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Repairing your credit rating

Do you know what your credit rating is? If you do – is it good, bad or just average? Perhaps it’s something you have never taken into consideration, but a weak credit score could come back to haunt you when you need to borrow money – to buy your first home, perhaps.

You can check your credit report for free if you don’t know what your rating is – this is important not only so you are aware and can do something about it if it is poor, but also in case there are any mistakes.

Your credit rating is used to help lenders decide whether to lend you money or not, how much to let you borrow and sometimes even how much interest to charge you – so it is vital you know what it is and are always looking for ways to improve it.

So, with that in mind, here are 10 ways you can improve your credit score:

1. Stop Applying for Credit

If your credit score is poor, then an immediate step you can take to improve it is to stop applying for credit – credit applications are filed on your record, hold fire just until you have sorted out any problems on your credit file and improved your score.

2. Get On The Electoral Register

If you have never voted before then your name will not be on the electoral register. Not only are you unable to have your say when it comes to voting, if your name isn’t on there you will also find it much harder to get credit. You can register to vote online right now, enabling you to get your name on there instantly. This is a quick and easy win to boosting your score.

3. Pay Off Existing Debt

Of course, it goes without saying, that to increase your credit rating, you must pay off any existing debt. Banks and credit card companies will be unlikely to lend you more if it appears that you are already overstretched. If you do have existing debt then it is vital you show lenders you can borrow responsibly – because in time, this will improve your credit score. Make your repayments on time and even pay off accounts early if you can.

4. Pay on Time

Missing or making late payments on your mortgage, credit card, personal loan, gas or electricity bill will stay on your credit file for six years! So, make sure you budget so you can afford to pay these off and keep a close eye on when they are due so you don’t miss one. Where possible, try to align these to come out via direct debit straight after your pay day.

5. Use A Credit-Builder Pre-Paid Card

Some prepaid cards have a credit building option that can improve your credit score. So, you are loaned an amount – you agree monthly repayments and at the end of the year (as long as you haven’t missed any) this will be recorded on your report as one year of successful repayments.

6. Credit Builder Credit Card

You have probably heard that getting a credit card is a good way to improve your credit score – providing you use it to show you can borrow and pay off money.

If you have a poor credit history then there are credit-builder credit cards available – although it is important to be aware that the interest rates charged are much higher than standard credit cards.

7. Cancel Unused Credit Cards

If you are planning on improving your credit rating so that you can apply for a mortgage or other large credit application you should know that lenders will look at how much credit is available to you, not just how much you are actually using. Holding, using and paying off credit cards can benefit your rating, however, if your cards are sitting there unused then pull the plug! 

8. Avoid Expensive Credit Repair Companies

Credit repair companies often sound too good to be true and unfortunately that is usually because they are. Credit ratings are pretty black and white, regardless of their help you will need to improve your credit rating yourself so avoid where possible paying someone else to do it.

9. Avoid Joint Credit With People With Poor Credit History

Being tied into joint forms of credit such as bank accounts, loans or mortgages with someone who has poor credit history will affect your ability to gain credit due to a ‘financial association’. Disassociating your credit from theirs is most often the best thing you can do for both parties in the long run until you both have good credit history.

10. Remove Any Mistakes On Your Credit Report

One of the reasons it is so important to check your credit report is in case there are any mistakes. It is not at all uncommon to check a report and find that someone has fraudulently applied for credit in your name. If this is the case you can contact the related company in question to have the instance investigated and removed – boosting your credit rating very quickly.

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Broadband Cost

Running a home today is not as easy as it used to be. There’s more bills that need to be paid, and your broadband bill is one of them. It’s nearly impossible to do anything without broadband these days, so having an affordable, reliable broadband connection is very important. You need to know that your internet connection will be there when you need it and that you are getting a good deal.

Work Out Your Budget

The first thing you need to do is work out your budget. Take into account all your incoming finances, and outgoing expenditure. You find sites online where you can keep track of your expenses, you could print out a budget sheet and manually fill it, you could download an app, or you could make your own. However you choose to track your budget, you need to have a pretty good idea of how much you are willing to spend per month on your broadband bill.

