Help to Buy ISA

With UK properties out of reach to the average first time buyer, the UK government has stepped in with a rudimentary measure.

The ‘help to buy ISA’ offers first time home buyers the chance to save into a cash ISA. The government will then add 25% of the amount you have saved, when you buy a property.

You can start saving with £1200 in your first month, then £200 a month thereafter and the government will add a maximum of £3000 onto £12,000 of your savings.

The Halifax is currently offering 4% on help to buy ISA’s.

From PCP to Logbook Loans, Car Loans Made Clear

 

From PCP to logbook loans, there are a myriad of loans on offer attached to cars, although it can be daunting, we thought we should take a look at each one.

Personal loan

A personal loan is a much favoured way of buying a car, you own the car outright with no mileage restrictions. Unfortunately borrowing from a bank, building society or other lender on a personal loan also makes it an unsecured loan, meaning if you default on the loan, unlike dealer finance where only your car can be repossessed, any of your assets can be seized.

PCP (personal contract purchase)

With PCP, there is a deposit to pay, plus monthly repayments usually from 12 to 36 months. At the end of the repayment term, there are 3 choices-
1-Return the car to the dealer
2-Keep the car and pay the final balloon payment, this is a payment which will have been agreed upon and written into contract, when taking out the PCP. The GFV (guaranteed future value)
3-Use the value (GFV) in the car as a deposit for a new car.

PCH (personal contract hire)

PCH is similar to PCP with one notable difference, at the end of the contact period, you simply hand the keys back to the dealer, there is no option to purchase the vehicle as in effect you are simply renting it for the contract period.

HP (hire purchase)

A popular choice is hire purchase, under this agreement there is a deposit to pay and fixed monthly payments. The car officially belongs to the hire purchase company until the last payment has been made, when this has been done the car then belongs to you.

Logbook loans

This is completely different to the other choices as logbook loans can only be considered when you already own a vehicle with no outstanding finance. This is usually taken out by people whose credit record wont allow them a traditional loan, or need cash fast. As the risk to the lender is high, so are the interest rate repayments. Here is an online logbook loans company that allows you to view repayments via an online calculator.

With each of these loan choices we ask you to get professional advice or at least do your homework. Apart from your home, a car is likely to be your next biggest purchase.

– Shop around and negotiate where you can.
– Don’t just look at the rate and monthly repayments, look at the total amount repayable.
– Look at any additional fees, such as admin fees or early repayment fees.

Secured vs Unsecured Loans

In the ever growing options for loans, there is one thing you should familiarise yourself with, and that is, the difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan.

Secured Loans

A secured loan is a loan backed by security of some kind, such as your home or car. Lenders are more willing to offer a loan if there is an asset backing the loan agreement. In the unfortunate event that you are unable to repay the loan, the lending company can take possession of the asset in order to satisfy the outstanding loan amount.

Secured loans sometimes have a lower interest rate charge on the loan, but are primarily taken out by people who have a low credit rating, whereby an unsecured loan is not available to them.

Unsecured Loans

An unsecured loan is more preferable as should you get into difficulty repaying the loan, the lending company cannot take possession of your assets, but they can still take you to court, adding additional charges and damaging your credit score.

To qualify for any type of unsecured loan, you will need a good credit rating.

Which Loan for You?

An unsecured loan is usually more preferable, but if you don’t have a great credit score, then you may have no choice but to obtain a secured loan, but always remember to do your due diligence and shop around, sometimes the best interest rate is not the best loan.

A cold shoulder for self employed mortgages?

 

At Charther CT we come across many self employed contractors and freelancers who feel cold shouldered by traditional mortgage lenders. Over 50% of people who are self employed feel that they may never be able to even get a mortgage!

Before the recent credit crunch, potential borrowers had the option of a self-cert mortgage, where there was little requirement for proof of earnings. This was a boon for the self employed whose income tended to fluctuate.

Unfortunately for the self employed, self-cert mortgages are no longer on offer, making it increasingly difficult for the self employed to get a mortgage. It is not a lost cause, and with due diligence, people who are self employed can greatly help themselves to obtaining a mortgage.

Steps to a self employed mortgage

  • Keep an eye on your credit rating and try to avoid any arrears, non-payments, ccj’s etc.
  • Minimise any superfluous personal costs, mortgage lenders will look at all your expenses.
  • Make sure you have a qualified accountant to sign off your accounts.
  • Try to have at least 3 years of receipts and accounts for you and your business.
  • Keep/get receipts from HMRC in regard to your accounts/earnings.

Good luck!

For further information on mortgages Council of Mortgage Lenders

Is debt holding you back?

 

According to a government survey a large percentage of adults are delaying traditional life such as marriage or a car purchase due to personal debt.

The largest group hit were people still paying off their student loans, while the amount of adults either forced back to the family home or still living with their families has also grown, the average age of the first time buyer is now 31 compared to 28 in 1995.

One of the biggest reasons debt is problematic is due to the fact that it sucks away your financial and emotional resources. When debt is hanging over you, it makes it difficult to concentrate on anything else but debt. This can sometimes lead to what is referred to as a vicious cycle of debt, when instead of going forward, it feels as if you are actually sinking.

Managing your debt without it hindering upon your life choices can be as simple as consolidating into one low interest loan, or if possible a zero interest credit card (but keep your eye on any zero interest promotional period) That way, moving forward in life can start to feel like a very real and possible reality.