Know your rights: April’s debt news

posted by in Budgeting, Debt news

Justice scales law

News that concerns this lady & what she stands for

You wouldn’t think it by looking at the weather but it’s May already and time to share April’s debt news.

This month we cover mortgage rate changes, welfare benefit awareness, council tax enforcement and even Coronation Street and Eastenders!

Mortgage rises

You could be one of the one million UK homeowners that will see mortgage costs jump as standard variable rates (SVRs) rise from the beginning of May. Experts have predicted that this could be up to a 25% rise in mortgage costs.

In the last few years people on SVRs have had relatively low repayments so this could come as quite a shock to many households. Unfortunately there’s no way of avoiding the mortgage costs as it’s a priority and must be maintained in order to keep the house.

If you’re worried how this might affect you it’s best to contact your lender in the first instance to find out. If you’re told that your rate will change, get in touch with us so that we can help you to plan ahead and budget for it.

The only way is up

The Big Six energy companies have been accused of trying to get out of their commitments to help vulnerable households struggling with their bills. As the deadline looms they are asking for extensions to help those that are struggling.

Along with the news that we’re at risk of gas and electricity shortages, it’s not a good sign for utility prices as Ofgem predicts that it will push up the prices. Read our tips to avoid fuel poverty if you’re worried about how this could affect you.

Unfortunately as you’re probably aware, petrol prices are too still on the rise. As we say, knowledge is power so equip yourself with the facts and learn how to cut your fuel spend by a third.

Petition for fairer council tax enforcement

A new Facebook page highlighting “aggressive” enforcement techniques of local authorities has been set up by the Govan Law Centre to investigate the scale of the problem.

They want to get as many testimonials as possible from people who’ve had enforcement action taken against them by the council without adhering to the proper timescales or trying to resolve the situation beforehand. Contact them if you have been affected.

Corrie and EastEnders

If you’re a soap fan, you might have caught the recent debt storylines in both Coronation Street and EastEnders. We know that the image that’s portrayed on television is usually far from the truth, which is why we wrote a blogpost on explaining why Coronation Street doesn’t help those in debt.

If you’re like me your heart strings will have been pulled at when poor Bianca did her best to try and get financial help from her neighbours. Hopefully you’ll take our advice and avoid the payday loan headache altogether.

Benefits Awareness Month

With the start of the new tax year came benefit changes that could affect your income. To highlight these changes we supported Benefits Awareness Month which is championed by the charity Turn 2 us. Please get in touch with us if your income has changed and it affects your situation.

And finally…

Two stories about us – if you want to know more about debt and the confusing terms used in the industry then every weekday morning we’re tweeting #clearaboutdebt. So if you want to know your IVAs from your DROs, read our clear about debt blogpost, updated daily.

Our online advice tool Debt Remedy is available 24 hours a day – you’re only a few clicks away from a debt solution.

Pavan Gata-Aura is a qualified debt advisor with 6 years of experience. She enjoys spending time with her two children, fundraising for charities, has spent time volunteering in Africa and takes part in organised races.

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