Decide What You Want

Once you have your projected budget, you need to decide what you need from your internet provider. The first thing you need to consider is which providers are available in your area. Generally speaking, if you live in a city, then you will have a wide range of providers to choose from. However, if you live in a more rural area, then your choices may not be as wide ranged. You need to check to see what broadband providers offer services in your area.

Then you need to work out what your internet usage patterns are. If you only use the internet to check emails, check your Facebook, or browse websites, then you won’t really need a high-speed connection. If you watch a lot of Youtube videos, or stream movies, or TV shows, then you would need a little more internet speed. If you use the internet for gaming or downloading then you’re going to need a higher speed connection.

Your Usage Limits

You also need to consider usage limits. Many, or almost all, broadband packages are unlimited. So there’s no usage cap, but there are still some providers that have usage caps. You need to make sure that if you want an unlimited service, that that is the service you sign up for. A limited usage cap will give an allowance per month, and if you’re a light internet user, then you probably won’t go over the limit. However, if you do there are extra charges, and it can become a very expensive policy.
You’ll need to think about how many people and devices in your home will be connecting to your broadband. If you have a big family, then you will need to consider heavy usage service.

The Package You Want

Lastly, you need to consider what kind of package you want. You might want a bundle that includes a land line telephone, or television services. If you want a bundle that includes other services, you’ll want to consider what kind of phone package you want, if you want it to include free calls or reduced mobile calls.
Once you have decided what it is that you need from your service provider, and what your budget is, you should try a website that will compare all the best deals for you. Try Broadband Choices to search for the most current offers.

You should always keep an eye on the length of your contract with your service provider and always read the small print. Some services offer a reduced rate for the first few months, before going up to what your actual bill will be. Make sure that the full rate is within your budget and that it’s not only the introductory offer that suits you. You might find that once your contract is up, that you would get a better deal by switching to another provider.


The good news about finding a broadband service provider in today’s market is that providers offer a huge range of different packages, and there are a huge number of providers. There are also new service providers emerging regularly. With so many potential providers, there are many competitively priced packages available. You should be able to easily find the right package that suits your family usage, and more importantly, fits your budget.

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binary options trading

Binary options are also called digital options and as their name implies, have only two possible outcomes for each trade.  A position can either expire in-the-money and you win that particular trade gaining as high as 80% returns or expire out-of-the-money and you lose the entire money invested on that particular trade.

If you are looking to understand the concept of risk to reward ratio as a beginner, it can be defined in simple terms as the potential return versus the probable loss for every single trade executed by you. For instance, a 1:2 risk to reward ratio means that if you succeed the trade you can earn double the amount of money when compared to the amount you may lose if your trade is unsuccessful.

The Growth of Binary Options Trading

Binary options trading is a relatively new investment method which has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years due to its overwhelming returns and limited risk. In other trading methods like spread betting, futures contracts or spot forex trading which support leveraging, the risk/reward ratio can vary based on the potential returns, leverage factor and borrowed amount.In margin trading, the returns can be much higher but at the same time risks are also substantial and traders use techniques like stop-loss orders to limit their risk.Ideally, professional investors will advise you to look for investment options which offer a risk to reward ratio of 1:2.

The biggest advantage of binary options is the fixed risk/reward ratio which means you will know how much money you can earn or lose before placing the trade. The important reason for the popularity of binary options is the limited risk, which means you can never lose more than the amount you had invested in a particular trade. Also, you can make profits with binary options trading even if the market is bearish and your assets are having a downtrend by choosing “Put” option.

The payout percentage promised by your broker is important to determine the risk/reward ratio as it can vary between different brokers.Hence you should always choose a reliable and trusted who offers high payouts of at least 80% like anyoption UK. For example, let’s assume you invest £100 in a trade where you bet against GBP/USD currency pair and the payout offered by your broker is 70%. Then it means you will get £70 profit if you win that trade and lose £100 if your option expires out-of-the-money. In this case, the risk/reward ratio for that particular trade is 1/0.70.

The Win/Loss Ratio

Apart from risk to reward ratio, you should also understand the concept of win-loss ratio or success rate which refers to the chance of winning a particular trade. Success rate is usually calculated based on past performance and expressed in terms of percentage. In simple terms, it is calculated as the number of winning trades divided by the total number of trades taken over certain fixed time period. If your success rate is 60%, then it means you are expected to win 6 out of 10 trades you execute.

