Michael Challiner Profile and Articles




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1). Adverse Credit – We've All Heard Of It, But What Does It Mean?
If you're one of those lucky people who have never missed a single credit card or loan repayment, then you don't need to worry about the term ‘adverse credit'. In this article, we are discussing the ins and outs of the term ‘adverse credit', something that describes people who have defaulted on credit repayments to a significant extent. The terms ‘...

2). Adverse Credit – When Is A Credit History Labelled As Being “Adverse”?
If you are a borrower with a history of unsatisfactory credit transactions, the lenders will describe your credit history as “adverse”. The expressions “poor credit”, “bad credit” and “sub-prime” all describe exactly the same situation. This leads to a number of questions; what credit information is collected about you, where does it come from and ...

3). Are Your Home Insurance Premiums Constantly Rising?
Last year the UK's average premium for Buildings Insurance increased by 1% to just over £205 and the average for Contents Insurance rose to £151, up 2%. But within the market we've seen some much bigger rises – if you're with Norwich Union you'll have seen your premium rise by around 6%.

So what's going on? Every year we see premiums ...

4). Big Changes On The Horizon For Critical Illness Insurance.
In recent years sales of critical illness insurance have flagged. The primary cause is the huge 70% increase in premiums experienced during recent years. For many, critical illness insurance has simply priced itself out of the market.

It's not that critical illness insurance is a bad idea. After all it pays out a lump sum if the polic...

5). Buy To Let Mortgages. Boom Time Returns.
After last years crisis of confidence the buy-to-let market is again booming. Earlier worries that interest rates were on the up and property values would crash are firmly behind us. So, fuelled by rising rental yields confidence, landlords have been snapping up new properties and remortgaging for cheaper deals.

In the final three mon...

6). Buying A Second Hand Car? 19 Tips To Avoid Getting Your Fingers Burnt.
• Do your homework. Read up about the model of car you're thinking about. Will it perform as you will want? Be aware of any known mechanical problems with that particular model and remember to check them out when you take it for a test drive (see tip 15).

• Look up the current second hand values for the car. Try starting at www.what c...

7). Buying Life Insurance online – is it a really good idea?
The advent of the internet has opened up the possibility of cheaper life insurance for all.

In years gone by, if you were considering life insurance you would probably have invited an insurance salesman from your favourite insurance company to meet you or alternatively gone to your local insurance broker. But rarely would you have bee...

8). Buying Life Insurance? One tip to save you £thousands!
It’s simple, always have your Life Insurance policy “Written in Trust”. This may sound technical but it is easy to understand and it’s so easy to organise.
“Written in Trust” ensures that in the event of a claim, the policy will pay directly to the beneficiaries you name on the policy when you first take it out. If you do not do this, the po...

9). Calling all smokers. A dream ticket for two to Paradise Island - for all of you!
Sorry to remind all you died in the wool smokers but November was Lung Cancer Awareness month. But no don't click away – spare a few moments of your time, please ……..

If hard words on packets wash over you, let me put the financial case to you for quitting. As well as feeling healthier I can offer you a holiday for two on Paradise Isl...

10). Car Insurance - How can you lower your premiums?
Many factors influence the premium for your Motor insurance policy. Your insurer will have asked you many questions whilst producing your quote - some of which will affect your premium and some will not. Below we discuss the key variables that are within the policyholder's control.

Consolidating policies

By insuring a numb...

11). Car Insurance How Can I Lower My Premiums?
During the last few years, the average car insurance premium has virtually been at a stand still. The reason is price competition. There are now over 100 car insurance companies fighting for your business and competition is fierce. There are always bargains to be found as companies cut their premiums to attract motorists in the hope you'll remain l...

12). Car Insurance Top Tips
The car insurance industry has got really competitive in the last few years, so prices haven't really changed much. There are now over 100 car insurers to choose from, so there are some very good deals out there for those who are prepared to shop around. 23% of motorists still choose to insure with the same company as the year before, but they coul...

13). Car Insurance, Essential Information About Excess Payments
An excess payment is the fixed contribution you must pay each time your car is repaired through your car insurance policy. Normally the payment is made directly to the accident repair garage when you collect the car. If your car is declared to be a write off, your insurance company will deduct the excess agreed on the policy from the settlement pay...

