Tag Archives: Personal finance

Pounds to Pocket withdraws birthday celebration loan promotions

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There has been enough news in the payday loans industry of late to wrap the entire quantity of fish and chips consumed in the UK over the summer. That’s not a fact of course, merely a guess, and chip shops aren’t allowed to wrap their wares in newspaper any more because all those inky fishcakes, so it’s all completely by the by.

The latest news story emanating from the payday lenders industry to receive widespread news coverage is the withdrawal of an email sent by the payday lender Pounds to Pocket, currently one of the larger firms in an industry in which Wongaleads the way.

The email sent by Pounds to Pocket – owned by CashEuroNetUK – arrived in prospective and past customers’ inboxes containing the subject line: “We’d like to wish you the best on your special day! Now you can apply for the money you need to enjoy your birthday worry-free.”

Those payday lenders working hard to clean up the reputation of the industry and adhere to the tough new rules imposed by industry regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) must have been exasperated by the use of such a class advertising stunt by a lender that’s big enough to know better.

Widespread criticism of the ad

The Citizens Advice charity was quick to draw the attention to the email, complaining about the casual “worry-free” attitude it endorsed and encouraged. Not only did it underplay the serious nature of a short-term loan, it also encouraged prospective borrowers to use the money irresponsibly to fund birthday parties and treats.

CashEuroNetUK responded to the complaints by acknowledging that a short-term loan was a serious consideration. It also explained that it went to “great lengths” to ensure its emails were not sent to groups for whom the ad could be inappropriate or detrimental.

In this case, it actually beggars belief that a lender would be as stupid as to send out emails that were obviously going to fly so close to the wire and attract negative attention. Perhaps Pounds to Pocket was of the view that any press is good press, after all, given the crackdown it does seem unlikely that such an email could be sent without expectations of reprisals further down the line.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s response

Upon further investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) found that a 20 percent discount was offered on the first scheduled payment to any borrower who applied for a loan on the day the email was received. If approved for a loan, the customer would then have to wait just ten minutes for the funds to appear in their account.

In its ruling on the email, the ASA said: “While possibly desirable, having money to spend on birthday celebrations was unlikely to be seen as essential, and by encouraging recipients to take advantage of the service through a special offer discount for immediate application, Pounds to Pocket had urged a decision, thereby limiting the amount of time those interested in a loan were able to give to proper consideration.

“We concluded that the email was irresponsible because it encouraged taking a short-term loan for frivolous spending and promoted the process of borrowing as trivial and without responsibility.”

 

In response, Pound to Pocket has removed the email from circulation.

 

What next for the payday lenders?

The recent cleanup of the payday loan industry following new regulations introduced on 1 July and the proposed cost caps has resulted in over a third of UK payday lenders exiting the industry. Those that are left must now be committed to delivering a customer driven service and banishing such murky practices firmly to the past.

Should Pounds to Pocket be fined for issuing such an irresponsible advertising campaign? Have you ever received questionable marketing communications from a payday lender? We’d love to hear from you on this issue, so please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

AUTHOR BIO

 

Caitlin Hope is a UK based freelance writer and finance blogger who busies herself by writing editorials for some of the UK’s most authoritative sites. When she’s not busy writing, Caitlin likes dancing, cooking and sashaying around her basement flat.

What Is A No Deposit Home Loan?

With no deposit loans, you can buy a house without a down payment. The most common types of no deposit loans are 100 percent loans and 106% loans. With a 100 percent loan, you can borrow an amount equal to the full value of a property. With a 106 percent home loan, you can borrow the full value of the property in addition to an amount that covers mortgage insurance, legal fees and stamp duty. There are also low deposit home loans available from certain lenders. With a low deposit loan, you might get financing for between 95 to 97 percent of the property value. The amount you can borrow is generally between $300,000 and $485,000, and you must live in the home you purchase.

Who Can Benefit From No Deposit Loans?

