Advice When Using Consolidation Loans to Get Yourself Out of Debt

Debt consolidation loans are a popular for those wanting to get out of debt. They offer the ability to group your smaller debts together and only have one monthly payment to manage, which is often easier. However, before you start jumping onto this option, there are some things that you should know. This isn’t always the best option available.

  1. 1.      The Amount You Need to Borrow: How much is the total of your debt? If it is more than £10,000, you will struggle to find a lender offering that for debt consolidation. You may need to look into other options available, such as debt management. If you only need to borrow a small amount, lenders may not want to offer long term loans, especially if it is less than £1000.
  2. 2.      Can You Clear the Debts Yourself? Do you really need to use debt consolidation? There are other ways to clear your debts off, and one of those is to do it yourself. Debt consolidation is seen as an easier way to manage your smaller payments but you could look at each debt in turn and work on a plan of attack. Think about the amount you are willing to spend on your debt consolidation each month and spend that on one debt at a time, while clearing the minimum payments on others. You will soon find that you are living debt free.
  1. 3.      The Affect on Your Credit Rating: Debt consolidation loans do have an effect on your credit rating. By taking out another loan, you are showing other lenders that you have struggled with your finances in the past. They will worry that you will allow this to happen again in the future. However, you will clear your other debts and keep paying a monthly repayment that shows you can handle a long term debt, which could actually help you get a mortgage in the future! This is also much better than debt management companies, which stay on your report for a longer period of time.
  2. 4.      Great for Those without Organisational Skills: If you do struggle with organising and managing your money, having debt consolidation may be the best option. You will have one monthly repayment to manage and you know how long those payments will last. There is no need to work out which company needs paying off the soonest or whether you have made the minimum repayment for other creditors that month. You will also spend less in the long run on interest.
  3. 5.      Stuck on One Set Monthly Repayment: The benefit of handling the payments yourself if that you can keep changing the amount depending on your monthly needs. If an emergency comes up, you will be able to clear the minimum payments one month and spend the extra money on the emergency. You can’t do that with consolidation loans. You are tied into a set number of payments for a set amount of time. If you miss one, you will damage your credit rating and face further financial problems.
  4. 6.      May Not Be the Most Cost Effective: Debt management may work out to be a more cost effective option, especially if you owe a lot. You only pay the amount you can afford each month, for a set period of time, so you may find that part of your debt is wiped clean. However, the damage to your credit report may not be worth that.

Getting out of debt is possible with debt consolidation loans. They group your smaller debts into one, making it easier to manage your payments. However, that doesn’t mean it is the best option for your particular needs.

This guest post was written by Brainard Cheney, a financial advisor. After working for years in the financial industry, he recommends for those who have been mis sold PPI.

Dow at All Time Highs – Should You Be Buying?

Most of the analysts were caught wrong footed with their predictions as the markets took comfort from the healing labor market and improving economic conditions. The Dow which had a stiff resistance around the 13000 levels broke that with a big and surpassed it quite comfortably, eventually leading to much higher and unexpected levels of 15,000 + at which the US markets are trading currently.

While most of the retail investors must have missed this rally due to their bitter experiences in the past and must be frustrated waiting at the sidelines, people who had invested consistently, keeping a longer time frame are reaping the benefits big time now. As the markets are surging, so are the portfolios of those prudent investors who decided to invest regularly without waiting for a steep decline and thus trying to time the market.

Coming back to those of you who want to invest in the market but are skeptical of investing at such high levels, perhaps fearing that you might burn your hand. You should still start chipping away at stocks that have good fundamentals and will continue growing at the same or even better rate than in the past. While such stocks would be available at high valuations right now, they are still worth owning. However having said time, it is important that people do not try to go for short term profits as although there are chances of pocketing some good money in a trending market, if there’s a correction around the corner then you might be stuck in stocks that you shouldn’t have been owning in the first place.

The best way to invest right now would be to decide the stocks that you believe in and feel comfortable holding for several years, and starting to buy them on dips. While it is difficult to foresee big falls in the short-term and base your buying on that, it is much easier to keep investing a portion of your investable amount whenever there is a small decline in the markets.

