Make time to check your credit report

Up to 2 months ago I had never checked my credit report, there was no need to.  Well, actually, I feared it.   With all my financial issues I knew the report would be bad.   When I finally checked it, it was FAIR, which was an absolute result.  So, I signed up for alerts which has turned out to be a real blessing.

I got an alert saying that my credit score had dropped by 12 points, confused I logged on.  In the alerts was a ‘late payment’ to one of my creditors.  I knew who it would be immediately.

Long standing readers of this blog may remember that I have 3 of my bigger loans on a debt management repayment plan, this was done to maintain payments with the interest freed.  It has been in place for 10 months now and helped enormously, but only one of those creditors has ever caused issues.  Bank A as we will call them phone me every 2 months to say the payment is late, I then dispute it, they re-check and low and behold I am up to date.  What happens then is, with Bank A they have to transfer the money internally from the debt management account to my loan account.  This delay is then sometimes marked as non payment till they manually correct it.

What I didn’t know was they then INCORRECTLY marked me down as late payment, not missed payment, late payment.  Even though the late payment is caused internally.   I phoned Bank A and they didn’t know why the credit people had been informed by themselves either.   I was then transferred to the department that deals with the ‘debtor accounts’.

The net result is that it is an error but I have to write in and lodge a formal complaint with evidence to get the credit score corrected.  When I checked my history, Bank A have lodged FOUR (YES FOUR) incorrect late payment scores.  Thanks so very much!

So, this will be resolved but it does highlight something I was guilty of.  I buried my head in the sand a lot, not just with avoiding the mail and checking my bank balance but things like this.  Not that is has held me back as I haven’t applied for any credit.

It also shows that sometimes people do make mistakes, and they can be costly.  I am hoping this is corrected quickly, I can’t be bothered with another long drawn out appeal for something that isn’t my fault!

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Helpful guest post

I chat a lot with Debt Therapy Scotland (@), sharing my experiences and reading some of their reader’s stories.  I have agreed to post something from them.  So many helpful links here, and I hope it helps some of you.  Perhaps if I have had access to some of this I could have progressed faster.

10 Best Personal Finance Blog Reads From Around The Web

We’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs lately and it’s high time we shared some of these excellent reads with you! There is so much useful information out there from UK personal finance bloggers on how to manage money, pay off debt and save money.

Here are our top 10 favourite blog posts in recent weeks:

If you’re looking for motivation to pay off your debt, check out how Ricky from Skint Dad is intending to kick debt’s butt. In this post, Ricky explains his financial situation in full and how he’s planning to tackle his debt.

If you’re living in Scotland and wanting to clear your debt, you might find Debt Therapy Scotland’s site useful. They provide all sorts of info on a trust deed in Scotland as well as Debt arrangement schemes and sequestrations.

Pauline from the Savvy Scot wrote about some ways to make money with what you already have. The great part about making money with things you’ve already acquired is that there is no risk or extra costs involved. Read Pauline’s post for some useful money making ideas.

Graham from Moneystepper wrote Britain’s Not Ready for Retirement! In this post, Graham takes a close look at statistics revealed by AXA Self Investor and explains why some people in Britain aren’t saving enough for retirement. He also provides a helpful formula for working out how much to save.

There was a helpful post over at Money Bulldog about what information doesn’t go on your credit report. Common misconceptions have been debunked about whether certain personal details are made available and whether council tax arrears and parking fines for example are included.

Abi from Bunny on a Budget wrote about cheap things to do at home with the kids. There’s no doubt that entertaining kids can be expensive, especially during school holidays. Yet there are many fun things to do at home with the kids which will not only keep them busy, but won’t drain your pocket either.

If you can relate to debt stress, you might like this post from Debt Spot on Dealing with the Stress of Debt. There are some good coping strategies in this article along with an important message about seeking help if needed.

Joe from Budget Breakaway highlighted some of the common reasons why you may not be approved for your mortgage. If you earn under £25K per year as an individual or are self-employed, you may be affected. Read his post to find out more.

Andy from Be Clever With Your Cash wrote about why you shouldn’t ignore spam text messages. He explained how he’d recently been caught out and lost money due to deleting spam messages without reading them. Please head on over to his site to read more.

Richard from Frugality Magazine wrote about 4 proven ways to accelerate your early retirement plans. If retiring early is one of your financial goals, check out this post to see whether these strategies could benefit you.

We hope you enjoyed these great personal finance reads as much as we did! Please check our blog again soon for more posts like this. In the meantime, you’d like to talk to someone about your debt, please get in touch.

