expert help from a debt adviser.

“A debt adviser will talk you through your situation and help you to decide the best course of action. For example, if you have a number of debts that you are struggling to balance with your household commitments, a debt consolidation loan could help.

Debt consolidation loans work by grouping all your debts together, so you only repay one creditor instead of many,” she says. “Payments can be rescheduled over a longer period of time than the original debts, meaning payments are lower – which could be a useful way of freeing up extra money for your other living costs. But be aware that rescheduling your debt consolidation loan will probably involve paying more in interest in the long run.

“If you find you simply can’t meet your payments, though, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) or debt management plan might be more suitable. If you’re unsure, as with any debt solution, speak to a debt adviser first.”

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Logbookloans.Tv Is Providing Instant Cash Advances

Logbookloans.tv launched recently after growing public demand for a safe and easy instant cash advance service that is regulated by government bodies that people in the UK can trust.

The credit crisis and rising levels of inflation have left many UK residents desperately trying to escape from financial difficulties.

Banks are becoming increasingly cautious about lending money and an unexpected outgoing, from a school fee to replacing a broken boiler, can throw a household’s finances into chaos, leaving people with no way to pay the bills.

But there is a way out. Logbookloans.tv is providing instant cash loans to households trying to get their finances back on course. Logbookloans.tv can quickly approve a cash sum from £500 to £50,000 and customers will often receive the money on the day of application!

Credit authority moneyexpert.com reports: “One of the major benefits of logbook loans is that you can often get access to cash on the same day that you submit your application.”

The logbook loan is a short-term fix designed to tide you over in times of emergency. Because the loan is secured against you car’s logbook (or V5 registration form) the rate is a lot lower than other unsecured borrowings and you get to keep on driving! Whilst logbookloans.tv holds onto your registration form, the car remains with you until the cash is repaid.

Just fill in one simple online form and you could be receiving an instant cash injection. There’s no endless, complicated paperwork and your loan will be ready for collection when you drop off your logbook at any of the hundreds of branches across the UK.

You can rest assured that logbookloans.tv is a completely ‘transparent’ service, unlike many of our competitors. Our loans come complete with advice on the risks involved in borrowing, reducing the risk to our customers and giving you peace of mind.

For more information or to apply online for an instant cash advance logbook loan please go to http://www.logbookloans.tv

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Gregory Pennington advise people to stay on top of their finances

As the credit crunch reaches the end of its first year, debt management company Gregory Pennington (http://www.gregorypennington.co.uk) have advised people to keep on top of their finances, and warned that there may still be tough times ahead.

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington said: “While studies suggest some of the country feel they have not yet been affected too badly by the credit crunch, these people may begin to feel the effects as future events unfold.”

A recent survey in The Times revealed that 66% of those asked felt their family would fare badly over the next year, while 77% felt the country as a whole will suffer. The spokesperson said that while these views are probably justified, there is still a lot people can do to lessen the effects of the credit crunch.

“The most important thing is staying on top of your finances,” says the debt solutions company. “Make sure you are meeting all your priority financial commitments before anything else, and try to build a budget around that. If you find you can’t meet those commitments, seek expert advice as soon as possible.

“We would also advise people to save as much as possible, because that little bit extra could come in very useful if things get tight.”

The fact that the remaining 34% of people questioned in the survey did not feel (or weren’t sure) that their family would suffer over the next year suggests that the credit crunch has not necessarily affected everyone. But the Gregory Pennington spokesperson warned that other problems linked to the credit crunch may start to kick in over the next few months.

“It’s important to distinguish between the different elements of the economic downturn we’re currently experiencing,” he said. “The credit crunch primarily affects people looking for credit – particularly homeowners, who may be faced with large arrangement fees or higher payments when they remortgage, and also those looking to obtain loans and new mortgages.

“People who aren’t reliant on credit, or homeowners who have a long-term fixed rate on their mortgage, may well have been largely unaffected – so far.

“But it’s now very possible that we will see the knock-on effects of the weak housing market combined with rising costs of living – higher unemployment, increasing amounts of people struggling to meet their comments, and more people facing problems with debt.

“Even if it does get to that stage, there are still things you can do. Seeking professional debt advice from an expert debt adviser is essential if you find yourself in financial difficulty.

