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What You Need to Understand About Debt Agreements

Many Australians wrestle with financial troubles during their lifetime, and this is mainly considered a typical fluctuation in our finances. But what if you’re unable to resolve these issues yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to declare bankruptcy?

 

Debt consolidation loans are a standard solution that relieves people of financial strain by consolidating all their current debts into one easy to manage loan that’s payable every month. Conversely, debt agreements are another approach available to individuals in financial hardship, and this will be the focus of today’s article.

 

What is a debt agreement?

A debt agreement is fundamentally a legal contract between you and your lenders which constitutes Part IX of the Bankruptcy Act 1966. Under this agreement, your creditors allow you to repay a sum of money that you can manage, over an agreed time frame, to settle your debts.

 

It is necessary to note, however, that entering a debt agreement is an ‘act of bankruptcy’ and has long-term financial repercussions which may affect your ability to receive credit down the track. For this reason, it’s strongly encouraged that folks seek independent financial counselling before making this decision to make sure this is the best solution for their financial circumstances and they clearly understand the repercussions of such agreements.

 

Before entering a debt agreement

There are certain things one should think about before entering into a debt agreement. Speaking to your creditors about your financial predicament is always the first step you should take to try to work out your debts outside of a debt agreement. Have you spoken with your creditors and asked them for extra time to repay your debt? Have you already tried to arrange a repayment plan or a smaller payment to settle your debt?

 

What types of debts are covered in debt agreements?

Debt agreements are designed to assist low income earners who are unable to pay unsecured debts. Not all kinds of debt are covered in debt agreements, such as the following:

  •  Secured debt – for example home mortgages where the property can be sold to recoup money
  •  Joint debt – if you have a joint debt with your partner, lenders can request that your partner repays the full amount if you’re unable to
  •  Overseas debt
  •  Other debts – for instance debts incurred by fraud, court fines, student HECS or HELP debts, and child support

 

Are you entitled to enter a debt agreement?

To discover if you are qualified, just visit the Australian Financial Security Authority’s (AFSA) website (https://www.afsa.gov.au/insolvency/i-cant-pay-my-debts/am-i-eligible-debt-agreement).

 

If you determine that a debt agreement is the best option for you, a debt agreement administrator will assist you with your debt agreement proposals, based on what you can afford, and deliver this proposal to each of your creditors. If your creditors accept the terms of your agreement, then your debt agreement will start, for instance, paying 80% of your debts to financial institutions over a 3-year time period.

 

Drawbacks of debt agreements

As mentioned earlier, debt agreements are an ‘act of bankruptcy’ and consequently there are serious implications one must take into consideration.

  •  If your lenders refuse your debt agreement proposal, they can make an application to the courts for involuntary bankruptcy
  •  Your name will appear on the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) for 5 years from the date of your agreement, or 2 years after the end date, whichever is later
  •  Your debt agreement will be detailed on your credit report for up to five years, or longer in some circumstances
  •  You are legally obliged to advise a new financial institution of your debt agreement when acquiring a loan over $5,703.
  •  If you own a company trading under another name, you are legally obliged to reveal your debt agreement to anyone who deals with your enterprise.
  •  If your job belongs to a regulated profession or a position of trust, it may affect your employment.

 

Choose your debt agreement administrator mindfully.

Debt agreement administrators play an integral role in the results of your debt agreement, so always choose an administrator that is registered with AFSA’s list of registered debt agreement administrators. Fees also fluctuate widely between administrators, so always review the payment terms before making any decisions.

 

If you’re still unclear if a debt agreement is the right approach for you, phone Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575 who can give you the right advice, the first time. For more details, visit www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au.

 

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Tips on How to Resolve Your Financial Challenges

There’s no question that financial concerns can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. Frequently worrying about how you’re going to pay your bills not only makes you distressed, but also puts stress on your relationships, your family, and your health. The fact is, worrying about money isn’t going to cure your financial problems. If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re battling to make ends meet, here are the best ways to resolve your financial troubles so you can live a stress-free life again.

