I have always really enjoyed to write about finance and so I was really pleased when I was asked to write for this site. It is so good writing about a topic which has an impact on everyone. I know that no one is perfect with money and so I hope that the help that I can provide will help people to learn more and change their ways so that their finances benefit. Being in control of our money can help us to feel much more in control of our lives. It can have such a big impact it is a pleasure to write about it and help others.
There are some banks which still have branches on high streets. There are advantages of using these banks on high street but there are also disadvantages as well. It is a good idea to think about the advantages and disadvantages of each and then you will be able to decide whether banking on the high street is the right decision for you.
Advantages of High Street Banking
If you like to deal with a person face to face then using a bank which has a branch on your high street will allow you to be able to do this. You will be able to visit the branch and speak to someone at a counter or make an appointment to speak to someone to get the information and help that you want. If you regularly go to your high street, then this will be even easier as you will be near to the bank anyway and so will easily be able to pop in. Sometimes dealing with people face to face can be much easier. You might find that you are able to talk to someone better this way and you will probably not have to wait long for a response.
Many people do value having shops on their high street and banks. By using these facilities, you will be helping to keep them open, not only for you but for others as well. Some people do not know how to use the Internet and losing something like their local bank could mean that they will really struggle to get the money that they need and to deal with other financial matters that they might need help with.
Disadvantages of High Street Banking
High street rents tend to be expensive and this means that there is a large possibility that a bank that is on your high street could very well be more expensive than one that does not have high street branches. This means that you will potentially have higher loan interest and less savings interest with these banks, although this will vary of course.
If you use a high street bank exclusively then you will only be able to deal with them within normal working hours. For banks this might be 9-5 Monday to Friday and for some you may be able to go in on a Saturday morning. This will depend on the bank. This means that you will need to be available during those hours if you need to use the bank and if you work full time or do not have a branch on your local high street so have to go elsewhere to go to one, this could be problematic. There is also a risk that you local could close down. A lot of banks are having to close branches and so you may find that yours may have to.
As you can see there are pros and cons. Some people tend to choose a bank where they can use telephone banking or Internet banking outside of the opening hours so that they will still be able to access services even if the bank is shut. This is something which could provide a compromise in one area. However, you may still end up paying more than necessary and this is something which is well worth thinking hard about. You could find that you will be losing out by paying more for a loan, for example. No one likes to pay more than they have to fir anything so it is well worth making sure that you give this some thought. Compare prices and this should help you to find out whether you could make a significant difference if you did swap to a different bank.
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There are lots of different banks and building societies available for us to use and it can be confusing for us at times, knowing which of them we will be best off using. It is therefore a good idea to think about how we might pick between them. Then, next time we are looking for a financial product, we will know how to choose between the different banks and find the one that might be the best for us to use.
What is Important to You?
It is a good idea to start by thinking about what is most important to you with regards to what banks can offer. It is likely that you will have dealt with a bank and perhaps more than one so you will have an idea of what they are like and what makes a good and bad one. You may have certain features that you feel are important, for example. It could be that you want to have a high street branch or you want to bank online or both. You might wan a cheaper bank or prefer one with good customer service or you want the best of both. There are lots of things to consider and it is well worth thinking about all of these things so that you know what you are looking for in a bank before you start looking at what there is on offer. It can be a good idea to prioritise those features that you want a swell. The reason for this is that you could fid that they will not all be available and so you will be able to then look at the important things first so that you can more easily decide which of the banks you think will be able to fit in best with your requirements.
Which Offer Value for Money?
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for you will be able to look at the different banks. It is likely that you will be looking for a particular product or set of products and you will need to think about these and who offers them. Then look at the bank in relation to that product and whether you feel that they will meet your requirements. It is good to also look at the cost of the particular products that you are thinking of taking out and then you will be able to think about value for money as well. This should be part of your consideration even if cost was not something that you were prioritising. This is because you do not want to end up having to pay out more money than necessary for an item. There could be one that almost fits your requirements but is significantly cheaper than one that does fit them and you will need to think about whether you feel that it is worth paying that extra money or not.
It can be quite a long process to find out all of this information and it may almost feel like it is not worth it. However, you need to think about whether you feel that the result will be worthwhile. You will end up choosing the best bank for your needs and that could not only end up costing you less money but will mean that you have a better experience as well. Some people will use a financial advisor for this because they already have the knowledge and will quickly be able to help, but they do charge for their time and so it can be wise to think about whether you are prepared to pay this money or whether you think that it might be better to do the job yourself instead.
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You may be aware that the rule son charging for overdrafts has now changed in the UK. It is important to make sure that you are up to speed with these new rules. They have been in force for quite a while, but if you have not kept up to speed you need to know what is going on with them. It is a good idea to make sure that even if you do not have an overdraft or have one that you do not use, that you are aware of the new rules so that when you are deciding whether to take out an overdraft or whether to repay yours, you will be fully aware of the new terms and conditions.
Authorised versus Unauthorised
It used to be the case that you would be offered a certain amount of money to borrow by the bank and that would be called an authorised overdraft or sometimes an arranged overdraft. If you borrowed that amount or less then you would get charged a certain amount for interest and possibly a fee as well. However, if you borrowed more than that then you would get additional fees and possibly a higher interest rate. These varied between different lenders and it was deemed to be confusing for borrowers as well as being very expensive and so laws were brought it to change the whole system. Not authorised is the only choice and you cannot borrow more than you are offered as the payments will be refused.