“There are a range of debt solutions available to meet different situations, including debt management plans, IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements), debt consolidation loans and remortgages, etc. One of these could be a lifeline if you find yourself with unmanageable debt, which is a growing threat in the current economic climate.”

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ThinkMoney.com advised people with large debts to seek expert debt advice

Commenting on a recent survey by R3 (a leading professional association for insolvency) suggesting that seven out of 10 insolvency practitioners expect the number of people unable to keep up with their debts to rise during the coming year, a spokesperson for ThinkMoney.com advised people in debt to take early action and seek expert debt advice.

The ThinkMoney.com spokesperson said: “The ongoing credit crunch, and the possibility of a recession, would indeed indicate that people with large debts may struggle more than most in the coming months.”

She echoed the survey’s findings that debt has “become a way of life” for many, and urged people to avoid unnecessary debts, including consumer finance on goods such as electronics, and where possible, credit cards.

She continued: “It’s more important than ever to do what you can to stop your debts growing. The larger your debts, the longer it will take (and the more difficult it will be) to get rid of them.

“If you think your debts are becoming unmanageable, it’s essential you seek professional debt advice from an expert. They will be able to discuss your situation and help decide which debt solution is most suitable for you.”

She added: “There are a number of debt solutions for people with unmanageable debts – and each are better suited to different situations. Speaking to an expert debt advisor will help you make the right decision and make the process as straightforward as possible.”

About Think Money
Think Money are a financial solutions company based in Salford Quays, Manchester. The company specialises in a range of financial services, including mortgages, loans, debt help and advice (including debt management plans, IVAs, and debt consolidation).

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ThinkMoney.com advise homeowners not to become complacent about protecting themselves against the current downturn in the housing market.

Responding to the recent report from the National Housing Federation suggesting house prices will recover and rise by 25% by 2013, financial solutions company ThinkMoney.com advised existing homeowners to remain optimistic, but warned them not to become complacent about protecting themselves against the downturn in the housing market.

The National Housing Federation anticipates further falls in house prices for the next two years – 4.4% in 2008, with a further fall of 2.1% in 2009 – after which prices will begin to recover, rising by 25% by 2013.

However, the report itself acknowledges that the figures depend on a ‘robust employment market’, and warns that if employment and consumer spending levels fall by too much, the housing slump could be more severe than they have predicted.

A spokesperson for ThinkMoney.com said: “We would advise homeowners to continue saving well, spending responsibly, and to remain aware of the potential problems facing the housing market. Your financial planning should, as always, be geared towards making sure you are prepared for any problems that could arise.

“The report is only speculative, and as with anything, it is very hard to predict what will happen in the next five years. The predictions are essentially a best-case scenario,” she said.

“In a sense, it’s healthy to be slightly cautious when it comes to money, especially with an important financial commitment like a mortgage.”

The spokesperson said that there are a number of ways homeowners can protect themselves. “Savings are the key,” she says. “Falling house prices means that equity tied up in the value of your home is decreasing, so it’s wise to try and counteract that by saving money where possible.

“This also acts as a buffer if you find the interest on your mortgage payments going up in the next few years, which is quite possible. Without savings to fall back on, mortgage payments could become simply too expensive for poorer families, and that brings the possibility of falling into debt – especially with other costs of living rising so quickly too.

“Likewise, it’s important to keep an eye on spending and make sure unnecessary purchases are kept to a minimum. Avoid taking out consumer finance loans on expensive goods, as they can become a big financial burden when things get tight,” she continued. “In fact, avoiding any form of personal loans or credit is the best defence against getting into debt.”

The ThinkMoney.com spokesperson advised homeowners to remain positive. “Many homeowners will be relatively unaffected by the problems in the housing market, so long as they are willing to stay put,” she said.

“A loss in the value of your home only affects you if you are looking to sell, but it still pays to save well in case of emergency. And once the market does recover, you may even find yourself in a better financial situation than you were before all the trouble started.”

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ThinkMoney.com anticipates the rise in insolvencies as the slowing economy begins to affect more consumers.

Financial solutions company ThinkMoney.com anticipates a rise in the number of people experiencing debt problems in the coming months, despite a year-on-year fall in individual insolvencies.

A recent report from the Insolvency Service suggested that the number of people entering into IVAs in the second quarter of 2008 had fallen to 9,256, down from 10,561 a year previously – a drop of 12.4%.