 

Document your monthly expenditures

The first step in managing your financial issues is find out exactly where your pain points are. Regardless if you’re dealing with a large credit card balance, you’re trying to increase your retirement savings, or you just spend too much on eating out throughout the week, discovering the main causes of your financial problems will show you which expenditures have to be prioritised so you can get your finances back on track. Grab a pen and paper and document your current monthly expenses including debt repayments, food, bills, tuition, transport, and any other items you normally spend every month.

 

Lower your expenses

Once you’ve got your monthly expenses in front of you, take a closer look and examine which expenses can be lowered and which can be removed altogether. While your mortgage repayments clearly can’t be lowered, you can most likely lower your food bill by only eating at home and even eliminate other entertainment expenses such as cable television. It’s vital that you are pragmatic about minimising your expenses. Remember, if you’re trying to address financial complications then you must make sacrifices to resolve them.

 

Create a budget

Now that you’ve got your monthly expenditures jotted down without the unnecessary spending, you need to create a budget. If you’re unfamiliar with making a budget, there are a number of wonderful apps you can download on your smartphone. Personally, I’ve found the Budget Planning app from ASIC to be very useful: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner.

 

This will enable you to identify how much money you have left each month by examining your income and expenses. It’s paramount that you stick your budget. If you think that it could be too hard to do this, add a miscellaneous item to your budget to give you some room to breathe, or even a motivation item to reward yourself at the end of the month for following your budget.

 

Prioritise your debts

Some debts cause more suffering than others, so to alleviate your financial strain as best as possible, aim to decrease your biggest debts first. Not only will you be saving money by paying less interest, you’ll also feel much better about yourself. Only paying the minimum repayments on your credit card bill can sometimes take years to pay off, so aim to decrease these types of debts as quickly as possible. Remember, you still have other fixed debts every month such as phone bills and electricity, so these have to be accounted for as well.

 

Still feeling the heat?

If you’ve cut down your expenditures and created a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to pay off all your debts, you’ll need to find other income sources. Are you able to work a second job? Can you sell any costly household items that you can do without? Reaching out to family and friends is another reliable way to attempt to deal with your difficulties. Whatever you do to get additional money, never get a personal loan from the bank to settle your existing debt – this will only worsen an already stressful situation.

 

Seek financial guidance

If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial pressure, it’s better to seek financial assistance sooner instead of later. Depending on your individual situation, there are plenty of solutions available like debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can help those in need. Don’t fight your debts for years before seeking guidance, speak with Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au

 

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How to Save Money on Your Electricity Bill this Winter

Personally, I find there’s nothing worse than being cold. Coming from Queensland, I’m used to the stiffling heat and it doesn’t bother me too much, but the cold hits me like a tonne of bricks! Like many of you, my electricity bill soars through the winter season and there’s a few reasons why. Not only are we using heating products to keep us warm and cozy, but the nights are longer so naturally we use more lighting during winter.

 

With the prices of electricity already soaring in Australia, this winter is the ideal time to make your residence more energy efficient. Not only will you save lots of money, but you’ll also minimise your carbon footprint at the same time. Recent studies reveal that during the cold season, electricity is the third highest expense behind rent and food, so to help you stay warm and save money, here’s how you can make your home more energy efficient this winter.

 

Rug up

One of the best ways to save money this winter is to dress for the occasion. Putting on loads of warm clothing and blankets is far cheaper than utilising electric heating. Even if you have central heating, set the temperature to a degree which is ‘just’ comfortable and use clothing and blankets to fill the gap. You’ll acclimatise much faster than you suspect!

 

Heating units

Electric heaters are most certainly the leading contributor to your electricity bill throughout winter. Alternatively, think about using a gas heater or a fireplace which have the benefit of warming rooms faster than electric heaters but use far less electricity.

 

Lighting

With longer and darker nights, lighting is used much more often in winter without you even knowing it. The lightbulbs you have set up in your home make a huge difference to your electricity bill, so think about switching any halogen lights for LEDs or CFLs which will save you hundreds of dollars during the year.