If you do this diligently, even if the markets were to fall steeply in the months ahead, you wouldn’t be deep red in losses. While other investors would curse the markets for trapping them, you will be able to continue to chip away at your preferred picks and build a sustainable portfolio for the long term. On the flip side, if the Dow keeps continuing its stellar run, you will keep benefitting from the shares that you purchased at the lower levels (right now). Though some finance bloggers are pursuing the Sell in May strategy, which may of course work for them depending on the state of their investments, personally I wouldn’t want to sell my holdings only to find out a few months later that the markets have being continuing to run up after some consolidation.

Nevertheless, the choice is still yours and if you feel comfortable with applying some other strategy, you should go ahead and try it. But do remember, currently the market is at all time high levels and it may not be prudent to invest all of your money thinking that you will get a stellar return in the coming months. Things can go bad in markets and people who are overly bullish tend to suffer the most, so play safe. Happy Investing!

The leaders in True Sense – Finding Their Own Path And Leading It

In this technology driven era, starting up a new business and building it to the heights of success might seem to be a feasible approach but there are certain business kings who have been through the failures before they became successful enough to rule the entire world. They have dealt with their fair share of hardships as they did not have the adequate tools, knowledge or guidance in life to initiate their business with the fool proof plan charts in the hand. Neither had they had the success stories of the other business leaders to look up to and learn from their idol’s mistakes.


The real rulers of business world

Starting a business from scratch without having any reference in the business world is certainly not an easy task. Some of them had the required qualification while others just have an idea in their mind to make search their own identification and leave their mark in the lives of people through their innovative thinking. However, the common thing that they all possessed was a passion for the triumph and they indeed made it in their lifetime and even after by creating the success stories in the books of business for the aspirants to get inspirations from. Here are some of the astounding philosophies given by the great business minds depicting the extracts of their business experience and thus leading a path for the younger generation.

  • Steve Jobs

The man who brought a revolution in the communication industry and showed the people innovative and trendy ways to commune as well as entertain themselves had a great vision for the technology and seemingly appeared to be a complicated man in all his interviews who was well familiar with himself as well his ideas. He followed the simple belief to follow his heart without having to worry about any risk in life as according to him the biggest danger of life, that is, death of a person is something that is certain.

  • Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus

These two men redefined the definition of failure for all those who fear getting fired from their jobs. They literally turned their letdown point into the beginning of their success story which never allowed them to look back in their lives. By creating an association with a bunch of people who have failed in their respective fields, they created a Home Depot business that later turned out to be a venture that is worth more than 30 billion dollars. They followed the only philosophy to extract the best from what others consider wastage to achieve success in life.

  • Tony Hseih

Who says that to achieve success one need to gain a particular level of education or age? The man who initiated the idea of delivering happiness to the aspiring business models started his journey of passion and profits at the mere age of nine years old. When his initial business of worm farm failed, he shuffled between many business ideas right from the publishing of newsletters to be sold among his classmates to operating the garage sales and all this was done by him even before he passed out his high school. His zeal and hard work needed no degree as by the age of 24 years, he had his own company LinkExchange which he sold off to the renowned business house Microsoft for a purchase price of 265 million dollars. Later, he moved on to join Zappos where he created a company that serves the business houses with the mantra of infusing happiness to their ventures. His thrive to take risks and create something that would provide him satisfaction is what lead him on the journey of success.

Sien Charlotte is an independent thinker and freelance writer. She thinks that every leader has a different story but same enthusiasm to make something out of his/her life that lead them to become what they are today for the world. She wants to achieve a position like Ron Hovsepian that has made them the celebrities not only for their lifetime but even after that.

The Pros and Cons of Rental Real Estate

There has been a lot of talk lately about the benefits of rental real estate and how it can help you become financially independent by bringing in purely passive income month after month. However I have a few cousins who own a number of rental properties and ever so often I keep discussing with them about how things are panning out so I get deep insights into the pros and cons of rental income.


1. Low Real Estate Prices

Ever since the housing bubble burst, prices of all kinds of properties have fallen to extremely affordable levels and the mortgage rates as well are at historic levels. All this makes rental real estate a great choice as you might be able to grab great deals that can make you a ton of money in the future, both by capital appreciation as well as monthly rental income (provided you did your homework right and invested in the right property).

2. Passive Income At Its Best

There are only a few asset classes that can provide cash flow each month while requiring very little or no maintenance. And this is where rental properties are so effective. The only challenge is finding a reliable tenant and once you do that, the income will start flowing in, which you can then use in whatever way you like.

