We’ve had freezing cold temperatures and blizzard conditions this month, but we’ve made it through March and spring has just about sprung. To celebrate we’ve put together a summary of all things debt newsy.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to keep abreast of the latest happenings form the world of debt then you’re in for a treat.
Bank of Granny and Grandpa
This month we found out that grandparents are bailing their grandkids out of debt. One in six are helping their grandchildren to repay their debts for them. I’ve received support from my grandparents over the years too, only the help I’ve received was mainly in the form of homemade biscuits.
We’ve all got regrets. An unfortunate tattoo, a disastrous fashion statement gone wrong or perhaps said some things you shouldn’t. Well a recent report from Standard Life reveals that not contributing to a pension and spending on credit cards are the biggest financial regrets for many.
Debt Help Direct accounts frozen
If you’re one of the 3,000 people affected by their collapse then we’d recommend that you get in touch with us for some free debt help.
Cutting back on food
Recent research from Shelter has shown that four in ten families have cut back on food in order to pay housing costs. Pretty shocking stuff. Of course we’d recommend trying to be as thrifty as possible with your food budget but would never suggest people left themselves short.
You’d have to have been living under a rock to have not heard about the introduction of the “bedroom tax” or under-occupancy charge. In fact, you’d probably have to have been living under a soundproofed rock, buried 40 metres under the ground with ear plugs and a blindfold on.
The under-occupancy charge will affect those on benefits and renting from their council or a housing association. Those with spare rooms face a reduction in their housing benefit if they live a property that is deemed to have more bedrooms then they need.
Council Tax benefit changes
It’s probably not that accurate to call them Council Tax benefit changes as it’s actually being scrapped. The old system is being done away with and, in England, local councils are being given the responsibility of organising their own systems. The devolved governments are formulating their own systems in the rest of the UK.
Charging order increase
StepChange Debt Charity has been making news this month too – we’ve opposed the increased use of charging orders by HMRC for collecting tax debts. Tucked away in March’s Budget was an announcement that HRMC would use charging orders more often.
Our spokesman Delroy Corinaldi said that charging orders were an “aggressive form of debt collection” and that the government’s stance will make it hard for the government to make demands on other people to be more patient with those that are in debt.
We’re experts in giving advice about personal bankruptcy but we’ve never given advice to a whole city. Sadly, Stockton in California became the first major US city to go bankrupt, showing that it’s not just individuals that can get into problems with their finances.
That’s it for debt news this month. We’ll be back next month with another installment.