 

Insulation

A reliable insulation system in your home will not only keep you warmer in winter, but cooler in summer as well. Depending on your home’s building materials, you may have the capacity to insulate your floors, walls, and roof. Whilst home insulation does entail upfront costs, the savings in electricity over the next 5 years will most certainly make up for it.

 

Windows

One place where heat escapes quickly from your household are through your windows. The best approach is to get double glazing on your windows, but this can be somewhat expensive so look into using solid drapes which will preserve most of the heat. When the warmer months gradually arrive, just change your solid drapes for curtains which are more suitable.

 

Eradicate drafts

One of the most cost-effective ways to decrease your electricity bill is to eliminate any drafts in your home. Any spaces in your doors and windows will enable warm air to escape and cool air to enter. Look into adding caulking to your window surrounds and draft excluders to the bottom of your doorways.

 

Use some common sense

A bit of common sense goes a long way in making your home more energy efficient too. When cooking, leave your oven open for a couple of minutes when you’re done to warm up your kitchen and lounge. Moreover, don’t drain the hot water in your bath straight away. Shutting doors to cold rooms when you’re not using them and switching off heating products when you leave the house or go to sleep are all easy ways to decrease your electricity bill.

 

If you’re experiencing any financial problems and finding it difficult to keep track of all your bills, it’s always best to seek financial assistance as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the more choices are available to you, so if you need any assistance with your finances, talk to Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575. Alternatively, visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au

 

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Bankruptcy and Child Support – Everything You Should Know

Declaring bankruptcy certainly isn’t the end of the world, but it does have meaningful implications that will impact your finances in the coming years. I’ve found that in most cases, focusing efforts on creating a bright future is the best way for individuals to manage their bankruptcy and consecutive recovery. To do this, however, people have to understand exactly what bankruptcy entails so they can accurately budget, plan, and rebuild their wealth in the most proficient way possible.

 

One of the most frequent questions I get asked pertains to how bankruptcy will influence child support payments. Even though this topic may seem fairly straightforward, I’ve found that it creates a lot of misunderstanding so today we’re going to take a closer look and try to clear up some of that confusion.

 

Does bankruptcy cover child support debts?

Whilst bankruptcy releases you from a wide range of debts, child support is not one of them. If you owe a considerable amount of money in child support when you declare bankruptcy, it will not be released in bankruptcy so it’s best to connect with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and arrange a repayment plan. If, for whatever reason, you feel the assessment provided by the DHS is incorrect, you can challenge this.

 

How is child support determined?

The DHS is in charge of managing and dealing with separated parents on child support assessments. To determine how much child support you must pay, the DHS examine both your income and your care percentage of the children involved. By using your last tax return as a measure, the DHS will use these figures to figure out your estimated income for the forthcoming year. This showcases the value of keeping your tax returns up to date, and any adjustments to your circumstances should be disclosed to the DHS as quickly as possible.

 

Income contributions to your bankrupt estate

An income threshold is utilised to ascertain if a bankrupt individual can afford to contribute some of their income to settle the debts in their bankrupt estate. Despite this, variables like the number of dependents, child support payments, income tax, salary sacrificing, and fringe benefits will alter your income threshold. The following table displays the relevant threshold limits as of September 2017:

 

The DHS define a dependent as a person who lives with you most of the time and earns under $3,539 each year.

 

Assuming you earn over the income threshold, your trustee would determine your income contributions to your bankruptcy estate with the following formula:.

 

(assessable income – income threshold amount) ÷ 2

 

Consequently, every 50 cents you earn over your income threshold will be used to pay off the debts in your bankrupt estate.

 

As an example, if you earn $110,000 every year before tax, you’ll probably be paying around $30,500 every year in tax. Your assessable income would therefore be approximately $79,500. Assuming you have no other income and no dependents live with you at home, your trustee would determine your bankruptcy payments as follows:.

 

($79,500 – $55,837.60) ÷ 2 = $11,831.20 (or roughly $986 monthly).

 

Child support contributions.

Your child support contributions are subtracted from your taxable income so the more child support you pay, the less money gets contributed to your bankruptcy estate. Using the previous example, if you are required to pay $15,000 in child support payments every year, your assessable income would be decreased from $79,500 (income after tax) to $64,500.