3. Capital Appreciation

As I mentioned before, it’s about the right time to purchase a rental property. The housing market is beginning to show some strength and prices are going to increase in the future. Although you can’t expect to double or triple your purchase value in the next few years, chances are you will get a good rate of return if you’re in it for the long haul, due to decent capital appreciation and monthly income from rents.


Things might be looking all hunky-dory at this point, but there are a number of challenges associated with managing rental properties as well. Here they are:

1. Buying Ain’t Easy

Although mortgage rates are at historic loans, this doesn’t mean anyone can get a loan for a property just by putting some money as down-payment. It’s much harder now to qualify for loans than it used to be since banks want to make sure they don’t give a loan to someone who might end up defaulting. Apart from that, there are also other costs to consider, such as a substantial down payment, legal fees and any renovations/repairs that need to be made before renting it out.

2. Finding Tenants

This might seem to be an easy thing to do, but ask those who own a few rental properties and you’ll know finding a reliable tenant takes time & patience. Even when you seem to have found one, you would need to do a background check to ensure everything’s right. IF you don’t want to take the trouble, you can always hire an agency to do that for you, but you will lose out on a major chunk of the profits you would have made if you had dealt with everything directly.

3. Maintenance

A landlord is responsible for all the things that have to be taken care of in the rental property. This includes collecting the rent, fixing the leaks, repairing any broken windows and many other things that might irk potential/current tenants. All this takes a good amount of time, and if you don’t want to devote any time towards maintaining your property, then you should perhaps reconsider your decision of owning one.

Would you want to invest in rental real estate? What are your thoughts on it?

15+ Ways to Create Multiple Streams of Income

I have always believed in diversifying my income streams and do as much as I can to find out some new sources of income that can help me make more money overall. It’s been almost close to a decade since I have been trying to make a fortune online and though I’m not anywhere close to that goal to claim that I’ve achieved it, yet I have come a long way from where I started. The journey has not been all straight up and included a few bumps along the way, but all in all it has helped me gain a ton of experience.

Multiple Streams of Income

In the years gone by, I have successfully earned some extra income through a variety of sources, including selling coins on Ebay, affiliate marketing, Adsense, MLM, consulting and many more. Though I did not particularly enjoy each one of them (and I’ll probably write a post about which ones were the most interesting), they did bring in some extra profits that will help me push closer to my goal of reaching the million dollar mark. While I haven’t tried each of the methods that I’m going to discuss below, I have tried my hands on a majority of them, so if you’re looking to create multiple streams of income for yourself, you should check these out:

1. Affiliate Marketing

By far one of the most lucrative methods of generating some serious cash, affiliate marketing basically involves selling the products that others have created. Though it is not that easy to start, it can be quite rewarding once you get a hang of it. There are several networks like Clickbank, Commission Junction, Shareasale etc. where you can sign up to be an affiliate, choose the products that you think people might buy and then try to persuade others to buy them. The commissions will usually differ from product to product, ranging from 20% to 75%, which means you get a pretty good share from the sale of the product.

Read: How to Make Money With Hosting Programs

2. Selling on Ebay

Like I said earlier, I used to sell products on Ebay for close to a year. I had a hobby of collecting coins and I used that to make 100-200% profits through procuring and selling some old coins. It only took me a short time to become a Ebay powerseller, which is the title give to a seller if they have a proven track record of a certain volume of monthly sales.

If you have something to sell, you should also consider joining Ebay as a seller. Preferably, in order to be successful as an Ebay seller, you’ve got to be able to procure products regularly at cheap rates locally and then sell them for a profit on Ebay. If you want any more help regarding this, just shoot me an email and I’ll be more than happy to help.

3. Blogging

Another one of my favorite part-time hustles. Not only do I love sharing my thoughts with the world, but I also earn a bit of money doing that. Not too shabby,huh ! There are literally tons of ways you can make money through blogging and once you work hard to create a quality blog with readership, the moolah starts rolling in pretty soon. It is also sort of semi-passive income, since you would only have to brainstorm, research and update your blog 2-3 times in a week with quality content, which might end up taking 6-8 hours at best.

4. Creating Products

If you think of yourself as an expert on a particular subject, and feel that sharing your knowledge with your readers would benefit them, you can considering creating your own products – podcasts, ebooks and so on. Not only can you sell them to your loyal readers but also through various other portals, including Amazon, Clickbank and others. The best part about creating your own products is that you get to keep a large chunk of the profits and once it is up on the market, as long as it sells decently, you will enjoy a nice passive income from the royalty of the sales.

