In my never ending journey to find information linked to debt, I recently came across the Benefits Calculator.
“The Web Benefits Calculator – simply fill out this form for an instant on-line Benefits estimate.
Remember this calculation is an estimate based on the information you supply. For a full evaluation make a formal claim asap. Usually Benefit will only start from the Monday after the Council receive your form.”
This calculator has been produced by the City of Westminster. I would assume that the information would be similar to all areas of England?
I have to say that it is quite a lengthy document to fill out, but if it gets you more money then it is worth it.
What Are Balance Transfers & How Do They Work
There are two types of credit card balance transfers: those with introductory offers and those with fixed rates for life.
An introductory offer transfer means you will receive a 0% or a low interest rate on the money transferred to the card for a limited period of time. You will commonly see 0% balance transfer offers for 12 months, for example. A fixed rate balance transfer provides a specified interest rate on the money transferred until the balance is paid in full. Fixed rate balance transfers are currently not available due to economic conditions, so if you are looking to do a balance transfer, you will need to seek out a card with a low short term rate.
Choosing a Good Balance Transfer Offer
Right now, the best type of balance transfer offers provides 0% interest on the transferred balances for 12 months to as long as 24 months and charge 3% transfer fees. Some credit cards advertise 0% interest for “up to 12 months”; but these offers should be avoided because if you do not qualify for the full 12 months, you could find yourself with only six months of 0% interest. As with any credit card offer, the devil is in the details, so be sure to review the fine print before you being filling out the application.
How To Transfer Credit Card Balances
Once you find a good balance transfer, it’s quite easy to set up. When applying for a new card offering 0% interest on balance transfers, you can enter the information from your current credit cards directly on the application. If your application is approved, the credit card will be issued in your name and the balances from the credit cards you included on the application will be transferred to the new card automatically. This can take anywhere from a week to a month, so be sure to continue paying your high rate cards until the transfer clears.
If you are not approved for a high enough credit limit to transfer all of your credit card balances, first transfer balances from your credit cards with the highest interest rates. If you have good credit, you may want to consider applying for another balance transfer credit card to consolidate the rest of your higher interest credit card debt. Applying for multiple cards can have a negative impact on your credit score, so take this into consideration, especially if you will be applying for a car loan or mortgage soon. How Much Money Can Be Saved With a Balance Transfer
Carrying $3000 of credit card debt can be expensive. At a 15% interest rate, it can cost you almost $450 a year. By transferring that debt to a 0% credit card, you can save that money. However, because of standard 3% balance transfer fees, your total savings will likely be closer to $300. Despite these fees, a balance transfer can still save you a lot of money.
How much you save after the first year will depend on what your new interest rate is beyond the introductory 0% period. Ideally, you will choose a balance transfer offer that has a lower interest rate after the introductory period than you are currently paying on your credit cards. Alternatively, at the end of the 0% introductory period, you could begin looking for a new 0% balance transfer offer to move the remaining balance again so you can continue making interest-free payments on the debt until it is fully repaid.
If you’re planning to hit the supermarkets soon to stock up for Christmas, here are five scams you need to make sure you don’t fall for…
Watch out for these supermarket scams!
Christmas is a stressful time for food shoppers: packed supermarkets, annoying Christmas music and long queues…enough to put anyone in a festive frenzy!
But this Christmas could be made even more stressful if you fall for a supermarket scam – here’s five you should watch out for next time you’re on the hunt for groceries…
The cashback scam
This scam works by adding cashback to your shopping bill when you pay by debit card. The cashier is basically betting on the fact that you’re in such a rush or that you’re shop is so large and expensive that you don’t notice the extra £20 or £40 they’ve added on.
The scammer obviously then pockets the money or slips it to a friend nearby so the supermarket security can’t trace it.
It’s certainly a cunning scam, as it would be very hard to prove that you didn’t actually want and take the cashback.
But many forums and sites across the net have been quick to dismiss this scam as a hoax that was actually created by fraudsters over in the states back in 2004. Sites like Snopes are stating there’s no way for a cashier to add cashback to a bill without the customer agreeing to it via the pin entry pad.
From personal experience I’ve found many supermarkets will insist that you sign the receipt to prove that the cashier has handed over the money – but this may not be a universal policy and the signature could be faked anyway!
In any case it’s always good practice to check the exact amount being debited to your card before pressing enter on the key pad.
Don’t be scammed! Emma Roberts reveals some dangerous scams that are circulating the web
The old buy one (but don’t actually) get one free trick – it’s been infuriating shoppers for years and shows no sign of abating!