 

After providing your trustee with a copy of your child support assessment from the DHS, your trustee would figure out your bankruptcy payments as follows:.

 

($64,500 – $55,837.60) ÷ 2 = $4,331.20 (or around $361 per month).

 

Summary

Although mixing family law and bankruptcy can be slightly complex, there’s always someone to assist you at Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth. If you have any more concerns relating to bankruptcy and child support payments, or you just need some friendly advice, get in contact with our team on 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au

 

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Top 5 Tips on How to File For Bankruptcy in Australia

Many Australian’s have only truly considered bankruptcy when playing a game of Monopoly with their friends! In spite of this, there are roughly 13,000 people that declare bankruptcy every year in Australia. It’s astounding how rapidly individuals can go from experiencing a balanced financial position to tackling a mountain of debt. Most of the time, unfortunate events like loss of income, divorce, or unplanned medical expenditures will trigger serious financial problems within just a couple of months. Rather than wrestling with these debts for years and ignoring the elephant in the room, it’s far better to cut your losses and seek financial support as quickly as possible.

A short time ago, the Australian Government proposed changes to bankruptcy laws that reduce the bankruptcy period from three years to 1 year. If this proposed act is passed, it will have a remarkable impact on the stigma linked to bankruptcy and the financial repercussions that bankrupts will experience down the road. While lots of people understand the concept of bankruptcy, lots of folks wouldn’t know where to start if they decided that filing for bankruptcy is the best option for them. To offer some insight, here are the top 5 tips on how to file for bankruptcy in Australia.

  1. Seek guidance from a registered bankruptcy trustee

If you’ve decided that bankruptcy is the best approach for you, always consult with a registered bankruptcy trustee prior to making any concrete decisions. There is a vast difference between a firm that charges you to file for bankruptcy and a legitimately registered bankruptcy trustee firm. In most cases, bankruptcy firms are not the same as registered bankruptcy trustee firms, so be sure you get the right advice the first time so you can make the best financial decision. The right advice will not only aid you with your decision-making, but also put you in the best position to make a complete recovery after you have been discharged.

  1. Download the forms needed to file for bankruptcy

If you’ve decided that bankruptcy is the best choice for your individual scenario, there are two sets of documents that you will need to complete in order to declare bankruptcy:

  • The Debtor’s Petition, which is a 3 page document (visit this site to download: https://www.afsa.gov.au/insolvency/how-we-can-help/forms-list/debtors-petition).
  • The Statement of Affairs, which is a 25 page document (visit this site to download: https://www.afsa.gov.au/insolvency/how-we-can-help/forms-list/statement-affairs).
  1. Collect your supporting documents.

In almost all bankruptcy proceedings, individuals have to provide evidence that their claims are accurate by supplying a variety of supporting documents. Typically, this will include the following:.

  •  Income statements and personal tax returns
  •  Company tax returns (if you are a business owner)
  •  Centrelink benefits statement (if appropriate)
  •  Formal child support notices
  •  Any family law orders
  •  Any court orders
  •  Wills of any deceased estate of which you are the beneficiary
  •  All transaction statements from transferred assets over the last 5 years

It is paramount to note that failing to provide accurate information or any effort to conceal information that would otherwise be relevant to your bankruptcy case is a serious offence that is punishable in a criminal court.

  1. Complete the bankruptcy paperwork.

You must answer each and every question in your bankruptcy paperwork accurately and honestly to ensure it gets processed effectively. It is essential that you include the address details of all your creditors in the secured and unsecured sections of the bankruptcy paperwork. In the Debtor’s Petition, you’ll need to provide at the very least two types of ID. If you’re unsure of which forms of ID are acceptable, check the AFSA website (https://www.afsa.gov.au). If you run out of space when answering any questions, simply print out another copy of that page and use it to fill out extra details. Moreover, be careful to include all assets sold in the last 5 years in question 33.

  1. Submit your bankruptcy paperwork.

Before you lodge your bankruptcy paperwork, inspect the date to make sure you are lodging it within 28 days of you signing it. At Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth, we understand that all the paperwork can be a bit overwhelming, so if you have any questions regarding your any of your answers, it’s best to contact us on 1300 795 575 to ensure you get it right the first time. Alternatively, visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au.