At the same time, bankruptcies had fallen from 16,214 in the second quarter of 2007 to 15,297 in the second quarter of 2008 – a fall of 5.7%.

Given the onset of the credit crunch in recent months, the statistics may come as a surprise to many. But Melanie Taylor, Head of Corporate Relations at ThinkMoney.com, said that the falls in both IVAs and bankruptcies should not be taken as a sign of long-term recovery. “Most economists are predicting an economic downturn,” he says, “which certainly doesn’t raise hopes of the number of people in debt decreasing anytime soon.”

Other indicators, such as the Financial Services Authority’s report that repossessions rose 40% in the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same time last year, do indicate a sharp rise in the number of people facing financial difficulties.

Ms Taylor suggested that this could be an early sign of things to come. “As things stand, we would expect the number of people experiencing debt problems to increase fairly significantly, due to a combination of the credit crunch, rapidly growing costs of living and rising unemployment.

“These things take a while to ‘filter through’ to the wider economy. Typically, lower-income families will be hit first, since they have less money to spend – but that then hits the companies where they usually spend money, so their staff are affected too. Eventually, most people are affected financially in some way.

“This in turn could lead to increasing numbers of people who can no longer manage their debts – and it’s essential that these people get expert help as early as possible.”

But Ms Taylor was keen to emphasise that both IVAs and bankruptcy are valid ways of getting out of unmanageable debt. “An IVA can be a great help to people with over £15,000 of debt,” he said. “It allows a significant portion of their debts to be repaid in convenient monthly payments, usually for five years – after which the remaining debt is written off.”

He continued: “There is something of a stigma surrounding bankruptcy, but in the right circumstances it may be the best possible way of making a fresh start.

“People who go through bankruptcy are subject to some restrictions – for example, they are highly unlikely to be able to borrow any more money for a number of years, and they will most probably be forced to sell any valuable assets they own. But once the bankruptcy process is complete, they will be legally debt free, and able to get on with their lives.”

Think Money are a financial solutions company based in Salford Quays, Manchester. The company specialises in a range of financial services, including mortgages, loans, debt help and advice (including debt management plans, IVAs, and debt consolidation).

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Loans for Home Improvement Projects Soar Reveals Lloyds TSB

New research from Lloyds TSB Personal Loans has revealed that over half (55 per cent) of estate agents nationwide have reported an increase in homeowners taking their property off the market in favour of making home improvements.

Lloyds TSB Personal Loans, surveyed 500 UK estate agents and over 1000 home owners to understand how would-be sellers are responding to the cooling housing market*. The research is published as Lloyds TSB revealed a 19 per cent, year on year increase in personal loan applications for home improvement projects.

The findings reveal that three in five (59 per cent) homeowners who had been looking to sell their property have put plans to move on hold due to rising concerns over property prices. Half of those staying put are opting to renovate their existing property instead.

Fifty five per cent plan to undertake improvements to boost chances of a sale in the current less buoyant market. However, almost a quarter (23 per cent) admit they are adapting their property to accommodate changing lifestyle needs and are keen to recoup any potential fall in house prices by adding long term value.

David Wishart, director of personal loans at Lloyds TSB, said: “In recent months we have seen a significant increase in home improvement personal loan requests. For the last decade homeowners have been able to sit back and rely on rising property prices to increase the equity in their home but sadly this is no longer possible. If you want to trade up and avoid substantially increasing your mortgage, you’ll need to add value to the house you’re currently in.”

TV presenter and property finder, Phil Spencer, commented on the research: “The current cooling of the property market is making homeowners think twice about selling up and many are opting to improve instead. In a buoyant market, people taking on a home improvement project could get away with less than perfect preparation or some slapdash sums, as their mistakes were covered by rising property prices. However, in today’s environment it is vital you plan any project thoroughly to ensure maximum return on investment.”

Lloyds TSB quizzed both estate agents and homeowners on the features most likely to help a property sell in the current climate. The findings reveal the top improvements likely to appeal to buyers are:

New kitchen (79%)
New bathroom (59%)
Extension (47%)
Loft conversion (29%)
Re-decorate (25%)

David Wishart continued: “Whether the motivation is a quick sale, adding long term value or accommodating changing lifestyle needs, it’s vital homeowners consider the financial investment they’re about to make. A personal loan can provide a hassle free, affordable way of spreading the cost.”

