Posts Tagged ‘debt problems’

Selling debt to the poor

Life as a sales assistant can be tough when one aspect of your job is to persuade people to sign up to a store card and help them into debt.

Customers who own store cards can expect interest rates as high as 40% and it is often the responsibility of the sales assistants to push them.debt_forgive

Most young assistants are unaware that they are forcing debt upon customers. They do not receive any formal training about interest rates, payment protection insurance or details of interest free periods, so they are unable to advise customers of their terms and conditions. As a result, they usually answer customer’s questions ‘off of the top of their heads’.

Julie from Derbyshire works as a store assistant in the high street. She said that the only time staff receive training is when sales need boosting. She went on to say that staff are simply taught new techniques to encourage customers to spend more on their store cards. Management are only interested in profits.

She elaborated that one interesting sales tactic is to encourage sales staff to advise customers that the interest rate is only 2.12% per month which actually sounds better than admitting it is over 25% per year! She also said that there is an incentive scheme in place for staff to push store cards. There is a commission of 50p for every new customer that signs up and £1.00 for every card which includes payment protection.

Julie admits that she does not enjoy having to force cards onto customers who are likely to fall into debt. However, pressure from managers forces her to promote store cards at every available opportunity.


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A retired vicar was sentenced to a month in prison as a result of debt accrued from non-payment of council tax.

The elderly vicar who also has a heart condition began his sentence in one of the toughest prisons in the UK after he protested over an increase of £64 on his council tax bill. The vicar is now paying for the error of his ways as he rubs shoulders with gangsters, terrorists and murderers in a Category A prison.

Father, son and unholy debt

The vicar’s son is fighting for his father to be released but the council have said that the vicar will not be freed until he has paid back his debt by serving the full 28 days.

The vicar told his family that the prison where Soham killer Ian Huntley tried to commit suicide, was very grim. A released inmate described the vicar as looking extremely worried and very shaken up as he handed over his personal belongings. He said that it was hard to believe that a vicar was serving time and that the only way he would cope would be to keep himself to himself.

This is a classic example of how pensioners are forced to take a stand when they are unable to consolidate debt in the face of increasing financial demands. Instead of seeking debt counselling the vicar refused to pay the 8.5% increase on his council tax and only agreed to pay 2.5%. As a result, he ran up arrears to the value of £691 which included court costs

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Debt problems are starting younger and younger with 50% of school children admitting that they are in debt at the age of 17.

Over half owe money to family or friends and a large proportion say that they worry about money every day. Many cannot wait to reach eighteen so as they can apply for credit cards and others say they will rely on overdrafts to help them through difficult times.

Many are naïve when it comes to finances and believe that an overdraft is in place to help you out if you overspend.

Astonishingly, one in 20 thought that credit cards were a free well of credit that didn’t ever need to be paid back.

How can we prevent teenage debt?

More emphasis needs to be placed on the importance of saving and investing so as young people use money as a form of growth rather than ruin

The Learning Money Matters scheme provides secondary pupils with essential support and advice in order to remain debt free. It offers games and resources which relate to real life financial situations to educate children on how to cope with their personal finances.

The aim is to instil into young minds the importance of being responsible for their spending habits. Will this advice stay with them throughout adulthood or simply drift away as real life temptations take a strong hold?

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It is a common complaint that banks carelessly run people into debt. However, there are others who are debt free but constantly refused for credit and are equally as agitated as their debt ridden counterparts.

If you have never applied for credit before, it will be difficult for creditors to see how well you deal with debt problems. A credit card will allow you to buy a few small items so as you can repay the balance in full and start to build up a reputable credit record.

If you do have a good credit record and you are still being refused, it could be that you do not fit the lenders chosen profile. The online egg credit card favours affluent young people in the 20 to 35 age bracket whereas people need to have an A1 credit rating to apply for a Barclaycard Platinum card.

Tips for getting credit

The important thing to do is to stop leaving too many financial footprints on your credit rating by applying to too many lenders in the hope of acceptance. To creditors, it can look as though you may take up as many offers that come your way and land yourself in debt. It may also make you appear desperate for money or give the impression that you are in a lot of debt.

If you have any defaults or County Court Judgements on your file, this will work against you. The only way to live with them for six years is to add a note to the entry explaining why you missed payments. For example, you could have become ill or may have been going through a divorce so it would be understandable why your mind wasn’t focussed on your bills. As a result, the CCJ’s or defaults would not show a true representation of your ability to make regular payments.

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