 

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Top 3 Causes of Personal Bankruptcy in Australia

Nobody likes to consider bankruptcy, which is understandable given that bankruptcy will disturb your financial circumstance for several years to follow. This may be one of the reasons why individuals don’t look for financial assistance in times of need, because they are under the typical misconception that bankruptcy is the only way to work out their financial concerns. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as there are many choices available to those facing financial difficulties. What many people don’t know is the sooner they act, the more choices will be generally be available to them.

In Australia, personal bankruptcies are on the rise again, with the September 2017 quarter indicating an 8% growth in the amount of bankruptcies cases than the last year. In truth, the September 2017 quarter was the ninth consecutive quarter in which the number of debt agreements increased. Like me, you may be wondering why?

Well, the economy is doing fine with interest rates still at record lows and unemployment steady at 5.6% as of February 2018. Even though the unemployment figures aren’t ideal, it’s floating around average levels which surely wouldn’t cause an 8% increase in the number of personal bankruptcies. So, what exactly has caused 4,236 people to file for bankruptcy in the September 2017 quarter?

If you’re dealing with any financial hardship, understanding the top causes of personal bankruptcy will give you awareness into what aspects of your finances you need to prioritise. Our world is changing quickly and detecting new risks in your own financial circumstance will help you to proactively address them. To give you some insight, here are the top 3 causes of personal bankruptcy in Australia in 2017.

Excessive use of credit

The primary cause of bankruptcy in Australia today arises from excessive use of credit. This is exceptional, since it is the very first time since data collection started in 2007-08 that excessive use of credit has surpassed unemployment as the number one cause of personal bankruptcy.

Naturally, this is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed. Banks charge extravagant fees and interest charges for late credit card repayments, so if you’re currently behind in your credit card repayments, act now. The Government’s MoneySmart website (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au) has lots of online resources that can help those with credit card troubles. Seeking financial guidance is highly advised to educate individuals how to plan and stick to a budget.

Unemployment

Unemployment or loss of income remains to be one of the most contributing aspects of personal bankruptcy. This comes as no surprise since many Australian’s don’t have income insurance or an emergency fund which they can use if they encounter an unanticipated termination or resignation. With unemployment rates currently at 5.6%, this leaves many Australians without a steady income source and depending only on Centrelink payments to continue to be solvent. The best way to deal with an unanticipated loss of income is to be prepared, which highlights the importance of putting together an emergency fund that can assist you and your family for three to six months.

Relationship breakdowns

The third biggest cause of personal bankruptcies in Australia stems from relationship breakdowns. Divorce rates are gradually increasing, with the ABS recording 46,604 divorces in 2016. Although divorces are not uncommon, financial problems caused by divorces are common given the affiliated legal costs, child support, and the abrupt transition into a one-income household. Many individuals end up inheriting debts from their partners or are not able to pay off existing credit because their expenditures have greatly increased.

Looking ahead

Irrespective of the reasons for your financial challenges, the fact remains that the sooner you seek financial assistance, the more prospects will generally be available to you to resolve these issues. Lots of individuals grapple with debt for years before seeking help. If you’re juggling your finances and avoiding phone calls, don’t wait any longer. Call the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au

 

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The Difference Between Good Debt and Bad Debt – What You Need To Know

For most Australian adults, debt is a part of our day-to-day lives. Regardless of whether you want to further your skills by obtaining a degree, purchase a home for your family, or buy a vehicle so your family has transport, securing a loan is very common simply because we don’t have enough money to pay for these expenditures upfront. It appears that everybody takes out a loan at one point or another, so what’s the problem?

The problem is that a lot of folks don’t recognise the difference between good debt and bad debt, and consequently, they take on too much bad debt which can lead to serious financial problems in the coming years. Not all loans are created equal, and generally you’ll discover an extensive difference between your credit card interest rates and your mortgage interest rates. As time go on, your credit report will have a vital effect on your borrowing capacity, so paying your bills on time and not defaulting on any loans is critical, as well as keeping a healthy balance between good debt and bad debt.

