Money Saving Tips to Keep Debt Under Control

The path to financial freedom is often scattered with bumpy roads. No matter how hard you try, you may encounter difficult financial times at some point in your life. Credit cards, while a blessing to many, can wreak havoc on your credit score if not cared for properly. Some debt recovery agencies, like Wescot, can prove invaluable in getting your finances back in order. Connect with them through Pinterest or other social media to ensure you are back on track in no time. The best way to avoid financial downfall is to arm yourself with money-saving tools way ahead in the game.

Cut Yourself Off

If your debt has accumulated beyond plan, you may begin to feel trapped. This is not uncommon. Once you’ve realised that you’re in financial trouble, it’s time to put a plan into action to ensure it doesn’t further spin out of control. Commit to avoiding borrowing money until you get your finances in order. Cut up all of your credit cards, except for one for emergencies. Do it now. If that’s out of the question, simply store your cards in a glass of water and stick it in the freezer. The impulse to buy will more than likely pass by the time the ice melts. A bit silly, but it works. Ridding yourself of the temptation is the best way to begin your recovery when you’re far down the debt hole.

Don’t Make the Minimum

Did you know that a £5,000 balance can take over 30 years to pay off when making the minimum payment? Yes, really. Interest rates are ever rising, making cleaning up your financial messiness even more difficult. You must pay more than your card’s minimum payment if you want to settle your debts in an efficient manner. Pay as much as you possibly can per month in order to avoid sky-high interest. This is just one great way to avoid mounting debt.

Low interest rates are imperative to managing debt. Don’t be afraid to switch credit cards if it means re-negotiating interest rates. You may have become accustomed to tossing out credit card offers once they pile in, but consider applying for a 0% interest card and transferring your outstanding balances onto that account. This will give you a fresh start, free of interest, to get you back on track with your payments. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds.

Ignorance is bliss, but not when it comes to credit cards. It’s your responsibility to become familiar with the details of your card and how it works. From fees to interest rates and grace periods, there is much to learn about managing your card accounts. Arming yourself with knowledge is the best way to avoid a scare later on.

Stay Organised

Credit cards are one of modern man’s greatest creations for more reasons than one. Aside from protecting purchases, building credit and being able to purchase things without cash, owning a credit cards paves the way for learning the intricacies of finance. Whether you’re dealing with two credit cards or six, you must be aware of what is at stake. Keep a log of each card, your balance and the interest rate on hand, so you can plan as much as you need to. While a fantastic financial tool, credit cards can wreak havoc on your money, as well. When used improperly and too frequently, credit cards can function more like a high interest loan than a cash substitute.

Having your debts in one place may seem intimidating, but it’s much simpler than having several open tabs on your browser, which can get confusing quickly. Arrange your payment priorities by interest rates. In order to rid yourself of financial debt, pay off your credit cards with the highest rates, then follow with the rest in a descending order.

Prioritise Your Debts

According to financial guru Suze Orman, all debts are created equal. Don’t place favours on the back burner. Whether it’s Visa you are dealing with or the money your sister lent you, treat all your debts with the same importance, though be smart about which should be paid first. Cards with the highest interest rates and balances should be paid before the others.

So you’ve paid off your largest balance – great! Pat yourself on the back, but not for too long. There is still much to be done. It’s time to apply that same monthly payment to another credit card.

Once you’ve gotten yourself out of the financial hole we call debt, you must take steps to avoid a recurrence. Make a promise to yourself to always keep your finances in order. Aside from caring for your health, this is the best way to secure a bright future for you and your family. By budgeting and staying organised with your finances, your shots at future financial freedom drastically increase.

How to Restore Your Credit Rating

Without a good credit rating an individual’s financial options can be severely diminished. In such a situation, it can be difficult to secure a loan or buy anything which requires a payment schedule such as a house or car. Thankfully, there are steps which can be taken to improve any credit score markedly by knowing why credit ratings are important and how they can be affected through prudent finances.

Why a Bad Credit Rating Should Be Avoided

There are a number of reasons why a bad credit rating should be remedied as quickly as possible.