14). Car Insurance, Save On Premiums!
Everyone has to agree to an excess of some kind when getting a car insurance policy – it's the way the system works. Basically it means that if you have an accident and your car needs to be repaired, you will have to pay a set amount towards the bill. If the accident is your fault, you lose the money. If the accident is not your fault, the third pa...

15). Car Insurance. Involved In An Accident With An Uninsured Driver?
Uninsured drivers are ten times more likely to drink and drive and three times more likely to be convicted of driving without due care and attention. They also cause one accident every six months. In fact one in twenty motorists regularly drive without insurance. It's therefore not perhaps surprising that, one in ten of all motorists have been invo...

16). Car Insurance. It's Getting Increasingly Expensive When You're Elderly.
There were 550 serious accidents last year where the driver was over aged 70 and where driver was either killed or badly hurt, reports the Institute of Advanced Motoring . That statistic represents 8% of the national total of 7,035 similar accidents. That means that the over 70's's have more, very serious accidents per mile than any other sector of...

17). Car Insurance. Uninsured Cars To Be Crushed
Are you one of the one in twenty motorists who regularly drive without insurance? You'd better watch out - your car could be heading for the crusher and shipped off to the world's biggest scrap smelter in China!

New powers now allow the police to seize, impound and crush any car found on the road without insurance. A pilot scheme was ...

18). Car Loans Drive Down The Cost
Most car buyers spend hours researching the makes and models of car before deciding which to buy. Then four out of ten rush out to the showroom and sign up for the car within 30 minutes of stepping inside.

But will their painstaking research extend to sourcing the cheapest finance package? Probably not. Whilst around 50% of new cars b...

19). Credit Cards Shamed Into Cutting Charges
The Competition Commission one of the governments watchdogs, has at last moved to shame credit cards in to cutting their charges. The long overdue move comes after the Commission concluded that the credit card industry was overcharging customers between £55 and £100 million each year through excessive interest rates and other charges. And this has ...

20). Credit Cards Watch Out When Using Your Credit Card Abroad
Going on holiday or business to Spain, France or Italy this year? Then watch out for a new ploy to overcharge your credit or debt card.

Many restaurateurs and retailers in these countries now have the facility to get you to authorise your bill in euros but then they recharge your card in sterling. That sounds innocent but there's a st...

21). Credit Cards – The European Credit Card Sting
Traditionally, using plastic abroad has always meant big charges. Things are a lot better these days, but they have taken a downward slide again in some European countries, as they get the option to add an extra charge to your bill.

In France, Italy and Spain, many of the bigger restaurateurs and retailers have a system called DCC – d...

22). Credit Problems? Tackle Them Head On.
Hate opening the post? Dread receiving the bill and Bank Statements? Sounds like your finances are becoming a problem.

The ostrich solution never works when it comes to debts – they just don't go away that easily. Take a tip - there's never a better time like the present to tackle a debt problem – as soon as piling bills give you a kn...

23). Critical Illness Insurance Do you really need it? Or is it a waste of time?
GREAT NEWS! There's now a one in five chance of you winning the lottery before you retire.

Getting excited? Think it's just a matter of time before you win? Think again, it's not going to happen - but it got you thinking!

Now think of the same odds but this time about bad news. There is a 1 in 5 chance f...

24). Critical Illness Insurance The Non-Disclosure Problem
If you're in the unfortunate position of having to make a claim on your critical illness insurance policy, the last thing you want is insensitive hassle or apparent non co-operation from your insurer. But according to numerous newspaper articles, that's precisely what's happening. The core problem is that before they'll pay out, the insurer will al...

25). Critical Illness Insurance – The Press Are Giving Insurers A Hard Time.
Recent stories in the press have again lambasted the insurers over critical illness insurance. The core problem is that a critical illness claim is not as straightforward as, for example, a claim under life insurance. With life insurance it's going to be hard for the insurance company to argue that you're not dead!

By their very natur...

