Why Bright House have been forced to repay £15m to its customers

Times are tight for many in the UK. Inflation is on the rise and there has been little or no real wage growth to speak of. The result is that, for families and individuals all over the country, there has been a real squeeze in household budgets that has left little room for bigger purchases. Step forward the rent-to-own sector, which was designed to give those on restricted incomes the opportunity to get credit on an item where a regular lender might refuse. What is rent-to-own? It is a sector that revolves around household goods, such as TVs, washing machines, furniture and computers. The idea is that if you’re not able to purchase one of these outright then you can do this via rent-to-own instead. Many of those who use the rent-to-own sector are struggling with a bad credit score and so wouldn’t be eligible for credit from a mainstream lender. Rent-to-own is meant to be an alternative way for people to pay rent on an item, such as a washing machine – and own it once that rent
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Is consumer spending and debt getting out of control?

Debt is something that many of us have learned to live with. And, on the whole, it provides a useful way to make important life changes, from paying for study to buying a home. But, in autumn of this year, figures were released that revealed that British consumers now have unsecured debts that total more than £200 billion (i.e. exc. mortgages and other secured loans). That’s an increase in personal debt that brings it to levels not seen since the financial crisis. Debt levels are rising In 2014, consumer credit grew at an annual rate of 4%.  However, in 2016 this figure hit 12% as it was revealed that British consumers now had credit commitments to the tune of £204 billion. As 2017 draws to a close the figure remains lower than last but this has predominantly been put down to a drop in car loan figures, as opposed to a drop in the appetite for consumer debt overall. This increasing desire for consumer borrowing has worried many experts, particularly in the light of the recent int
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How our feelings affect the way we spend

Are you an emotional spender? Most of us would like to answer “no” outright to that question. However, the more honest response is likely to be at least a tentative “yes.” According to a recent study there are many different types of emotions that can trigger a desire to spend money. However, the top four are boredom, sadness, stress or when you’re celebrating. So, it’s not just negative moods that can get us into trouble with our cash but upbeat moments too.  Which emotions leave us the most vulnerable? According to a study conducted by MoneySuperMarket partnered with consumer behaviour experts MindLab, stress is the most expensive of our emotions. It’s the feeling that leaves us the most open to impulse buying. If you’re feeling stressed when you go shopping then the study found that you’re likely to spend 15% more than a happy shopper. We all have our own individual reasons for making impulse purchases when emotions are running high – these could include buyin
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How to max out your savings in the New Year Sales

There seem to be more retail sales than you can shake a stick at these days. However, while Black Friday or the summer sales can deliver some great discounts, it’s the New Year sales that often offer the most potential for savings. Many stores refresh their stock for the new year so it’s out with the old (at heavily discounted prices) and in with the new. Whether you’re looking for Christmas themed items to put away for next year, sports gear, technology, fashion or toys, the New Year sales are worth doing properly. So, how do you maximise the savings potential at this time of year? Top Tips to get the most in the New Year Sales In-store Sales Get up early. If you’re going to do your New Year sales shopping in-store then there’s just no substitute for being the first through the door. Discounts don’t change over the course of the day but the best items will inevitably be snatched first off the shelves so if you want to get them for yourself you need to be up with the birds
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Christmas through the decades – A Retrospective

Christmas might be an annual event but it’s become a very different experience with each decade that goes past. If you grew up in the 1960s then your festive traditions and feasts would have been very different to those for children today. So, what is it that has made a Christmas in each of these decades so very distinctive? Christmas in the 1960s The 1960s was the first decade when turkey really became a tradition on the British Christmas table – preceded by a classic prawn cocktail starter of course. On the drinks menu it was Babycham as the celebratory tipple of choice although you might also have had a glass or two of a Mateus Rose. Under the tree. Space was the big theme for toys in the 1960s, from board games to Thunderbirds toys. You might also have had something James Bond themed, a brand new shift dress or a Beatles style tailored suit. The Beatles were everywhere in this decade – in fact, they dominated the Christmas Number 1 singles chart spot for almost half the deca
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A plan to switch from being a two to a one person income household

Strange things can happen to couples over time and these aren’t always very predictable. You may start off down the road together in separate, stable jobs, working nine to five and enjoying a comfortable double income. But this could change at any time. Perhaps you get pregnant and one partner decides that actually all they’ve ever wanted is to be a stay at home mum/dad. Or you might suddenly uncover a burning desire to study again or to write a book or attempt to launch a start-up. It may seem like an enormous challenge to go from being a two income household to surviving on one – but it is possible if you mind the income gap . Making the switch to being a one income household Halving your monthly income might seem like a recipe for anxiety attacks. However, it’s also a good opportunity to reassess your spending and your financial situation – you could even end up in a better position as a result. So, how do you successfully switch from two incomes to one? Pay off all your
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Key financial issues to consider if getting divorced or permanently separating

Separation, divorce and break ups are a very difficult time. Emotions tend to be running high and there may be children involved, which can complicate everything. However, when it comes to this stage in the ending of a relationship it’s important to ensure that you are protecting yourself. These are some of the important financial things to consider if you’re about to go your separate ways. Splitting the assets (& liabilities) A key part of leaving a current partnership, whether it’s a marriage, a civil partnership or you were cohabiting, is splitting up the assets and liabilities. These could be anything that you’ve purchased together or anything that you’re jointly responsible for or own including: Joint debts, such as a mortgage or credit card Possessions that you own jointly, such as furniture or a car (including the car finance!) Bills that you’re jointly responsible for Any investments that you have made that you share (e.g. a Buy to Let property) Cash in the bank an
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