These include:

  1. Rent: If you have a bad credit rating and wish to rent a property, you may find difficulty in doing so. If your credit history is poor then a landlord may take this as evidence that as a potential tenant, you have a bad track record for paying your debts and may struggle with rent.
  2. Employment: Some jobs require a credit check before a person can be hired. This is most commonly found in upper management positions or jobs which require financial knowledge. A prospective employer may use a bad credit score as grounds to not hire someone as they could feel that such an individual does not have the skills to handle money or finances.
  3. Loans: If a person has a bad credit rating, it can be very difficult to get credit approval. This means that lines of credits such as bank loans or credit cards may be closed because lenders cannot be sure that such an individual would be able to pay them back.
  4. Stress: Having debt or being unable to secure new lines of credit can have a severe impact on a person’s well-being. It is for this reason above all others that you should try to improve your credit rating as quickly as possible.
  5. Future Purchases: For certain items such as a car or mobile phone, there is a strict credit checking process involved. If your credit rating is poor then you might be refused when looking to buy such a product.

Tips for Getting a Good Credit Rating

Dealing with a poor credit score can seem like an endless struggle, with little light at the end of tunnel. Thankfully, this impression is not in fact true. There are many things a person with a bad credit rating can do to improve their situation markedly. All you need to do is remain calm and approach the problem in a systematic way.

Approaches for improving a credit score include:

  1. Find Out Your Score: In order to improve your credit rating, you’ll need to know exactly what your score currently is. To do this, you’ll need to get a full credit report. There are a number of credit report compilers which will create an in-depth report for you at little cost. The report will show exactly what debts have been plaguing any credit rating and when payments might have been missed.
  2. Asses For Inaccuracies: It is quite common to find that there is a mistake on a credit score. In order to identify this, order a report from more than one company, then compare them. If any differences can be seen, then businesses are seeing an error when viewing one of the reports. Looking through each report, it is important to account for each late payment and debt attributed to you. If some are mistakes, then you should contact a credit reporting bureau to have the report amended. This can improve your credit rating markedly.
  3. Prompt Payment: The worst thing you can do is add to a bad credit rating by missing debt payments. Whether it is rent or for a TV package, these bills have to be paid on time and in full or your credit rating will get worse. Make sure that all bills are taken care of each month. If they cost too much, then contact a debt management advisor or cancel luxury payments you do not need to free up more money.
  4. Research: There are many approaches to increasing a credit rating. It’s essential for customers to expand their knowledge by visiting resources such as the Wescot debt blog, so that they can apply all available methods to their situation. This also lends a level of adaptability to the process where situation specific techniques can be learned and then used to greater effect.
  5. Increase Debt: This sounds like a strange piece of advice, but by taking on a new debt and then paying it back quickly your credit rating will improve. A great way to do this, for example, is to take out a very small loan and pay it back as quickly as possible. If your credit rating is particularly bad then you might have to secure it against something you own. This will show anyone looking at your credit rating in the future that you can pay your debt.
  6. High APR Credit Cards: If you can’t get access to a small loan and don’t want to go down the payday lending route, then getting a high APR credit card is a great idea, as long as you don’t spend too much on it. Many companies offer these cards with high interest, but if the limit is small then you can max it out and then pay it back quickly. Obviously, this should only be done if you have the funds to do so. Not only will this show that you can pay off debt, but just having a credit card will increase your credit rating, showing that companies are willing to give you a line of credit.

Improving a Credit Rating Takes Time

The important thing to remember about building a good credit score is that it takes time. It’s a process which requires consistency in paying bills and managing any debts. If this can be done, then slowly but surely, your credit rating will improve eventually to the point where you will once again have access to better lines of credit.

Experian reveals new data about credit conditions in its Q3 2014 report

Keeping up to date with the latest data on credit conditions is something which most financial organisations do – including Wescot, a credit services company, whom you can read more about here. Whilst finance experts like Wescot are well aware of developments in the credit arena, most consumers remain uninformed about such matters. This can often lead to confusion when they apply for loans or credit cards, and find that their applications have been turned down. But, as Experian’s Q3 2014 report revealed, many factors contribute to lending decisions, and these factors vary from one quarter to the next. Let’s take a closer look at this document now.