Each time you make an application for credit, your loan provider will examine your credit report to determine your financial history and then decide whether they’ll endorse your loan. Too much bad debt on your credit report will be viewed negatively by lending institutions, as it displays poor financial decisions and behaviours. To ensure that you maintain healthy financial practices, it’s essential that you are aware of the difference between good debt and bad debt.

What’s the difference?

The difference between good debt and bad debt is relatively straightforward. Good debt is frequently an investment that will increase in value over time and will assist you in constructing wealth or providing long-term income. However, bad debt generally decreases in value quickly and does not add any value to your wealth or produce a long-term return. To give you some idea, the following provides some examples of each of these types of debts.

Property

The price of land has traditionally increased in time, so acquiring a mortgage is considered a good debt because the value of your land will increase in time. Additionally, mortgages often have low interest rates and a long term, normally 20 to 30 years, which shows that the value of your land can double or triple during the life of your loan.

Stock Market

Obtaining a loan to invest in the stock market is also regarded as good debt because the returns on the stock market are traditionally favourable. Lending institutions typically view stock exchange loans as good debt because you are aiming to enhance your wealth over time through a firm investment. Be careful though, it’s not wise to invest in the stock exchange unless you have a sufficient amount of knowledge.

Education

Another type of good debt is investing in your education, whether it be university or a trade, given that it increases your skills and your potential to earn a higher income in the future. In Australia, the interest on HECS loans are equal to inflation which clearly makes them a very enticing option.

Credit cards

Credit cards are normally the worst type of debt a person can have. Credit card debts shows to loan providers that you have poor financial habits because the interest rates are incredibly high and you have nothing in value to show for your investment. Individuals with credit card debts frequently have issues in securing future credit from creditors.

Vehicles and consumer goods

Another kind of bad debt is loans for vehicles and other consumer goods. When you obtain a loan to buy a car, it instantly decreases in value when you drive it out of the dealership. The same applies to consumer goods like flat screen TVs, because you are basically paying interest for something that depreciates in value very rapidly.

Borrowing to repay debt

If you end up in a situation where you need to obtain a loan to repay existing debt, it’s best to seek financial advice as quickly as possible. This kind of borrowing will only produce further money problems, and the sooner you act, the more options will be available to you to resolve the issue. If you find yourself facing a mountain of debt, speak to the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au

 

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Best Ways to Improve a Bad Credit Report

Whether we understand it or not, our credit report has a considerable effect on our lives. It’s kind of like our health; we don’t cherish good health until we lose it. Many individuals don’t even realise they have a bad credit report until they apply for a personal line of credit and it’s rejected. It can come as quite a shock to some, given that even one overlooked payment that is documented by your financial institution can stay on your credit report for a maximum of seven years.

So, what is a credit report? A credit report is a document that specifies information about your financial history with creditors. In recent years, credit reports have been overhauled to place greater importance on constructive history such as paying your bills on time, but overwhelmingly, credit reports are used by creditors to gauge your ability to repay debts by assessing your past behaviour.

When lenders inspect your credit report, you commonly either get a pass or fail so any default irrespective of its severity can have a long-lasting effect on your financial prospects for years to follow. Although finding solutions to repair a poor credit report can be tricky, there are specific things you can do to enhance it. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of recommendations that you can try to enhance your credit report and your overall financial health.

Examine your credit report for any errors

The first step is to review your credit report to learn exactly what it consists of. You can do this by paying a small fee to a firm like ‘Check My Credit File’ (https://www.mycreditfile.com.au). It’s not uncommon for oversights to be made on credit reports which can have a detrimental impact on your financial abilities. Read your credit report thoroughly and challenge any errors that you find to ensure your credit report accurately emulates your financial history. Some general errors that can occur are:

  •  Mistakes in personal details
  •  Wrongful defaults and judgements
  •  Old defaults and judgements
  •  Incorrect information regarding your credit history

If you find any errors, alert the credit reporting agency in writing so these listings can be altered or removed to emulate your true credit history.

