Know your rights – July’s debt news

posted by in Debt news

Know your rights

Debt news time!

Schools out for the summer! If you’ve got little people to entertain, it can be a hectic time.

Even if you don’t have kids, July can be the time you jet off for your holiday, leaving you to try and catch up with the latest news when you return.

No fear. The MoneyAware team is on hand to help you get up to date with all the latest debt news affecting you.

24 hours left to renew tax credits

If you claim child tax or working tax credits you need to renew your claim by midnight 6th August or you could lose them. As of last Wednesday (30th July), it was estimated some 550,000 people still need to renew.

You can post your renewal form but to beat the deadline you’d be best to phone, go online or download the free HMRC smartphone app.

FCA proposes cap on payday loans

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is planning several new caps on payday lenders. The regulator wants a 0.8% a day limit on interest with no-one having to repay more than twice what they borrowed. This means many lenders may be forced to cut their rates. The changes are being consulted on at the moment, and are pencilled in for January 2015.

Dollar (The Money Shop) agrees to refunds

The UK’s second-largest payday lender (and owner of The Money Shop) has agreed with the FCA to refund £700,000 to more than 6,000 customers.

Dollar was found to be approving loans for higher amounts than their lending criteria would allow. If you’ve been affected, Dollar will contact you. They’ll be offering some of the affected customers a cash refund.

If you’re a StepChange client find out how this refund could affect your debt solution.

Banks use ‘solicitors’ to scare customers

Last month we told you that Wonga had been caught sending collection letters to customers from ‘made-up’ solicitor firms. Well, it seems some high-street banks have also potentially misled their customers. Major banks have admitted that they sent customers demand letters which appeared to be from independent solicitors but were in fact sent from their in-house legal teams.

Whilst not illegal, this is confusing for many customers, and most banks have said they will now review their policies.

Scores of renters missing out on energy savings

Are you renting? Ever switched your gas or electricity supplier? No? Well you’re not alone. Ofgem estimates switching supplier can save tenants up to £200 a year but 75% of people renting don’t bother, with many renters wrongly believing they can’t switch.

If you’re responsible for paying your gas and electricity you’re entitled to switch at any time. It’s a myth that you’re locked into your contract.

Find out if you can save now using our free utility switching service.

Bailiffs come calling in Coronation Street

There are debt problems on the cobbled streets of Coronation Street. The Windass family’s financial situation went from bad to worse when bailiffs called round to collect an outstanding debt.

Can bailiffs enter the Windass house? Was it OK to be let in by a child? Our Facebook friends responded to the storyline.

That’s it for now – see you next month for another debt news round-up.

Tags Debt news