5. Consulting

Another pretty lucrative business for people who have a lot of knowledge in any one particular field. Consulting is an evergreen business which remains in demand irrespective of the market conditions. For example, with so many organizations wanting to optimize their websites for search engines, a SEO specialist, blogger or webmaster could provide his valuable suggestions on improving the search engine visibility of those businesses and earn a good amount of money doing that.

6. Starting a Small Business

If you have any interest in business, combined with a passion in any specific niche, you can always start your own small-scale business. With most people preferring to buy products online, you do not even need to invest money to buy an offline property. Just set up a simple website based on your business, offer your services/products and market it well. If you do it correctly, you can set up a nice extra stream of income that can have the potential to replace your full-time job later on.

Read: How to Make Money With Ecommerce Websites

7. Membership Sites

There are a plethora of sites that require members to pay a monthly/yearly fee to avail the products or services they offer. If you have something that you think might sell well and customers might be willing to pay a recurring fee for it, you can consider opening such a site. The best part about a membership site is that once it is up and running, the income generated by it is almost fully passive, requiring very little work apart from maintenance. Some examples of such sites are Netflix, Shareafile, Aweber, SBI and countless others.

8. Trading Shares

Although I wouldn’t recommend doing this aggressively, if you’re not averse to risk taking, you could try learning technical analysis of stocks and using your acquired knowledge to analyse the charts of individual stocks regularly and predict their movements on intraday or short-term basis. Though there are lots of successful traders who make a killing from dong this, when you’re starting out it’s best to trade on paper for a few months so that you can get to know how you’re faring, without having to lose your cash while doing it. If the paper trade goes well, you can start trading with small amounts and take it from there.

9. Freelance Writing

One of my favorite methods for generating some extra cash monthly, freelance writing doesn’t require any significant investment of either time or money. Since there are lots of opportunities available for freelance writers, if you have a knack of writing well and do not mind brainstorming a bit to come up with topics that might interest people, you can generate a good amount of income by spending just a few hours every week.

Read: 5 Best Websites for Freelance Writing

10. Virtual Assistant

With blogging & internet based businesses taking off big time in the last few years, there is a growing demand for people who can help the moguls manage their online empires. This usually involves doing some pretty routine tasks like social bookmarking, social media management, database entries etc. that do not have a steep learning curve. However the drawback of being a virtual assistant is that there is a lot of competition from people from the South-East Asian countries and the payoff is usually not that good, usually ranging from $2-$10 per hour.

11. Graphic Designing

I know a few friends who were quite creative at designing stuff (usually logos) and successfully managed to land some big clients over a period of a year or so, just by networking with some of the popular bloggers and webmasters, showcasing their skills on Facebook and setting up a website with their portfolios and a contact page for free quotes.

12. Tutoring

Tutoring has evolved into a full-time business in the last decade or so, and since my own dad is a teacher, I can certainly attest to the fact that it is a great way of making a decent amount of money, sitting at home and working at the hours of your liking. All you need to do is to find out what you’re good at (any high school subjects, foreign language etc.) and then ask friends and family to refer people to you who are looking to learn these. Since I can speak Spanish farely well and my grammar is in good shape too, even I’m thinking of giving Spanish tuitions in my area.

13. Website Designing

Though I cannot claim to be perfect at it, I have worked as a part-time website designer in the past, and have had a few happy clients for whom I developed ecommerce & basic HTML based websites. Even if you don’t have any experience designing sites, you can learn most of it through online guides and ebooks, and then try your hand at making it all work together. Another way of doing this is by using a software such as Dreamweaver. Of course you can also recommend clients to set up basic WordPress blogs, something which you’ll be able to do with minimal fuss.

14. Freelance Programming

If you are good at computer languages and do some decent coding, then you can use your programming skills to land software development and information system projects. There are many sites such as Odesk, Elance, Guru etc. where you can register as a member and bid on projects that are related to your field of interest. It’s always better to start out at low rates in the beginning, develop a reputation for good work and then increase your rates later on.

15. Translation Services

With the world being connected more than ever and businesses taking place between countries from all around the globe, there is a growing demand for translation services. Even though English is recognized as a global language, some countries (especially South American and Asian) are still lagging behind when it comes to English speaking populace. This is where translating services are needed most and if you are good at a second language, you can make a decent amount each month just by translating books, documents and texts.

