12 million Britons have a poor credit rating!

Subprime lending is back in the headlines for the first time since the financial crash of 2008/9. Finance for people with bad credit histories – particularly for mortgages and cars – is rising at a faster rate than at any time since the mid 2000s. A survey carried out by price-comparison website Moneyfacts.co.uk has confirmed that there is an increasing number of loans to people with impaired credit records. The research found that the number of products offering mortgages or secured loans to people with bad credit has more than doubled to over 260 compared with 110 a year earlier. There are more than 12 million people in the UK whose poor record with borrowing mean that they cannot get loans from the banks or other mainstream financial organisations. Marketwise predicts that this figure would rise to 15 million people if Britain goes into a severe recession. The so-called sub-prime finance industry boomed in the run up to the financial crisis. But after the crisis and in the fac


Why do Britons find it so hard to save?

Saving money isn’t exactly the most glamorous thing to do with your hard earned cash. A recent survey by Aviva found that 21% of us in the UK have no savings whatsoever. That’s almost a quarter of people who haven’t managed to put cash aside for a rainy day. And even those of us who have managed to put money aside may not be saving enough. The same Aviva research found that even those with retirement savings are around £9,900 short of the annual amount they need to live comfortably. Why can’t we Save? Research from the US identified that people are not naturally inclined to save money. This mostly comes down to a ‘Carpe Diem’ attitude i.e. we’re more motivated to live in the present and ‘seize the day’ than wait. So, rather than spending a bank holiday quietly doing nothing and saving the money instead, we’re more likely to book a crazy trip or a mini break or long lunches with friends. In fact, it’s occasion spending that often scuppers us. While many people ar

Will self-drive cars ever become reality?

The self-drive car has been in the headlines a lot recently. For all the backseat drivers out there – or anyone with control issues – it seems like a terrible idea. And for the rest, it’s still something most of us feel that we’re more likely to have seen in a 1960s vision of the future than actually on our streets. But the relentless quest for shinier, better, more efficient tech is driving all the resources in the self-drive direction. So, whether you like it or not, questions such as whether a self-drive car is safe (and maybe even, can you car finance it?) are likely to become inescapable. The self-drive car Experts tell us that by 2030, self drive vehicles could make up as much as 60 percent of US auto sales. As the UK often follows where the US drives us (haha) the same stats are likely to apply here too, sooner or later. These vehicles are being developed, not to have human responses, but to be able to drive safely using a range of sensors. It’s probable they will be

Rules of Council House Right to Buy

Last year, the Government introduced a new Right to Buy housing scheme which allows council tenants to benefit from a new £77,900 discount on the market price if they want to buy their council home. The figure is £103,900 for tenants who live in London. Who has the Right to Buy? Only those who have been a tenant in the public sector for at least the last three years qualify for Right to Buy. So, the scheme is only open to people who live in a property owned by a local council, an NHS trust or a local housing association. But you don’t have to have lived continuously in the house for a period of three years – it can have been in other public sector homes – and it doesn’t have to be in the home that you want to purchase. However, the home must be your sole property and it must be self-contained. These are the main exclusions from the scheme: Where the house or flat is not your main home If you share a part of it with other tenants – for example, a common kitchen or bathroom

How to get credit – if you rent your home or have bad credit

Credit ratings are playing an increasingly central role in our lives – whether we like it or not. Everything from mortgages and loans, to car insurance and credit cards depends on your credit rating. And not just whether you’re eligible for a product but also the kind of deal that you get. So, if you don’t have the perfect credit score – or even anywhere close to it – what can you do? What is a credit rating? Credit ratings look at your financial history and try to create a picture for a potential lender of whether you’re a good risk. There is no single universal credit rating in the UK and a blacklist doesn’t exist. Although many lenders do take a similar approach, there is no one central way of credit scoring. So, if you don’t have a good credit score with one lender, it may not be as bad as with another. Mostly, the credit rating is about trying to predict behaviours. The factors taken into account – your current debts, your repayment history, credit agreements an

Top 10 cheapest places in the UK to live

Do you like where you live? What would you change about your current hometown if you could alter one thing? For many people, the biggest discomfort factor right now is affordability – or lack of it. Rising house prices, transport costs and the expenses involved in trying to have a social life can all impact on budgets. If the idea of upping sticks and moving to the place where your day-to-day costs would be as low as possible appeals, here are the top 10 options: Copeland, Cumbria Copeland is one of the six districts of Cumbria, which is one of the UK’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty. It’s also one of the most affordable parts of the country with the average property price being £114,011, a figure that has shifted only minimally in 12 months. House prices here are three times the annual average salary of £37,000 £39,000. That may sound a lot but compare it to Kensington & Chelsea where the average house price is 46 times the average annual salary. Copeland also rate