So as a binary options trader you should consider both your success rate and payout offered by your broker in order to determine the exact risk to reward ratio. Most of the binary options brokers try to attract traders by promising unrealistic payouts and quoting high returns in terms of percentage which highlight only the positive side of these options contracts.

But in reality, if a trader loses 50% of the trades he executes, then he will lose 100% of his investment in all these trades unless the broker offers any refunds for lost trades. Hence the potential risk is 100% of your investment while returns can range from 60% to 90% depending on the payout offered by your broker. To explain in simple terms, binary options don’t even guarantee a risk to reward ratio of 1:1.  Some brokers may offer refunds up to 25% depending on the type of trade you execute. You should choose such a broker who offers guaranteed refunds for lost trades as well in order to improve your risk to reward ratio.

An Example In Action

Let’s take a simple example to understand the risk-to-reward ratio of binary options. Let’s consider your broker is offering a payout of 80% for every trade you win and your success rate is 50%. For simplicity, let’s assume that you are investing £100 in each trade and you are executing 100 trades in a month.  So, you would have invested an overall amount of £10,000 in a month and you have lost 50% of the trades which means you have lost £5,000 from your capital. For every successful trade, you would have got £80 as a return which means you have won £4,000 (Assuming you won 50 trades out of 100, each offering a return of £80 = 50 * 80 dollars).

After consolidating both, you will be surprised to know that you have lost £5,000 from your investment capital of £10,000 and your returns for successful trades are only £4,000. So overall in this example, you have lost £1, 000 from your capital and you don’t have any positive returns.  In reality, a success rate of 50% is even considered high in binary options trading as most traders are known to lose 80% of the time. Since the payouts are fixed, you can only focus on increasing your success ratio in order to maximise your returns.

It is important to understand the risk to reward ratio in any form of trading to come up effective trading strategies. You should consider all the factors including your success rate, trading strategies, payouts and rebates offered by your broker etc. to have a clear picture of the risk to reward ratio. Understanding risk/reward profile of binary options is very crucial in formulating your trading plan and to become a successful investor. 

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If you are tackling debt repayments, it’s very important you understand your rights when dealing with creditors, debt collectors and bailiffs.

First we should consider the difference between these, as this impacts what they can and can’t do when collecting your debts:

  • Creditor – the company who the debt is owed to.
  • Debt collector – they are employed by the creditors to collect the debts on their behalf.
  • Bailiff – a bailiff has the legal power, through the court if court action has been taken, to ask you to pay what you owe and if you do not, can take and sell your possessions to raise the money required for your debt repayments.

When dealing with debt negotiations and repayments, it’s important to remember that there are rules in place to ensure that you never feel threatened; here are the ones that you should be aware of:

You have the right to make a complaint, should you feel harassed

Your creditors can contact you with reminders for payments, they can also instruct a debt collector to telephone you asking for payment and to call you at your home, if it is a reasonable time of day. Creditors can also take court action.

However, the line is drawn when contact from creditors and debt collectors starts to take on the same principles associated with harassment. Therefore, you have the right to make a complaint to your creditors and a professional body if they are:

  • contacting you several times a day
  • contacting you early in the morning or late at night
  • using more than one debt collector to chase you
  • contacting you via social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter
  • threatening you either verbally or physically
  • sending you paperwork forged to look like official documents, such as court orders
  • not disclosing if your debt has been passed on to an external agency
  • implying that they can take legal action, when they can’t
  • implying that court action has been taken against you when it hasn’t

Should your creditors or a debt collector do any of these things you have the right to complain about their behaviour and practice by gathering evidence of harassment and taking it higher up.

If you are dealing with bailiffs, they must:

  • only visit your property between 6am and 9pm
  • not attempt to enter your property if only a child under 16 is present
  • not use excessive force to enter your property, unless granted permission
  • only enter the property through a door
  • look after any belongings they take away
  • charge fees and expenses that aren’t allowed by law
  • keep any joint owners of belongings informed.

If a bailiff breaks any of these rules, then you can appeal to the court to have your belongings returned.