16. Rental Income

Though I’m a big fan of rental real estate, I’ve purposely listed it at the last since it involves investing a large amount of money in a property before the payoff begins, something which most people are not in a position to do. However, it is a still an impressive way of earning pure passive income that doesn’t require too much effort once you’ve found the right tenants.

Although I have tried to cover almost all major ways of creating multiple streams of income, if you think you would like to add to this list, feel free to leave a comment and share it with our readers.

Can Guarantor Loans help to Repair a Bad Credit Rating?

It is with a strong sense of irony that we find one of the best ways to try and improve a bad credit rating can be to actually take out some new credit! The principle behind this thought is a fairly simple one though; to improve your credit rating you must prove to lenders that you can maintain a repayment schedule without missing payments and falling behind.

The question quickly turns to how can you successfully apply for credit when you have a bad credit rating? With the current economic climate, one of the first criteria lenders look for with a loan applicant is a good credit rating to ensure that their exposure is limited.  If therefore you’ve damaged your credit rating in the past, you may find it impossible to get any new credit in the current economic times and therefore you may be unable to prove that you can now repay anything you borrow. Fortunately, there is a happy medium out there and this medium exists in the form of a guarantor loan.

Established Financial Concept

Guarantor loans are a financial concept which has been around for quite a while and offers the chance for borrowers with a poor credit rating to apply for a loan. The difference between guarantor loans and other forms of personal loan is that you will use a guarantor to support your application. Your guarantor will be used to support your application so that the lender has confidence that they can reclaim their money if you fail to make repayments as there is someone in place who will do it for you.

Because of the role adopted by the loan’s guarantor, the applicant’s current credit rating is effectively irrelevant. The applicant will then be provided with the opportunity to obtain the finance and make the loan repayments. Making the loan repayments in turn builds up the applicant’s credit rating once again and then, once the loan is paid off, the applicant should be in a position to apply for normal unsecured credit once again.

Aware of Responsibilities

Guarantor loans are growing in popularity, especially since they can offer larger loans over a longer period than standard short-term or payday loans. They’re especially good for young adults who want to take out a loan but don’t have either a good credit rating, or in some cases, any credit rating at all.

The significance of a guarantor loan is that you rely on the fact that your parent, guardian or friend will repay the loan if you can’t. You should only really consider this type of debt if you’re confident that you will be able to repay it or that your loan guarantor will be able to repay it if you’re unable to. This of course will only become an issue if you fail to make your loan repayments.

How to Cope With a Financial Loss

There are times in life when we’re suddenly faced with a financial disaster. And it seems to happen exactly at the time when we’re not prepared for any such turmoil in our lives. Especially with the economy going through a tumultuous phase in the last 5 years and eventually starting to recover, most of us have gone through severe financial stress and huge losses that might take a long time to recover.

Financial Loss

However if you keep brooding over the losses time and again, you’ll never be able to achieve peace of mind. Instead, it’s better to let it all go and begin a new journey. Here are some tips that might help:

1. Stop All That Blaming

Generally whenever people incur a financial loss, instead of holding themselves responsible for it, they do whatever they can to make excuses and blame some other person or event for it instead. Although you may feel doing this might help you feel better, it actually does exactly the opposite – making you all the more bitter & frustrated towards life.

So it’s always better to accept responsibility for your actions and stop blaming others. Since you can’t control external circumstances, you’ve always got to be aware of the fact that the results you got are directly related to the decisions ‘you’ made at that point in time.

2. Accept It and Move On

What’s over is over. There’s no point in thinking about it for long periods of time as it’s only going to make you feel despondent and it would never let you move forward in life. So what should you do then?

The best thing to do would be to accept your financial mistakes and just try to move on. The sooner you accept the loss, the easier would it be for you to move forward and achieve better things in life. I know it’ll be easier said than done and your mind will try to play all sorts of tricks on you – reminding you about it repeatedly, but whenever you feel yourself thinking about it, just divert your attention and focus on something else. If you do it diligently over a period of time, all those sad memories will fade away and you’ll be a much stronger person.