The report showed that whilst unsecured credit continued on its upward path, there was – for the first time in eight consecutive quarters – a weakening in secured lending to households. The information regarding the latter was taken from the quarterly CCS (Credit Conditions Survey) from the Bank of England, who conducted their survey between August 13th and September 8th of 2014.

The results of the Bank of England’s research were based on the responses made by lenders, and were calculated by assigning each lender a score, based on their selected response. The lenders who stated that conditions had changed slightly were given half the score of those who stated that conditions had changed significantly. The scores were then weighted, according to the market shares of each lender.

The availability of unsecured credit rose once again during this period of time, as did the demand for credit card loans. However, there was no notable increase in the demand for other forms of unsecured loans. The report predicted that both unsecured and secured lending to consumers would rise during the subsequent quarter, and that this trend would continue on into the following year.

In its report, Experian noted that the CCS showed a drop in the demand for mortgages; it has been said that this reduction was the result of the public taking a less favourable view of high-risk financial decisions. This drop in mortgage applications also coincided with a decline in the availability of mortgage credit; this was due in large part to the implementation of the MMR (Mortgage Market Review), which led to a number of operational issues for several lenders. In the survey, some lending firms also noted that their expectations regarding property prices were also a factor which had contributed to the reduction in availability.

A number of lenders added that they had chosen to restrict availability due to the FPC’s (Financial Policy Committee) recommendations that lenders should attempt to lessen the risks associated with the property market. They also stated that they were less eager to lend at LTV (loan to value) ratios of over 90%, and that the credit scoring criteria for mortgage applicants had become slightly stricter during this quarter. Lastly, many lenders said that they expected secured net lending to increase by 1.7% during the final quarter of the year, and by 2.2% in 2015.

The report indicated that lenders had a positive outlook for the final quarter, due to the fact that the third quarter saw the economy doing well, unemployment rates falling, and consumer confidence remaining high. However, their outlook for credit conditions beyond the next few months were slightly more pessimistic, with some citing political and economic uncertainty as reasons for a possible drop in the demand for credit in 2015. Although, as mentioned earlier, the economy has been strong, its growth is beginning to slow. Another issue which could result in consumers taking out fewer loans, is the lack of wage growth; this particular issue typically leads to little or no improvements in productivity, and could potentially pose a threat to the economy in the future.

There was an overall increase of £3 billion on unsecured lending between the months of July and September; this is a considerable amount, particularly when compared with the average of £2.3 billion over the previous two quarters. The annual growth rate for unsecured lending rose to 6.1%, a figure which hasn’t been seen in more than 8 years; however, this percentage still pales in comparison to the rates of 2005, which stood in the double digits.

Credit card lending was also shown to have risen, with its annual growth rate coming in at 4.7%, due to a £0.6 billion increase. According to the CCS, this rise in demand for credit card loans was the result of improvements in the economy, and the marketing campaigns implemented by lenders.

There were no changes seen in spreads on credit cards for the third quarter. The credit scoring criteria for consumers applying for unsecured loans also became slightly more lax, and default rates were the same as those reported in previous quarters. Credit card interest rates rose somewhat, although the increase was not significant, when compared with the second quarter, and the rates were in fact lower than those from the same period in 2013. Much like in the previous 12 months, personal loan interest rates remained unchanged.

Experian’s report explained that the CCS expected an expansion in overall net lending during the last three months of 2014, with the demand for both credit cards and other types of unsecured lending services likely to rise quite a bit; however, it also forecasted a rise in the rate of defaults on credit cards during the final quarter. The criteria used to score lending applications was expected to become quite lenient.

Wescot – Factors contributing to the change in the financial sector

The gradual change of many aspects within the financial sector can perhaps be attributed to the financial crisis that gripped the world over a decade ago. Closer to home there are a number of issues and situations that have arisen that have led to changes that will undoubtedly be felt by both individuals and businesses across the United Kingdom.

