September 21, 2018

Help With Mortgage Payments


Homeowners the length and breadth of the country are being financially squeezed. Meeting the costs of food and fuel bills, especially in this climate, are the main concerns of households, and other payments such as mortgages are often put on the back burner. For those struggling to pay off their mortgages, there are ways in which you can get help. Using online tools such as a mortgage calculator can prove to be very helpful, but there are other ways in which help are being provided.

Struggling homeowners nationwide are being given help by the government. In households where the main breadwinner has lost their job and is claiming benefits such as Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA), Income-related Employment and support allowance and Income support, there was a scheme introduced by the previous Labour government in 2009 called the Homeowners’ Mortgage Scheme (HMS), where assistance was offered to households which experienced a temporary loss in income.

HMS allowed those who were eligible for help to defer paying part of the mortgage for a period lasting up to two years, but this scheme for new applicants on 21st April 2011. However, the new coalition government have kept a second scheme going. The Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) initiative will remain open until January 2013.

Like HMS, it was designed to help those claiming benefits after losing their jobs. It will help people pay off the first £200,000 of their mortgages, but anyone with more than that amount to pay off will have to pay in full for the amount above the £200,000 threshold. The interest rate used to work out SMI presently stands at 3.36%. Some politicians and lenders are critical of SMI, but as Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in the last Budget, SMI is here to stay for at least the rest of this year.

SMI is there to help homeowners who are suffering a short-term cash flow crisis, and need to focus on paying for the essentials before covering the cost of mortgage payments. It can help those who’ve suddenly found themselves out of work or who are struggling to get by on a low wage or pensions.

If you’re in a situation where you can’t keep up with payments, it’s worth looking into getting help though such schemes as SMI, as well as through using mortgage calculators and other online tools to see what solutions are out there to solve your payment problems.

How to prevent insurance scams and frauds


Choosing your insurance wisely is extremely important. This can help you in avoiding any kind of insurance scams as the insurance frauds are on the rise. People while shopping for insurance may come in contact with various insurance providers and agents. Thus, it can become difficult to decide on the right kind of insurance carrier and if it is at all a legitimate one. However, you can still avoid falling prey to insurance scams if you can have clear idea on the insurance policy you are going to take and if you check if the company is licensed. There are various others things too that you can follow in order to avoid becoming a fraud victim.

Some of the things to check with

Some of the things that are essential to check with if you want to prevent insurance scams are:

1. Don’t reply to suspicious e-mails – It is always better to avoid answering or replying to any and every e-mail. Never reply to an e-mail from a person who you do not know; even if it is about a great offer. It is always better to shop for insurance policies on your own and buy one out of your own choice. Or even if you think that you can at least check out the offer, better avoid replying to the mail. Check out if the contact information (if provided) at all works and if the person is easily reachable. This should be done not once but more than that on different situations and times.

2. Will have to be vigilant – It is important for you to be vigilant about any and every kind of offers and phone calls other than the e-mails too. If ever you are able to suspect or detect any fraud with regards to insurance, you should call at the required number. So, it is important for you to be aware of that number too so that you can call as and when required.

3. Never sign blank insurance claim forms – It is always better to avoid filling out any of the insurance claim forms that are blank.

4. Safeguard personal information – While buying a policy do not give out personal information just like that to the agent or the person you are dealing with. It is extremely important for you to be aware of the whereabouts of the person, if the person is at all reacted to the company in question and if the company too is legal and licensed one.

5. Check with licensing of the agent – You will have to check out if the agent with whom you are dealing in order to buy the insurance policy has a license for what he is doing. This is extremely important otherwise, you will end up losing all your money.

6. Avoid providing wrong information – It is impoartnt to get all kinds of information about the company you are dealing with, the agent you are dealing with and the policy you are going to buy. Similarly, it is also important for you to provide all kinds of details and that too true about you as required, to the right person to avoid being a party to the scam.

Just as it is important for you to be sure of anything and everything you are buying, it is also important for you to find out properly with whom you are sharing your information. It is always better for you to avoid taking out a policy with a company or agent asking you for wrong information just to help you wthn getting a policy.