3. Recognize What Went Wrong

While it’s certainly a good idea to get rid of the memories that make you sad time and again, you’ve still got to understand what lead to a financial loss for you. May be you were overly bullish on the stock market, invested at the wrong time or got scammed in a too-good-to-be-true get-rich scheme – whatever it is, unless and until you realize exactly what went wrong, you’re likely to make the same mistakes again in the future. So sit down and think about the decisions that backfired and what you could do the next time you’re faced with making similar kind of decisions.

4. Learn From Your Mistakes

Almost everyone fails a number of times in one’s lifetime, and trust me – it doesn’t make you a loser. However successful people are those who learn from their mistakes and do not make those same mistakes again in their life.

What good is your financial failure if you didn’t learn your lessons from it. For example, may be you had no idea how the markets worked, but when you saw your friends and family make a fortune out of their investments, you decided to test the waters and invested your money without realizing the risks, ultimately burning yourself and causing a financial disaster. In that case, you should have learnt the lesson that unless and until you fully realize what you’re getting into, it’s probably best to stay out of it.

5. Try to Make Up For It

I know a lot of people won’t really have the motivation left after a big financial loss to start working even harder and make up for it. However if you don’t do that and just sit back, pondering over the times gone by, you’ll only be moving backwards since you’ll be wasting your biggest asset – time.

So the best way is to think of some alternate ways of recovering the loss, partially or fully. You’ll most likely not be aware of it, but there are countless ways you can make a second income and slowly and steadily recover what you lost. Right now, there is a lot of demand for freelance writers, virtual assistants and other similar jobs that other people are just too lazy to do. So grab the opportunity and do what you can – not only will you have filled up your vault again, but you would probably have forgotten about the loss as well.

Have you experienced a financial loss? How are you coping with it? Do share your advice with our readers.

Youth Unemployment And The Spiral of Debt

The forecast for the UK economy is not looking positive, with tepid growth predicted for the forseeable future. Businesses will remain cautious when hiring new workers during this difficult  period, casting a long shadow over unemployment figures. The effects of joblessness at any age can be a source of considerable anxiety; none more so than among the younger generation.


Photo courtesy: xJason.Rogersx (Flickr)

The damage will last for a generation

Studies carried out by the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment among the young is on the rise again, with nearly 1 million young people currently out of work in the UK. Youth organisations such as the Prince Trust have expressed their concern that the recession has left a vacumn in the skillset of the younger generation. The fear is many young people will experience the recession without gaining meaningful and lasting employment.

According to the Prince’s Trust:

  • Young people not in employment are twice as likely to feel unable to cope as their peers
  • More than 1 in 4 young people believe their prospects have been permanently damaged by the recession
  • Almost 1 in 5 young people feel they have no future due to the recession.

Young people and the spiral of debt

Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, said:

“A frightening number of unemployed young people feel unable to cope – and it is particularly tough for those who don’t have a support network in place. Life can become a demoralising downward spiral – from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult. But, with the right support, we can help get these lives on track.”

The number of 18 to 24-year-olds out of work increased by 48,000 to 993,000.

The situation is further compounded by the rising statistics for young people to falling into debt. Analysis carried out by the Insolvency Service have warned young people to stay away from services such as payday loans. The biggest take up in debt solution services has been those aged between 25 -34.

The vulnerable economic position of the young

The correlation between rising youth unemployment figures and rising debt levels among the young is not difficult to comprehend. A lack of consistent employment leads to insufficient and irregular levels of income, leaving young people to seek inadvisable methods to make up for any perceived deficit, such as unsecured credit deals.

September – November 2012 – 957,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds


Youth unemployment statistics have stated that in the period November 2012 – January 2013 there were 993,00 young people unemployed, an increase of over 48,000 on the previous quarter.

For those aged 16-24 the unemployment rate rose by 0.9% to 21.2%. The unemployment rate  for 18-24 year olds is 19.2%. For 16-17 year olds the rate is 37.3%.

The effect of youth unemployment has wider implications, particularly in relation to debt. Many young people state that unemployment is a trigger for their debt problem and those seeking debt relief are more likely to be out of work, compared to other age groups.

Help for those who are struggling to pay off debts.

If you have run into financial difficulties and you cannot afford to pay your debts, you may be able to apply for a Debt Relief Order.

1)What is a debt relief order?

A Debt Relief Order (DRO)  is a legally binding document granted to those who cannot pay off their debts. They were initiated to help those on a low income who have relatively small amounts of unsecured debt.  The order is granted through the Insolvency Service and costs £90 to set up.