Wescot are one of the largest debt recovery agencies in the United Kingdom and as such have a keen interest in the current changes in the financial sector. The company have noted that these changes are due to a number of key factors that have influenced the financial market and have set in motion the need for change within the sector. One of the key factors associated with playing a part in the changes is in relation to the wescotcontinued pressure being placed on a consumer with regards to their disposable income. Recent figures show that levels of disposable income have reached the same as they were in 2008, largely down to the consumer friendly interest rates.

One of the most significant factors, in the opinion of Wescot, is in relation to the change in regulations and regulatory bodies. Responsibility for regulating the financial sector has shifted from OFT to the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA has already signalled their intention for a greater sense of fairness, transparency and honesty within the financial sector and many of the new regulations reflect this.

There is also greater competition than ever before within the financial service sector with large companies such as Tesco, Virgin Money and Sainsbury’s all having recently entered the market. With the prospect of further large organisations following suit in the not too distant future, more changes seem likely.

Wescot are one of the companies that have put in place a clear strategy to tackle these changes and are in a strong position financially to not only adapt but thrive. The company itself is committed to ensuring that the needs of their customers are met at all times and this is a major contributing factor in relation to their continued success.

Wescot – Core values serve Wescot well

Wescot are a company from the United Kingdom that were originally established in the early 1970’s and are now one of the largest debt recovery agencies in the United Kingdom. Wescot pride themselves on the excellent relationships that they form with their customers and enjoy working closely with them to achieve first class results time and time again. Wescot currently employ over 650 staff at various locations throughout wescotthe United Kingdom. They have centres in Hull, Saltcoats and Glasgow respectively and they place huge importance in both the recruitment of staff and the ensuing learning and development strategies that they put in place.

The staff at Wescot receive ongoing training in relation to both customer service and debt recovery techniques and much of the company’s success is down to the skills and expertise of the dedicated staff members. In addition to this the company possesses an executive team that can boast vast amounts of experience within the financial and debt recovery sectors. The staff at Wescot currently deal with over 5 million account holders per year and that figure looks set to increase as the reputation of the company continues to grow.

Wescot as a company have a number of core values that remain integral to the continued success of the company. These core values have served the company extremely well in the past and are a major part of the way that the company is seen from those on the outside. At a time when much is being made of the damaging impact of corruption and other negative factors, Wescot are a company that retains their sense of integrity and honesty. The board at Wescot strive to retain the core values of being open, ethical, client centred, trustworthy and passionate in every aspect of their business. Wescot use these core values to ensure that they remain the number one choice for their customers in relation to their debt management and recovery portfolios.

Wescot continue to look for ways in which to improve their services and welcome any feedback from customers or the public so that they can keep on evolving as a company. Wescot have recently introduced a complaints management system in conjunction with Equiniti and it is hoped that this will increase the levels of communication between all parties concerned.

Wescot – New partnerships announced

Wescot are one of the market leaders within the debt recovery sector and are considered by many to be one of the largest debt recovery agencies within the United Kingdom. The company itself employs over 650 staff throughout the UK and has an impressive track record in relation to the levels of satisfaction enjoyed by their customers. With a burgeoning reputation for fairness, transparency, professionalism and integrity, Wescot are a company that are in a strong position to deal with the current changes in their sector.

Wescot are dedicated and committed to providing a first class service to their customers and it is with this in mind that they are always looking to improve their services in any way possible. The company prides itself on the high levels of customer service that their staff provide, and are keen to stress the importance of identifying and tackling the needs of their clients on an individual basis. With many changes taking place within the financial sectors, the need for a clear strategy and a willingness to evolve has never been greater.

wescotWescot have recently announced that they will be working in conjunction with two other companies to improve the efficiency of their service for the benefit of their customers. Adare are a company that provides editing software and is renowned for the quality of their software and programs. Wescot have decided to incorporate their SmartEdit software into their current system which will give them increased editing capabilities and improve the efficiency of the process when they need to change or alter records on their extensive database. In addition to this, SmartEdit also allows staff at Wescot to create new documents at the push of a button from existing templates which will significantly reduce the time currently spent creating new documents.