Postman delivers utter rage

I am well used to dreading the mail coming, due to the HMRC issues but that all stopped a while ago.   But today, the mail delivery brought something took me a level of rage rarely encountered.

As I have mentioned, my ex is constantly pressuring me for money she is NOT entitled to.  It is non stop, and being how manipulative she is, I wondered what her next move would be.  She said before, how she cannot afford a solicitor so we should do mediation.  Should we????  says who??  I have repeatedly called her bluff by asking her to get her solicitor to contact mine so we can proceed.   But what did I get today?

AN APPOINTMENT WITH MEDIATION SERVICES….utterly livid.  The letter states I have been referred to them and that I now have an appointment in May pre-booked and to bring my ID and bank statements.  WHAT…hell no.

Firstly, it is a waste of time.  It is money for nothing, a good £350 worth of nothing.   She is playing a game here, she will not pay for a solicitor but will do this, well I can tell you something I am not going to be attending.  There is no legal obligation to go, what a cheeky cow she is.  Booking me in for that, who the hell does she think she is?

Do you know what, I have so much evidence to use including last week when I found out (completely by chance) she has a sly saving account with £4000 in it.  4 grand, yet she pleads poverty…unreal.

I don’t normally rant but seriously now, enough is enough.  She took everything from me, she left me to deal with the children and their emotions, a load of bills and mutual debt, and carried on with a new relationship.  They live together, she works for him, he bought her a sports car and personal license plate, he gives her money, what am I paying for here?  I pay every single thing for the children, gladly I will say, so why pay more?

Honestly, I am not going to lie to you all, I absolutely positively hate her.  I hate with her such passion I cannot believe we were ever a couple.  She is a greedy, lying, sneaky, manipulative vile creature and anyone who says Karma will step in, let’s see it.

I have been through hell to get myself back on a level, financially and emotionally, and still she won’t leave me alone.

I am so glad I have a punch bag, I have just utterly battered it.

Deluded friend

Hi all

Again been busy with work and travelling, this time Poland.  I admit I went with trepidation as I expected the worst but what a lovely city Warsaw is.  It was nice to relax for a few days.   The blog does get left a bit nowadays but things should settle soon enough, work has been ultra busy but that is always good.

So, I have managed some gym sessions recently and saw a friend I haven’t seen for a long time.  Nice guy but makes bad decisions, I mean my history isn’t amazing but this guy takes the biscuit.  Years ago we were working on the same sorting aisle at the Royal Mail, on my final week he was fired!   Fired for theft actually, for stealing money from cards.   When you heard why, you had to wonder how someone can let themselves be so controlled that they need extra money.  So why did he do it?  Well he met a girl who dreamed of champagne lifestyle yet he was on a fish and chip budget.  He went and promised her the world and had to steal to fund it, silly silly boy.  Inevitably, when the money stopped, she left him.  Sounds a bit like my ex actually!

So, back to the gym.  I saw him and had a good catch up and quite by chance we got onto finances where I explained what a nightmare I had had (without the finer details obviously) with the HMRC.  His eyes widened as he listened to how I managed to finally get out of it and then he butted it with “The HMRC are after me”.

Oh my poor boy, pray tell why?  So, he was self-employed for a while and then gave it up but didn’t factor in he would still have to pay tax.  He owes £15,000, which compared to what I owed them didn’t faze me at all.   He explained how he had ignored every letter and it didn’t matter as they all went to his parents address and he didn’t live there.

I tried to give him the words of wisdom needed, wisdom gained from personal experience as you all know.  They will find you I said, they will turn up at your parents address and so forth.   I felt sorry for him until I asked him if he had anything to sell, his reply was this:

“Nope, only my brand new Jag”.

Pardon me?   the brand new top of the range Jaguar sports car you are driving?   I asked why he didn’t sell the 40 grand car, pay off the HMRC and still then have enough for a top of the range car.  Sadly his reply is unprintable but along the lines of why should he.

You see, this is my big issue, why was I persecuted to the point of breakdown when I was actually making payments and had paid back an obscene amount of money yet this guy is giving them the middle finger and living the high life.  My issue is that the HMRC fails to treat everyone the same, I was once told they will target you more if they feel you have the money.  That is why they were on my case every single week.

My own ethics don’t allow me to tip them off, but I would love to.  I lost respect for him then and there, I struggled for years.

But, the poor deluded fool truly believes it will be this way forever.  It won’t…they will find you and they will take your car.

You cannot hide forever.