To help homeowners add value to their home Lloyds TSB personal loans has teamed up with Phil Spencer to create the Move or Improve Guide, offering practical advice and insider tips on the do’s and don’ts of home improvement. An audio podcast and PDF version of the guide is available to download free of charge.

About Lloyds TSB Student banking
Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and signatories to the Banking Codes. Lloyds TSB Bank plc Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN . Registered in England and Wales no. 2065.

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New research from Prudential reveals working-age adults have lost sleep worrying about their pensions

According to new research from Prudential, more than one in three working-age adults have lost sleep worrying about their inability to save enough for retirement*, and the pressure on retirement saving is being increased by a combination of the housing market slowdown and rising household costs.

The Prudential research focusing on working adults provides a snapshot of ‘Burned Out Britain’ as concerns about being unable to save enough for a comfortable retirement drives people to work longer hours and increases stress levels. Around one in five working-age adults have worked longer hours or taken an extra job to increase their pension savings.

Prudential’s research shows just 27% of adults believe they are saving enough to maintain their current standard of living in retirement while 38% want to contribute more to pensions with half of them keen to contribute a lot more.

However financial pressures are making it difficult for them to put their money where their ambitions are – 51% blame higher costs of living while 18% of them don’t want to reduce their disposable income to ensure a more comfortable retirement.

The struggle to match pension ambitions with reality is also increasing the stress levels for these people with three-quarters expressing they were feeling increasingly anxious, and the current economic climate is piling on the pressure.

Julie Mulvanny, Prudential’s Head of Business Development for Pensions said: “The pensions crisis is becoming extremely personal when people are losing sleep over being unable to save enough for retirement.”

She continued, “When the pressures of the current short-term economic climate are added to the mix it is almost surprising that more of us are not lying awake at night worrying. It is clear however that many of us are waking up to the idea that we have to take responsibility for our own retirements and that is a long-term commitment.”

Around 9% said they have cut the amount they save into their pension due to rising living costs.

Up to one in 20 say the housing market slide has knocked their confidence in property as a pension while eight per cent are concentrating on building up short-term savings to tide them over in the event of any problems caused by the current economic climate.

Julie Mulvanny concluded, “It is encouraging that this message is getting through and there is plenty that we can all do to ensure we get the retirement we want and deserve. The UK needs a new approach to retirement income and planning for retirement. That should involve more than simply saving into a pension but should also involve looking at all sources of income.”

Disclaimer:
The information contained in Prudential UK‘s press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Full consumer product information can be found at www.pru.co.uk.

 

About Prudential:
Established in 1848, today Prudential plc is an international financial services company with a product range which extends from personal banking, insurance, pensions and retail investments, to institutional fund management and property investments.

In the UK Prudential is a leading life and pensions provider with around seven million customers.

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Pioneer Services Offers Simple Online Banking Tips for Retirees

Consumer use of online banking and financial services has exploded in recent years. While technology has made life more convenient, some Americans are still low-tech when it comes to banking, despite the advantages online financial services can provide. The same is true in the military, where older service members who have likely relied on cutting edge technology to accomplish various missions may not apply this technology to their daily lives, especially after they retire.

As a result, Pioneer Services, a leader in financial services for the military, has created a new article highlighting the benefits of the online banking experience, along with some common sense tips for a safe and secure transaction. The article, Military retirees and online banking – securely saving time and money, is intended to educate both retired and active-duty military consumers.

“New technology and security advancements have torn down the walls between what used to be done kneecap-to-kneecap and what can now be done online”, said Doug Allen, chief information officer for Pioneer Services and author of the article. “Today, online financial services can save time, offer more options, afford privacy, and provide greater flexibility and control over your finances.

“There are millions of online financial transactions every day,” he added. “And just like when using an ATM or walking into a bank, a little common sense while online will ensure a quick and easy transaction while protecting your privacy and security.”

To read other financial education articles for military families, visit the Learning Center at PioneerMilitaryLoans.com. For more information about Pioneer Services, visit PioneerServices.com.