You can apply for a DRO if your assets do not exceed £300 and your debts total £15,000 or less. You will have to have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years and not had a DRO granted in the previous six months.

There are many types of debt that can be included such as payday loans, credit cards and overdrafts, hire purchase agreements and rent. However, student loans and child support cannot be included, as well as secured fines and mortgage repayments .

During the debt relief order

  1. Your creditors will not be able to take further steps against you without first applying to the courts.
  2. You will not be able to obtain credit over £500
  3. You will not be able to run a business without stating your previous involvement with a debt relief order

A New Beginning

The duration of the debt order is usually 12 months. When it has run its course you will be free of your debts and able to make a fresh start.  If you are experiencing financial difficulties and would like more information on debt relief orders, then make sure you use an authorised debt advisor.

Rosie Percy writes for a diverse range of topics and industries including education, health and finance. Rosie has written for the Guardian and other lifestyle blogs, and now lives and works in Brighton. For more information on debt consolidation click here.

How Businesses Can Manage Their Vehicle Fleets

With businesses now having to deal with more aspects of their functioning than ever, the need for professional services who can provide cost effective solutions to the everyday aspects of business management is on the rise.

Fleet of delivery vans

This is where the improvement in technology is leading to a revolution of sorts, one that promises to help businesses overcome most of their challenges and limitations and look for ways to provide better and quicker service to their clients than what they could in the past

One such example of this is fleet management, which is synonymous with other advanced areas of business management such as supply chain & warehouse management. Though it is a relatively new aspect, it has the potential to ease the burden off the shoulders of both small & medium sized businesses, by helping them manage their fleet of vehicles in a much better & organized manner.

For those small scale businesses that do not have a fleet manager, managing their vehicles can prove to be a time consuming and challenging task as they would not have the expertise of taking care of a large number of vehicles and might have to face the consequences for the same, since this could translate into a potential loss for the company in terms of the labour and the opportunity costs that they would incur while coming to terms with the perils of managing their fleets themselves.

Since businesses are usually unable to maintain their vehicles they way they would like to, due to both time and expertise constraints, a professional service for the same can do wonders for them, allowing them to focus on the other key aspects of their business that would allow them to maximize their growth while allowing the experts to take care of their vehicles to ensure a smooth overall experience for their organization.

With a sharp uptick in the technology available these days, combining the power of GPS, wireless internet and a host of other technologies, the operation of vehicles has gotten much easier, which has led to the efficiency soaring high, with companies being able to locate and better manage their fleets to provide real time information to their customers.

Not only that, if the organizations do not have their own fleet of vehicles but realize the need for them in order to improve the effectiveness of their business, they can look into a solution such as car leasing which would help them overcome this limitation and evolve into a better organization.

Three Important Things To Consider Before Retirement

When considering your potential for retirement, the best tool you might have at your disposal is a crystal ball. Unfortunately, if you happen to be fresh out of these handy tools, there are a few ways of thinking that might help you plan for a happy as well as financially solvent future. This article will serve as your primer for such a post-working future.



How long will you live? Talk about your ability to see into the future. Unfortunately, without at least a ballpark idea of how long you will live, it will be very difficult to determine how much you will need to live on for the remaining years of your life. If you don’t have a crystal ball and you’re fresh out of palm readers, get an idea by looking at your family tree. No, you don’t need to cut anyone in half and count the rings. Instead, look at as many of them as you can to get an idea. Do they live long and active lives? Chances are good that you will too.


How much money will you need to live in a manner that you wish? Once you decide approximately how long you will live, you will need to determine how much money you will need to have in order to live. By the age of your retirement, you could probably have several assumptions under your belt such as having your home paid off, your children educated, and other givens which can cut the among of money you will need to make down considerably. This is not to say that you won’t need money, perhaps even a considerable amount, but you will probably need less than you did earlier in your life.

Life Plan

What will you need to have and do to make your chosen lifestyle possible? By this point in your homework you should have a rough idea of what you will need to retire. Considering how you would like to live during your retirement, does this mean you can live on what you have saved? Will you need to work more or perhaps at least part time? Are you taking a disability retirement? This brings with it another possible source of income. The point here is to determine what you will need to do to make living in a certain manner possible.

Perhaps this summary of evaluating your potential for retirement could be considered oversimplified, but it will give you an idea of what you will need to retire, comfortably and happily ever after.