The classic buy one get one free (BOGOF) trick is probably the most obvious one – just make sure the offer doesn’t come off at the tills and hope the customer doesn’t notice! Now, having worked on a check-out throughout sixth-form college I can confirm that occasionally the till is genuinely not programmed correctly – or so I was told!
You should also keep your eyes peeled for mis-shelved products as many people have reported picking up goods placed directly above a BOGOF sign that aren’t actually on the offer. Of course the supermarket will usually blame this on a lazy shelf stacker or product-moving customer – whether they’re telling porkies or not is for you to decide!
The obvious way around this scam is to keep a mental note of any BOGOF items you pick up and check your receipt at the checkout. If the offer hasn’t come off, let the cashier know! Kick up a fuss at the customer service counter and you may even get the items for free – it’s worked for my mum before!
Rachel Robson reveals five of the worst scams around…
This again concerns BOGOF offers as well as other discounts such as 3 for 2’s or 2 for £10. Obviously special offers like these can sometimes help to slash your food bills – but they don’t always offer value for money.
A recent report into price advertising by the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) found that ‘volume offers’ can sometimes distort the true value of the product, causing you to needlessly over-spend.
This is because supermarkets may temporarily inflate the price of an item before putting it on offer so the discount looks more worthwhile than it actually is. The effect is that you become focused on getting a ‘good deal’ rather than just buying what you need.
You’ll also find the best volume offers will be on perishable items like fruit and vegetables. So unless you’re confident you can eat everything you’ve purchased before it goes off, don’t be taken in by the offer!
The OFT report also highlights the scam of baiting sales. This is where a retailer will tempt you into the store with a bargain offer but only hold a very small amount of stock at the discounted price.
It works because if you traipse down to the supermarket to pick up an offer, but it’s sold out – you’ll probably buy a similar product at a higher price from the same retailer.
Last month Marks & Spencer were accused of baiting sales with their £10 Champagne deal. Many people turned up at stores across the country on the first day of the offer, only to be told all the champers had already gone. Some stores had even sold out by 9am in the morning! But to find out where you can pick up some cheap Christmas booze read Bargain booze for Xmas money-savers.
Baiting sales is banned by consumer protection rules and the OFT have vowed to crack down on any retailers found to be practicing it.
Yes it is true, I actually filled up my Diesel car for 35 pence per litre!! When you consider that the average price is now £1.22 a litre, that is a massive saving.
It all came about the other day when I was sat in the pub. As I was sat there chatting to others, a man came into the pub delivering cooking oil to the kitchen. He came back from the kitchen with a drum of old cooking oil, it was at this point that I asked him what does he do with the waste oil??
So he told me………….. he then uttered the words Bio Diesel, this was when I really started to listen. It also turns out that his operation was only 2 miles from my home.
Anyway it turns out that he did two types of Bio Diesel. The first is just pure oil and second has a couple of additives for newer Diesel engines and winter running.
So I would suggest that you see if you can track down a supplier of Bio Diesel in your area and start saving a small fortune!!!
Just make sure you check with a mechanic that your car can handle bio diesel!
If you have had a credit or loan, or even had one in the past. You can be fairly certain that you are entitled to some money back!
Very often banks and credit card or unfair charges on your credit card and loan accounts. Added to this there are often Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) policies linked to these cards or loans.
Many people are totally unaware that they may have been mis-sold PPI or that the charges on their accounts were unfair.
JD LAW is a company that investigates unfair charges and mis-sold PPI on behalf of clients. There are a couple of reasons why I would recommend this company. Firstly they do not charge any upfront fees to investigate your cards, they work on no-win no fee basis. Secondly I have seen some of the claims that they have made. These can be seen at the Debt Help Forum
Cashback.co.uk saves me money and I thought you might like to join too?
Every time I shop on-line from hundreds of retailers I get cashback . I also get cashback for registering with other sites, completing surveys and even essential items like insurance renewals.
I personally do quite a bit of shopping on-line and in the past I have just gone straight to the website from where I want to make a purchase. I did the usual thing, select the item I wanted and then purchased it.
However now instead of just going straight to the website, I first of all go to the cashback website, and from there select a site that I want to visit. Now that I have gone through the cashback website, any purchases that I make with companies that are registered with the cashback website I am earning money.
Even eBay is linked to the cashback website! So every time I make a purchase on eBay, I always click through the cashback website.
Debt Help Forum to read some more information about it on a forum .
So now every time I make a purchase on-line I go through the cashback website and earn some more money!
If you are interested in earning more money, then click on the cashback link on the right-hand side of this page.