You have the right to ask creditors to freeze interest and charges

The Lending Code and Credit Services Association Code of Practice suggest that creditors should consider freezing charges and interest if you approach them and notify them that you are experiencing financial difficulty. There is no guarantee they will comply, but they are all bound by those two codes of practice and therefore should take your request into consideration. It’s one right many people do not realise they can exercise and while it’s not guaranteed, it’s a good idea to ask.

You could also look at whether a debt solution could help you. An IVA register for example guarantees that interest and charges are frozen while you repay your debts. If you’re in debt and struggling to make ends meet, it is recommended you seek expert debt advice.

You have the right to dispute debt

If you believe your debt is statute barred – this means it is not enforceable because the creditor has taken too long to chase payment – you have the right to dispute this. Statute barred does not mean your debt has been written off, it simply means the limitation period has expired and creditors can no longer take the debt to court and enforce it. For most unsecured debt types in England and Wales, creditors have a limitation period of six years to chase you for payment. If you also do not believe the amount owed is correct you can dispute this or ask for them to verify the debt.

You have the right to seek advice

When seeking a solution to your debt, bear in mind that you have the right to seek advice. There are various debt management companies out there that offer free, impartial advice and support before assisting you with setting up a debt solution, such as an IVA or a Debt Management Plan.

It’s very important that you know your rights when dealing with debt. Seek free advice and stay on top of your repayment schedule to ensure everything is covered and that you understand what is fair and unfair.

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Spread betting is often dropped casually into the traditional investment mix along with trading stocks and shares. However, there are some key differences in the process of spread betting which really differentiate it’s offering. If done right, spread betting is one of the quickest ways for the private investor to cash in on market speculation and allows you to use your financial hunches to reap some healthy rewards!

As with traditional investing, spread betting requires a great deal of research and analysis in order to source your opportunities. However, there are some important differences between spread betting and investing in the traditional stock market. Here we have outlined 5 key points of difference:

1. You Don’t Ever Own Any Shares

Spread betting involves making a hypothesis on the movement of an asset and placing a bet on the direction you think it will go. Therefore, unlike investing in the stock market in the traditional way, you will never actually own the asset or shares you have chosen. This in turn affects your cost of entry as you will not be incurring the same trading costs as you would when buying a share.

2. Spread Betting is Tax Free

As spread betting is technically classed as gambling, then providing that spread betting isn’t your sole form of income then it’s completely tax free which means your profits wont be cut by capital gains tax or stamp duty. Additionaly, unlike investing spread betting does not incur a transaction charge when you ‘cash out’ therefore this means that your not losing out on any of your winnings.

3. Long or Short

A major difference between investing and spread betting is that the latter allows you to profit when the market is down. Spread betting allows you to ‘go short’ which means that you are essentially betting that the company or share will decrease in value. Providing that you predict this correctly, this means that one mans’ loss is another mans’ gain!

It is worth noting that there is a large element of risk involved in spread betting; your loss potential is unlimited as you cannot set a stop and your losses aren’t limited to your stake.

4. 24 Hour Access

When investing in the stock market the traditional way you are restricted to the opening hours of your chosen stock exchange, for example 9:30 – 16:00 for the NYSE. This can make it tricky if you have a 9-5 job and want to check your stocks during the day. However just like other forms of ‘gambling’ spread betting allows you to trade 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This means you can carry our your bets from the comfort of your arm chair after a hard days work.

In fact looking over your spreads has become much easier in recent years with the introduction of spread betting trading platforms which provide easy access to your research and allow you to place a bet from a laptop or even through a mobile app. One example of this is the CMC Markets trading app where you can quickly view their live market calculator and even receive notifications on your current trades so you know when to ‘cash out’.

5. You Can Bet On a Whole Range of Markets

Unlike traditional investing, spread betting allows you to bet on a whole range of markets including bonds, interest rates and currencies. However, one of the most popular forms of spread betting is actually sporting events.

Thinking of trying it out as an additional source of income? Spread betting is an interesting experience as things can move quickly when betting on the movement of an asset. With this in mind I recommend starting your adventure with paper trading or opening a demo investing account on a reliable platform to get to grips with the process before investing your funds.


business premises decor

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The appearance of your corporate premises can have a large effect on how well your business fares. This could surprise you... or perhaps it...