Pay your bills on time

A lot of people underestimate how critical it is to pay your bills on time. Sometimes, individuals can be forgetful considering that they have too many bills to pay, so it’s a wise idea to speak with all your creditors and ask them to automatically debit your bank account each month. Often, your creditors would be more than happy to do this as delivering paper statements is time-consuming and costly. By placing all your bills on autopilot, you can be certain that they’ll be paid in full and on time, which will have a positive effect on your credit report

Add extra information to your credit report

There are specific details throughout your credit report which lenders will view favourably. As an example, if you are married, have been employed by the same company for over two years, or you are a homeowner, then this information will improve your credit report. Creditors typically view this information in a positive light and it can help you in future credit applications. If you discover that this sort of information is missing from your credit report, alert the credit reporting agency and request that it be provided.

Steer clear of too many credit applications

Every time you request a line of credit, it is mentioned on your credit report. Obviously, too many applications for credit will have a detrimental impact on your credit report and the way in which lenders view your financial behaviours. It is very important that you are sensible and selective when applying for credit and only apply when you are optimistic it will be accepted. At the same time, if you recently had a credit application turned down, wait a respectable amount of time before applying again.

Look at a debt consolidation loan

Naturally, it can be very tough to control your debts when then you have lots of them. Neglecting just one debt repayment can become a default, which will stay on your credit report for at least five years. Think about a single debt consolidation loan which will accumulate all your debts into one, single, monthly repayment. Usually, interest rates on debt consolidation loans are fairly low, and you’ll eliminate any further defaults which will have a positive impact on your credit report. If you’re interested in a debt consolidation loan, phone our friendly team at Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au

 

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Weddings On A Budget – How To Save Money When Getting Hitched

We all have a fairly good understanding that weddings can be an expensive pursuit, but do you actually know just how much the average wedding costs in Australia? A little over $36,000, based on Australia’s Money Smart website. And that was in 2012! At present, it’s quite likely somewhere around the $50,000 mark. I suppose if you have rich parents it wouldn’t be a concern, but unfortunately most of us don’t.

Let’s admit it, $50,000 is a considerable amount of money! You could buy a company, place a down payment on a new house, settle your student loans, or maybe travel the world! The fact is though, weddings are a celebration of two people who commit to devoting the rest of their lives with each other. Sure, we ‘d all love to have the wedding of our dreams, but we shouldn’t forget what’s really important.

Even though I’ve never been married personally, I have a close circle of friends, and two of them managed to pull off the most splendid weddings on a shoestring. Obviously, it didn’t consist of costly bridesmaid parties and catering for 400 guests, but it was intimate, unique, and everybody who came had the time of their lives. If you’re organising a wedding on a budget and looking for ways to save money, then here’s how.

Location
There’s lots of ways to save thousands of dollars on your wedding venue alone. One of the most beautiful weddings I was invited to was in the backyard of a friend’s home. Other alternatives you could look into is hiring a local park for the day, or maybe the beach. The atmosphere is fantastic, you can customise your wedding to exactly how you want it, and the costs are exceptionally low. If you choose to have your wedding in a public place, just remember to talk with the local council and make reservations well ahead of time.

Wedding Date
Although many people prefer their weddings on a Saturday, the rates of venues are far more pricey on Saturday than any other day of the week. Think about having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday where Monday is a public holiday. The time of year will also have a significant impact on the fees of your venue. If you’re dead-set on having your wedding reception in an indoor area, then organise your wedding date in winter and you’ll save around a third of the costs for venue hire.

Photography
The cost of a professional photographer will often cost around $4,000 for the whole day. With the outstanding specs of smartphone cameras nowadays, think about hiring a professional photographer only for the formalities and ask your buddies to take photos throughout the duration of your wedding. You can make a hashtag on Twitter and ask your friends to post their photos, ensuring that there’ll be an abundance of natural photos that reflect the true spirit of your special day.

Food & Drinks
If you really wish to save money, then catering businesses are your key target! They charge extravagant prices and aren’t all that necessary. Consider putting together your own food and drinks and don’t hesitate to go against the grain here.