November 2013 also saw the introduction of a new partnership which would increase the company’s ability to deal with customer complaints. The complaints management system came about due to a partnership with a company called Equiniti and it is hoped that the new system, named Perito, will be a huge success and give Wescot increased capabilities in relation to dealing with customer complaints. The new system has been specifically designed for use within the financial sector and Wescot are confident that it will aid their staff in identifying and successfully dealing with all forms of customer complaints and grievances.

Wescot Credit Services – Ongoing investment

In the year to February 2013, Wescot Credit Services Ltd returned over £240 million to the balance sheets of its clients. At any one time, they find themselves managing over £4.5 billion worth of performing assets on behalf of their clients, and this just goes to show why they are the UK’s top provider of receivables management services.

wescotTheir debt free status means they have sufficient capital on hand to best service their clients and exceed their expectations. In the year ending February 2012, Wescot realised a turnover of £32 million and so are in a strong trading position, which allows them to invest heavily in expanding and improving their services. For example, Wescot Credit Services Ltd have spent over £4 million in the last two years upgrading their IT infrastructure. This includes a new telephony environment, up scaled networks and an upgraded collections platform. Investment such as this shows the seriousness that Wescot Credit Services Ltd gives to improving the already exceptional service it gives to its clients.

Ongoing investment is also prevalent in its employees, who each have a bespoke development plan with clear and measurable objectives. Plans such as this form part of Wescot’s overall learning and development strategy. Individuals are able to enhance their knowledge and develop new skills to help them in their roles. The knock-on effect is that the business’s clients receive an improved service from motivated and skilled staff.

The CCR-Interactive and Credit Excellence Awards are a prestigious industry event held annually. This year’s ceremony will see Wescot Credit Services Ltd as the main sponsor, which is a decision that the event’s organisers believe will bring much kudos to the day. It is also an example of Wescot’s drive to promote their brand and further cement their position at the top of the industry.

Anyone who deals with Wescot Credit Services can rest assured that they endeavour to treat all customers fairly and adhere to the very strict regulatory guidelines that are in place within their industry. Adhering to these guidelines has been made a much more straightforward task by the partnership formed two years ago between Wescot and Experian. Global information services company Experian provide Wescot with accurate and complete data, which has allowed them to improve their collections performance. It also means that they are able to better understand a customer’s characteristics and provide the most suitable service possible.

Wescot Credit Services – Working closely with Swift Advance

Promoting learning and development within their company is something that Wescot Credit Services Ltd look to do at every opportunity. Every employee gets an agreed upon individual development plan, which contains a clear and concise set of objectives. Wescot Wescotlook to encourage career progression wherever possible and by obtaining new skills and knowledge, employees are able to shape their own futures. The firm have even implemented a policy whereby staff are able to request time off from work to undertake study activities. Policies such as this show that Wescot are actively investing in their employees’ futures and looking to improve the services they offer. It also ensures that their customers get dealt with by highly skilled and motivated individuals, which undoubtedly makes for a better experience.

As the UK’s leading provider of receivables management services, Wescot always ensure they are in the best possible situation to assist their clients. A partnership they created two years ago with Experian sees them benefiting from the provision of clear and accurate data. This is a vital aspect of their business and allows them to adhere to the strict compliance standards in their sector. Furthermore, it means that every customer Wescot deals with gets treated fairly because of the firm’s increased access to information concerning individuals and their unique situations. Solutions can be tailor made for customers so that their personal circumstances are taken into consideration.

Some of the country’s largest and most successful firms use Wescot for the management and recovery of their collections. Household names like Sky, British Gas, NPower, RBS and HSBC are just some of their clients and represent a wide range of sectors. In the year ending February 2013, they had managed over 300 million customer accounts and brought returns of more than £240 million to their clients’ balance sheets. Their unique debt free situation allows Wescot to invest significant capital to improve the services they offer and deal with even more customer accounts through increased capacity.

Debt recovery isn’t the only solution that Wescot provide for their clients and another important offering is their range of ‘locate’ products and services. A recent example of how this can be utilised can be seen in the exercise undertaken by Swift Advance in conjunction with Wescot. Swift needed to trace some 2,000 previous customers so that they could be issued with small refunds. They employed the services of Wescot Credit Services Ltd who were able to successfully find almost 80% of the required individuals. This is an outcome that swift had not envisaged and was way above their expectations.