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, offers responsible financial services and education to members of the Armed Forces that enhance their quality of life and financial independence. For more than 20 years, Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending. They offer the protection and security of a personal loan with the speed and flexibility service members need. Through a network of offices and on the Internet, Pioneer Services offers loans, financial education programs, and supports military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

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Cash advances or pay day loans have become increasingly popular in these times of financial turmoil

Payday Power launched recently out of a growing demand for a safe and easy instant cash advance service that is regulated by government bodies that people in the UK can trust.

There is no arguing with the facts, the credit crunch and rising levels of inflation are hitting the British public’s pockets hard with banks becoming stricter making the availability of loans for people with bad credit ratings lower.

Many things such as an unexpected outgoing from a school fee to a car repair bill to even replacing a broken down washing machine can throw a household’s finances off course leaving people seriously struggling financially to cover mortgage and bill payments until their next pay cheque arrives.

It doesn’t have to be this way though, with Payday Power’s pay day loans, people can receive an instant cash advance boost the very same day they apply for it. A pay day (or cash advance) loan is a short-term financial fix designed to tide over the borrower until their next pay packet, whereupon they can clear the debt.

Payday Power’s easy-to-use and hassle-free service is completely online so there is no need to worry about faxing documents over and a decision is made to your application instantly online.

In addition, Payday Power is a completely ‘transparent’ service so that unlike many of their competitors, their pay day loans come complete with advice on the risks involved in taking out a loan so that effectively these risks are minimised compared to their competitors.

Emily Davidson of credit.com observes, “Pay day loans can be a good tool for quickly and easily borrowing cash during an emergency if you don’t have other financial options.”

For more information or to apply online for an instant cash advance payday loan please go to paydaypower.co.uk.

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Raising road tax could mean more hardship for families already under severe financial pressure

Government plans to raise road tax for millions of motorists could mean more hardship for families already under severe financial pressure, says debt management company Gregory Pennington.

Commenting on proposed changes to vehicle excise duty, debt management company Gregory Pennington highlighted the negative impact the changes could have on millions of motorists already struggling to cope with escalating costs of living. The plans will mean higher road taxes for an estimated nine million motorists.

“Naturally, we applaud government efforts to protect the environment,” a spokesperson for the debt management company stated, “but these are tough times for families throughout the UK. The credit crunch, housing market uncertainty, record levels of personal debt and rising food costs – the cumulative impact can be overwhelming, and many motorists will struggle to cope with any extra burden on their finances, especially in the face of today’s unprecedented fuel prices.

“Particularly worrying, we note that many so-called ‘gas guzzlers’ are family cars. Many families would love to save on petrol and insurance by switching to a smaller vehicle, but for space reasons that’s simply not an option, as anyone with three children (and two prams) could tell you.”

An example: according to the Vehicle Certification Agency, a 1.6 litre Renault Scénic (petrol; 6 speeds) emits 182g of CO2 per km. Under current rules, this would fall in the E band and cost £170 for 2008/09, but under the new rules, it would fall in the J band and cost £260 in 2009/10. “With so many households already struggling to manage their debt payments, £90 could make the difference between climbing out of debt and sliding further into it – and many drivers will find themselves facing much larger increases, paying hundreds of pounds more.”

There are, however, debt solutions that can reduce monthly outgoings, such as Gregory Pennington’s debt management plan. “Our debt management plan was designed with flexibility in mind: when our customers’ expenses go up (or their income goes down), we talk to their unsecured creditors about making the necessary adjustments to their repayment plans. By freeing up funds that would have gone towards their non-priority debts, we help our customers stay on top of their priority commitments – the kind of debts that, if neglected, can rapidly land them in serious trouble.

“Even under normal conditions, a debt management plan offers a realistic, affordable path out of debt – but at a time like this, when people find themselves facing so many financial challenges simultaneously, borrowers have even more reason to select a flexible debt solution that can renegotiate their payments in line with changes to their disposable income.”

At the same time, debt management offers creditors a proven way of recovering the money they’re owed without resorting to any ‘extreme’ measures. “In the 15 years since Gregory Pennington was founded,” the spokesperson concluded, “we’ve found that most lenders would rather negotiate with a debt management company than resort to court action – accepting lower payments might mean the debt is repaid more slowly, but the majority of creditors will accept this, as long as the individual demonstrates they can make those payments reliably.”

Via EPR Network
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