Fees and Charges
When you had an overdraft in the past, the bank could charge you fees. They tended to make a charge per month that you had an outstanding overdraft and if you borrowed more money than they had arranged with you then they would charge you more. Some would charge per day. The meant that an overdraft could have potentially been one of the most expensive ways to borrow money. However, there are now rules that there are no charges allowed for overdrafts anymore, just interest which means that it is much easier for borrowers to be able to compare the different overdrafts and easily see which is cheaper.
Due to the overhaul in the overdraft system there are now interest rates set which cover everything. This that they are significantly higher than they used to be, but it is much easier to work out how much you will have to pay and compare lenders. Rates tend to vary between 35% and 40% which is a yearly charge. This seems high but when you compare it to other loans, you will see that it is higher than some but less than others.
You may also find that your lender will have made other changes as well to how their overdrafts work, how much they let you have and things like this. If you have not used your overdraft since the changes came in, it will be a good idea to check them out and see whether there are any new features that you need to be aware of. Make sure that you do not use your overdraft the same way as you did before until you have checked all of this out. It is wise to be clear on this even if you do not have an overdraft at the moment or do not intend to take one. You never know when your circumstances might change and that could mean that you will need to borrow in the future. It would be handy to understand the overdraft and how it works so that you can compare it to your other borrowing options in order to decide whether it will be the right choice for you.
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There are lots of different loans available to lots of us but if we need money quickly then we will be looking for a loan that we will now that we can arrange quickly. There are some different options available for this but the ones that we take will depend on our situation as well as what we are looking for in a loan. It is a good idea to know about which loans are easy to get and then you will be able to choose the loan that you think will suit you the best. These are few that you could consider.
A cash loan is a loan which can be very quick to arrange and is offered to most people. You will be able to borrow if you have a regular income and the loans were set up to help people in emergencies so it can be possible to get the money that you need within a few hours. This does vary between lenders as sone will take longer to arrange the loan than others, so this is something that you will need to consider when you are deciding between them. Whether you are accepted for the loan or not is not dependent on your credit score either which means that you will be able to get a loan even if you get turned down elsewhere. The loan does not last long either as it is repaid when you next get paid which means that you do not have to worry about being in debt for a long time. However, it does mean that you will need to find the money all in one go.
An overdraft is often part of a current account and something that many people will already have access to. This means that you will not have to worry about arranging a loan but the money will just be there. You will be able to draw it out as cash, write a cheque, do a transfer or any other way that you would normally spend money from your current account. You also do not have a specific repayment schedule but it will just be repaid as money gets paid back into the account. This can make it feel less stressful. However, overdraft can be expensive and if they go on for a long time, you can end up paying a lot of interest on them.
If you already have a credit card, then it can be a useful way to borrow money. It has limits though as you can use it for buying things but it may not be able to be used for all types of bill payment. You will also find that if you use it to draw cash you will be charged right away and this could mean it is expensive. You will only have to pay a small amount back a month and otherwise repayment is flexible which can be good but it can mean the loan will last a long time. Interest varies on credit cards so you will have to compare rates.
Borrow from Friend/Family
You could ask people you know if you can borrow money from them. This can be a quick way to get money, as long as you know someone that has some. However, it can be tricky as you could end up disagreeing with them over repayments or something like that and falling out with them, which would not be nice. You will also have to come to an agreement as to whether you want to pay interest or not and when they want to be repaid as otherwise this could cause problems later.
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Looking for a payday loan may not be an easy task. This is because there are a lot of companies that offer them and it is very likely that there will be a lot that you have not heard of. This means that you may find that you will get rather confused as to how to pick the best loan and lender. There are things that you can do though, which should be able to help you to make a good decision.
Decide What you are Looking for
It is a good idea to start by thinking about what you are looking for. You may find that there are specific things you need. Start by considering things like
- How much you need to borrow
- How much you are prepared to pay for the loan
- If the lenders reputation is important
So, think about what the amount you need to start with such as a loan for £100. It can be tempting to borrow more than you need, but keep in mind that you will need to repay all of the loan and the interest in a lump sum when you next get paid. This means that it will be best to borrow as little as possible so that it is easier for you to repay. It is also a good idea to think about the fact that you will be charged for every penny that you borrow so it will be cheaper if you keep borrowing to a minimum. Thinking of cost, it is worth thinking about how much you are prepared to pay for the loan as the costs will vary between lenders. Some people will also want to use a lender that has a good reputation, comes recommended to them, is well-known or something like this. Consider whether this is something that is important to you or whether you do not really mind about this. It could be that you are more concerned with the lender than the cost and are prepared to pay a bit more if you get a trusted lender. This is very much a personal opinion though and so it is wise to think hard about what you want before you start looking so you can get the right match.
See What is Available
You are now in a position to look into the different lenders and see what they are offering. It is good to have what you are looking for in mind as you research them. Consider what is most important to you in a lender and look for that first. It is worth noting that if you look at lenders using a review website or comparison website, you will not get to see all of them as they will only pick a select few. They will tend to pick those which will pay them the highest commission if they generate a lead. You may therefore find that these lenders are more expensive as they have to pay commission, which may also be the case for the ones that advertise a lot that you may have heard of as they will have to pay for the advertising. You may therefore be wise to look in lots of different places for lenders. As well as trying review sites and comparison websites, also use your search engine to look for them as well. It will take some time, but it will be worth it if you come up with a loan that gives you really good value for money and that you will be able to repay easily. So, pick carefully with your requirements in mind all of the time and then you will be able to find something that will really suit your needs.
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