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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Deal with Hire Purchase Debt

On ordinary credit agreements, the goods you buy belong to you from the time you take out the credit. The lender cannot take the goods back. They can only ask you to pay the money you owe under the agreement.

WHAT IF I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY?

If you fall behind with your payments on a Hire Purchase or Conditional Sale Agreement, the creditor may be able to repossess the goods. Look at your agreement. There will be a box telling you how much you need to have paid to stop the creditor taking the goods back without a court order. This should be a third of the total amount payable under the agreement.

If you have paid a third or more of the total owing, the creditor must go to court to ask for the goods back. They cannot just come round and remove them. Even if you have not paid more than a third of the agreement, the creditor will need an order from the court to remove the goods from “any premises” they are on.

This appears to include your garage or drive but not a car park or roadside. If your car is parked on the road, or in a public car park, then it would be at risk.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE IF THE CREDITOR HAS TO GO TO COURT BEFORE THEY CAN GET THE GOODS BACK?

There is still a chance that you can keep hold of the goods, as the court has the power to agree to this as long as you can pay the debt back in reasonable instalments.

If you have a third or more of the total payable under the agreement, the creditor will ask the court to send you a Claim Form asking for the goods to be returned.

This is called an application for a “Return Order”. Notice of a hearing date with a District Judge is included. This hearing should be in your local County Court.

There will be form with the Claim that you should fill in and send back to the court within 14 days. You must fill this in if you want the court to suspend the Return of Goods Order and allow you to keep the goods at home. You need to offer to pay the debt back in monthly instalments you can afford. It is important to treat this debt as a priority over ordinary credit debts and offer as much as you can.

Send the form back to the court, not the creditor. The court will send a copy of your form to the creditor. If the creditor accepts the offer the hearing will be cancelled. If the creditor does not accept the offer the hearing will go ahead.

You must attend the hearing. The court will decide at the hearing whether they will suspend the Return Order and what monthly instalments you should pay from now on. If you do not fill in the admission form there will be a hearing anyway. If you don’t go to the hearing the court will probably grant the creditor an order telling you to return the goods.

WHAT IF I HAVE PAID LESS THAN A THIRD AND THE CREDITOR WANTS THE GOODS BACK?

If you want to keep the goods you should ask the creditor to agree to a payment arrangement with you. The creditor is most likely to accept if you can afford the full monthly instalments plus something towards the arrears. If you can’t make the full payments, the creditor may agree to reduce the payments, but usually by a small amount and only for a short time. In certain circumstances you may be able to go to court and ask to pay less than the full monthly instalment and extend the length of the agreement.

HOW MUCH WILL I OWE IF THE AGREEMENT ENDS?

If you have to decide whether to end a Hire Purchase or Conditional Sale agreement there are two options:

* return the goods voluntarily;

or

* let the creditor end your agreement and repossess the goods.

There can be a difference in the amount you end up owing depending upon how the agreement is ended.

Rewards Cards

How does a reward program work? Typically, the program awards points, “dollars” or a cash value based on the amount you charge. The rate at which you collect points varies depending on what you charge or where you charge it. Some programs offer extra points for using their card at a specific place such as a supermarket or fast food restaurant or for certain items.

Some programs offer a variety of rewards. Consumers can earn meals, tickets to sporting events, airline tickets, electronics, or even create their own reward program.

The goal is to get you the consumer to use your credit card as much as possible. Why? FEES! The credit card issuer makes money from two sources each time you use their card. First, from the merchant who pays the issuer a merchant transaction fee and secondly, from you through finance charges and late fees.

A recent survey found that nearly half of U.S. cardholders enrolled in a credit card rewards program have never redeemed their points. However, 60% of consumers said rewards program influences their decision when deciding which credit card to use for a purchase.

When considering an offer for a card that offers rewards, be sure to read the fine print. Find out what you have to do to earn points. Look carefully for any restrictions as to when you can redeem them. Also check to see if your points carry over from one year to the next.

Rolling Over Credit Cards

Credit limits

Use of cards comes with a credit limit that you can buy for. This is set by the bank issuing it and is dependent on monthly income. Each bank has a different limit setting as well as some of the cards having budget payment facilities where as others do not offer this kind of service.

Acquiring a card is usually easy to get as long as you qualify financially. In fact, the banks are only too willing to give them to you so they can make some easy money. The bank charges on overdue card payments are high and it is not difficult for people to end up not meeting their commitment by the due date. Instead of being careful about their spending they run up their cards to the maximum. If you have surplus money rather put it into a savings account and gain interest.

Making minimum payments

If you only pay the minimum amount due on your credit card you are going to end up paying astronomical amounts of interest that compound monthly. Overall, it is far wiser to pay the full amount due as hen all you have to pay extra is the monthly charge for card usage.

Applying a sensible strategy to spending is the best way of making monthly purchases. A credit card is ideal for paying grocery shopping, or, for any other items needed for the household, or any other payments. The problems with plastic purchasing arise if you overstep buying your necessities and spend freely on expensive unnecessary luxury items.

Costs of living today have risen to such an extent that it is difficult to maintain the standards you are used to and which was the normal way of life in the past. Thrift has unfortunately had to enter our existence on a daily basis.

Credit Misconceptions

Closing old accounts will improve your credit score – To close or not to close, that is the question. Many people advocate closing old and inactive accounts as a way for improving your credit. In most cases, closing accounts will actually have the opposite effect. Canceling old credit accounts can lower your credit score by making your credit history appear shorter. Think twice before closing the oldest account on your credit report. If you want to reduce your levels of available credit, ask for your credit limits to be reduced or close newer accounts instead.

Once you pay off a negative record, it is removed from your credit report – Negative records such as collection accounts, bankruptcies and charge-offs will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years after they are first posted. Paying off the account before the end of the set term doesn’t remove it from your credit report, but will cause the account to be marked as “paid.” It is still a good idea to pay your debts, it can improve yourcredit score, but the major improvement will come when the record expires.

Being a co-signer doesn’t make you responsible for the account – When you open a joint account, co-sign on a loan or become an authorized user on someone’s credit card, you are taking on legal responsibility for the account. Any activity on these shared accounts, good or bad, will show up on both people’s credit reports. If you co-sign for a friend’s auto loan and they don’t make the payments, your credit profile will be hurt by their actions and visa versa. The only way to stop this double reporting is to refinance the loan or to have the creditor officially remove you from the account.

Paying off a debt will add 50 points to your credit score – Yourcredit score is calculated using a complex algorithm that takes into account hundreds of factors and values. It is very hard to predict how many points you can gain by changing one factor. For a person with a high credit score, just one late payment can cause a significant drop. If a person has a low credit score, it may not cause a large drop at all. There is no magical way to improve your credit score, just keep paying your bills on time, reducing your debts and removing negative inaccuracies from your credit report. Good financial behavior and time are the two most important factors on your credit score.