When you don’t have a down payment for a house, a no deposit loan will allow you to purchase a property. These loans are most popular with first-time home buyers, those who have recently divorced and young couples. They are also an option for those with limited incomes or who have money that’s presently tied up in other investments.

Can I Qualify For A No Deposit Home Loan?

If you have an excellent credit score, a guarantor with good credit, and you earn enough to make the repayments, you may qualify for a no deposit or low deposit loan. Most lenders require that you be financially stable and have significant savings. Your income must be strong and consistent, and you will need to demonstrate a solid work history. If you are self-employed, you might have trouble qualifying for this type of loan no matter how much you earn.

Are There Disadvantages Or Restrictions With No Deposit Loans?

Your interest rate will probably be higher than it would be if you had a deposit, but the terms of these loans vary from lender to lender. With a no deposit loan, you’ll probably be charged more for mortgage insurance and you may have to make higher monthly repayments. Interest rates will differ between lenders but may be capped, floating or fixed; it pays to shop around for the best possible offering. Some lenders require that the property be located in a certain area; other lenders will not grant loans if the property is presently vacant or is situated in a deteriorating neighbourhood. These loans are considered high-risk, so not all lenders offer them.

A home loan calculator will be beneficial in helping you formulate the repayments you are going to need to make to stay on top of the loan.

Create a Private Oasis with Landscaping Ideas That Also Increase Your Home’s Value

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” This is the opening line of Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall,” which suggests that while privacy is often necessary, the means to create it are not always visually pleasing. Later in the poem, he suggests that his apple trees and his neighbor’s pines, natural landscaping, offer privacy enough to not need a wall. Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just increase your privacy, landscaping can significantly increase your home’s value and your enjoyment of the property.

To fence, or not to fence: Consider the benefits of using landscaping for privacy

There are several advantages to choosing landscaping for privacy instead of typical fencing. Privacy landscaping creates a retreat for your family, and can increase your home’s value (making it a great tip for selling your home).

  • Landscaping for privacy may be more affordable than conventional fencing options and is just as affective at reducing unwanted sound
  • Landscaping ideas like lilacs or rose bushes are more aesthetically pleasing in shape and color than wooden or chain-link fences
  • Zoning regulations are often less strict with respect to allowing natural landscaping versus fencing
  • Landscaping provides the same privacy as a fence but is not as permanent or restrictive

Create a backyard getaway with a variety of plants

Landscaping for privacy offers diverse options, including shapeable hedges and loose layered borders with smaller shrubs. Consider the layout of your home and garden to find the best design option for your yard.

  • Yews, Privet & Boxwood: If you’re looking for the typical straight hedgerow you should consider these shrub varieties. Keep in mind how much shade and water they need and trim them so the bottoms are wider than the top to provide adequate exposure to sunlight. Also consider how high you want your hedge to grow as certain shrubs have a maximum height.
  • Evergreen or deciduous: Of course it doesn’t have to be one or the other and most loose borders will benefit from having both, but be sure you know the difference. Even though burning bushes look beautiful when they turn colors, as deciduous shrubs, they lose their leaves in winter. Arborvitae on the other hand is a lovely cone shaped evergreen that will hold its color all year and might be the perfect addition to your landscaping. Other colorful additions to consider are deciduous lilacs and rose bushes, or evergreen butterfly bushes that will attract some fluttery friends in the summer.
  • Fruit-bearing trees & shrubbery: If you have the space for it, consider planting fruit trees on your property and benefit from the shade and the snack. Even if you don’t have room for a small orchard, consider berry bushes or grape vines for a fruitful property line.

 Finance your landscaping project with a home equity loan

While you may not think planting a hedge could increase your home’s value, increasing the privacy of your property with landscaping is a helpful tip for selling your home. This is because “living” fences are often easier to remove or adjust. No matter how long you plan to be in your home, consider borrowing off the equity in your mortgage with a home equity loan to finance your landscaping ideas. Not only will natural landscaping provide your family with a quiet space to relax, but a simple, low-maintenance hedgerow may also benefit future buyers.

 

Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.