I hope you like the new background? With so many people now visiting the website I decided that it needed a facelift and a little more effort put into its design to make it look a little more polished than the very simple template I used when it started. I think it makes the photographs stand out much more clearly but if you have problems with it please let me know, it’s still in “beta” test. The comment counter will be back on once I have worked out why it has turned off
It appears that the great Christmas spending frenzy has left the population in debt to the tune of £1.15 trillion and in there somewhere, you can count the pair of jeans I bought in the Matalan sale last week for the extravagant sum of £12.00.
According to the Guardian two million people who used credit cards to buy presents are still paying off their 2004 Christmas bill and three million people have personal loans and credit cards with outstanding debts of more than £10,000. The number of individuals going bust, according to the latest Department of Trade and Industry figures, is up 46% on a year ago.
Turn on the television and any daytime Sky channel is running a constant stream of adverts offering to pay off your debts with “Even a little left over for that special purchase.” Are they mad? How can someone place all their debts in a single consolidation loan and then have something to spare. There is nothing, it’s all debt, lower interest over a longer term equals greater debt and I watched with interest Rene Carayol’s programme last week, where he is attempting to coach a couple to pay off their mortgage in just two years.
David Limbert in the Guardian points out that few people are even aware of the existence of credit unions, which can be a much cheaper alternative than falling into the hands of those same "consolidation" loan merchants and other sharks you see on television.
These are financial co-operatives, owned and controlled by their members and offer savings and better value loans, are local and are managed ethically. They specialize in picking up those who have fallen between the financial cracks or are simply on low incomes. For more information on credit unions, visit the Association of British Credit Unions website - http:www.abcul.org