Wescot Credit Services – Tried and tested

Wescot Credit Services Ltd are one of the most trusted solutions providers of debt collections and recovery in the UK. More than £4.5 billion worth of their clients’ performing assets are being managed by Wescot at any one time and over three million customer accounts were handled in the year to February 2013. The outcome of these accounts was the realisation for their clients’ of more than £240 million, which was subsequently returned to their balance sheets. Figures such as these show the effective products and services that Wescot provide and the benefits they bring to their clients.

Sometimes it is necessary for information to be verified and leads to be generated in the search for individuals. Wescot Credit Services Ltd have a great aptitude for carrying out this kind of work and one such successful exercise that they recently completed was for Swift Advances. Swift had to locate more than 2,000 of its previous customers who had already settled their accounts. They were due to receive a small refund but without accurate information, Swift would have been unable to contact them. Part of Wescot’s core services is their ‘locate’ function, which allows clients to verify customer information. After just two weeks, Wescot came back to Swift with a positive result on almost 80% of the individuals in question, which far exceeded what Swift thought would be possible.

Growing their brand is something that Wescot Credit Services Ltd actively seeks to achieve. Their sponsorship of this year’s CCR-Interactive and Credit Excellence Awards is a great opportunity for all involved. It shows the industry-leading reputation that Wescot enjoy and serves as an opportunity to raise further awareness of their brand. The firm also sponsors the Money Advice Scotland annual conference, which occurs every year and shows their continued dedication to industry events.

Wescot Credit Services Ltd do not let their vast amount of accounts blur their vision when it comes to treating customers fairly. They ensure that they always complwescoty with the various regulatory guidelines put in place and their two year old partnership with global information provider Experian has further strengthened this approach. It allows Wescot to utilise Experian’s extensive data resources and gain a better insight to their customers. By understanding an individual customer’s circumstances they are able to provide a more intimate service and bring more benefits as a result.

Wescot | CCR-Interactive Introduces New Sponsor

WescotCredit Collections and Risk (CCR) is one of the UK’s largest publications within the industry of debt recovery. Within the monthly magazine’s pages is a wealth of information regarding debt management techniques for both individuals and lending companies, as well as articles that relate to debt recovery itself. Given that the industry is currently facing an upheaval of regulations and difficult financial obstacles, CCR is providing up to date reporting as to what these implications might mean for their readership. In addition to their monthly publication, CCR also organise the UK’s biggest one day event, CCR-Interactive whereby debt recovery experts, companies and potential clients all meet once a year to discuss strategies and the industry in general. CCR-Interactive has announced a new sponsor for the event, Wescot Credit Services, a debt recovery company that has a long established history within the industry.

Speaking on behalf of CCR, Stephen Kiely who is the editor of the magazine has said that they are ‘delighted’ to welcome the debt recovery company to sponsor their main event, CCR-Interactive. Because the conference grows in size each year, it is ‘important [CCR] have the right kind of headline sponsor’, continues Stephen Kiely. The sponsor will be responsible for the event itself, CCR-Interactive which in the past has provided several benefits to those have attended. Some of which includes important information regarding significant aspects of operating a debt recovery company like best practices to continue increasing profits given the bleak economic outlook as well as how regulatory changes can affect some of the ways these businesses are run.

Sponsors of the CCR-Interactive event are also responsible for the Credit Excellence Awards, given by the magazine. The Credit Excellence Awards cover many different categories, from Best Newcomer, Collection, Compliance and Data Protection. These awards are prestigious achievements for any companies on either side of the debt recovery process and attract large and modest businesses from around the world. Because of the attraction of the awards, this gives companies ample opportunity to open up new relationships with businesses they would not normally come into contact with.

Finally, there is a dinner hosted by CCR and their sponsors, Wescot. As well as views from the hotel function room that overlook Tower Bridge, a full dinner provided by CCR and Wescot, there was a charity auction with prizes provided by many of the companies in attendance.