You could hire a wood fire pizza truck that serves gourmet pizza, or look at hiring somebody to roast a whole pig in the ground and make the sides yourself. For me, there’s nothing better than a pulled pork burger with delicious sauce and cheesy smashed potatoes! Remember that most of the time, being original is much more memorable than being traditional. Also, search for a venue that allows you to bring your own alcohol. You’ll save a pile of money this way, and you’ll be able to negotiate a sizeable discount when buying in bulk.

Don’t Borrow Money
It’s not out of the ordinary for newlyweds to borrow money to cover their weddings, not knowing how hard it can be to pay back. Not only will you be paying for the wedding itself, but also interest on top of that, which can frequently take years to pay off. If you’ve had a luxurious wedding and found yourself in financial difficulties, always seek financial help sooner rather than later. The sooner you act, the more choices will be available. For any financial assistance regarding your personal circumstances, get in contact with Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional info: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au

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Personal Finance Tips – Finance Goals In Your 30’s.

There’s no doubt that hitting your 30’s is a significant milestone for us all. While some of us may have embarked on a new career, bought a house, or even started a family, this decade of our life has a considerable financial impact for your future years. For most people, our financial commitments have probably grown and juggling expenses and responsibilities with saving money for the future is harder than ever.

Many of us have dusted off the mistakes of our 20’s and discovered a thing or two, however this decade of our lives is the time when we really have to mature and seriously consider our financial situation. We need to prioritise commitments, like our children’s education and retirement savings, and take the most suitable steps to achieve a prosperous financial future for you and your loved ones. Life can unquestionably get more complex in your 30’s, however by focusing on a couple of crucial aspects of your finances, your money doesn’t have to be nearly as complicated.

By making modest lifestyle adjustments, you can significantly bolster your financial circumstance now and in the decades to come, so here are some personal financial goals that everybody in their 30’s should look at.

Increase your emergency fund
Hopefully you initiated an emergency fund in 20’s, saving enough funds for several months’ worth of costs. This is a fantastic goal to reach in your 20’s, but making more money and having increased financial obligations in your 30’s signifies that your emergency fund becomes increasingly important. Finance specialists highly recommend that folks in their 30’s should have at least 6 to 12 months of living expenditures saved in their emergency fund. Keep in mind, moving back in with your parents is much more difficult in your 30’s, particularly if you’re a parent yourself.

Review your insurance coverage
Normally, people’s circumstances change significantly in their 30’s. You may have bought a new home, a new car, or have started a family, so it’s crucial that you review your insurance plans so they’re up-to-date. It’s likewise a practical idea to have a look at income protection and life insurance along with your existing insurance coverage. Even if your personal situation hasn’t changed in your 30’s, you should nonetheless review your insurance plans several times a year to make sure that you’re getting the best rates and premiums.

Strengthen your retirement savings.
Now is the time where you should begin building your retirement contributions, specifically if your workplace offers a salary sacrifice plan. Making voluntary super contributions is a great way to grow your nest egg, so if you receive a pay increase, look into using the supplementary income towards your retirement savings. In addition to this, if you start a new job or career, always make sure that use the same super account which will significantly minimise costs and maximise your retirement growth.

Live well below your means.
When you find yourself having more financial responsibilities, you should revise your budget and make sure you’re living well below your means. The secret to improving your wealth is to increase the gap between what you earn and what you spend. You’ll quite likely need to cut down some expenses like eating in restaurants or cable television subscriptions, but the more money you save, the quicker you’ll accomplish your financial objectives. It’s also advisable to look at percentage of income saved instead of dollar amounts, as this makes it a lot easier to ascertain which expenses can be minimised to ensure you’re always saving more than you earn.

Seek financial help sooner rather than later.
If you’re finding it a challenge to make mortgage repayments on time or you’re plunging deeper into debt, seek financial assistance as soon as possible. Often, the sooner you do something about it, the more choices will be available to you. Many people suffer financially for several years prior to seeking help, and not only are they in a far worse position, but it is also completely unnecessary! There are many possibilities available for those in financial trouble, so if you need any financial help, phone Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au