26). Dental Insurance. The Nhs In Dental Shambles
It's truly shambolic say many dentists referring to the recent overhaul of the NHS dental service. The situation has become so bad that dentists are leaving the NHS in droves. Seven out of ten dentists have either quit the NHS or have signed their new NHS contract temporarily and “under dispute”. This means that come July this year they have the ri...

27). Foreign Currency Mortgages – The Pros And Cons
Virtually all mortgage borrowers go with a mainstream UK lender to make the biggest purchase of their lives, it’s the done thing and to be honest most people don’t realise there is a viable alternative – the foreign currency mortgage.

Interest rates are reasonably healthy in the UK at the moment, particularly in comparison with the 19...

28). Foreign Currency Mortgages – What Are They And What Are The Risks?
99.9% of mortgage borrowers raise the money they need to buy their home in pounds sterling and pay the prevailing UK based interest rate. But it does not have to be that way……..

Whilst by its' own historical standards, the UK's domestic interest rates are low, they are still significantly higher than in the Eurozone, America, Switzerl...

29). Fraud. Beware Of The Fraudsters
According to Which, the consumer watchdog, about 5 million of us have been targeted by fraudsters and have lost money as a result. Fraudsters are clearly finding rich pickings!

So what are the most widespread scams and how do you steer clear of them? Here are six scams to be aware of.

You've won a lottery prize


30). Glossary of common terms used during the mortgage process.
APR - This stands for Annual Percentage Rate. It enables you to compare the full cost of the mortgage. Rather than just being an interest rate, it includes up front and ongoing costs of taking out a mortgage. The formula for calculating APR is set by Government Regulations and therefore enables direct comparison of the cost of mortgages.


31). Group Critical Illness Insurance - The Cheaper Alternative To Keyman Insurance.
If you manage a small business you'll dread the possibility of a member of your team being be taken seriously ill or dieing. Apart from the personal upset, your business would be hit hard. Sales or production could take a dive, key skills could be lost and the general pace of the business could fall. All this costs the business money.

...

32). Health Insurance – Not As Straightforward As It Would Seem
Most of the seven million people covered by health insurance in the UK have a policy provided by their company. As such it is a useful benefit, but many of us assume that it will cover any kind of health issue and this is definitely not the case. The insurers exclude a wide variety of possible claims, and this article will explain those in detail. ...

33). Home Insurance. Flood Alert
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warns that if you can't get insurance for your house, you're in big trouble. Mortgage lenders won't lend on houses that are uninsurable and as a result its value could fall by up to 80%.

It's a high flood risk that's most likely to make your house uninsurable. According to a recent survey, 6...

34). How To Pay Less On Home And Contents Insurance
Buildings Insurance went up again last year, costing homeowners another 1% a year, taking the average to just over £205 for a year's insurance. Contents insurance also went up, this time by 2% - now it costs the average homeowner £151 a year. However, some lenders are hiking prices even higher than that – Norwich Union for example, raised its price...

35). Interest Only Mortgages – FSA Makes Move To Protect Homeowners
Abbey recently stated that over 25% of homeowners decide to take out an interest-only mortgage. It's not hard to see why – the monthly payments are significantly less, just look at this example based on a 25 year £125,000 mortgage at 5%. The interest only mortgage will cost £525 per month - but the repayment mortgage is £735 per month – an addition...

36). Keyman Insurance – A Business Essential
If you own your own business, you'll have insurance in place for your buildings, stock and vehicles, and you will be likely to have public liability insurance. You may also be insured for professional indemnity and legal costs – but have you considered insuring your most important assets – your key staff?

In the UK there are 3.9 milli...

37). Keyman Insurance – Protect yourself against some of your biggest businesses risks.
As a businessman you might have public liability insurance and you insure your buildings, stock and vehicles. You may even have professional indemnity insurance and legal cost insurance. Is that all? What about your other primary assets – your key staff?

Key staff represent the heart of every businesses but no more so than the UK's 3....

38). Life Insurance - Top Tips for buying online
More and more people in the UK are buying life insurance online and the numbers seem to be doubling every two years. The reasons are clear. Prices are lower on the Internet and life insurance is fundamentally a simple insurance product.

Despite the underlying simplicity of life insurance, most web sites channel their online clients th...

39). Life Insurance And Critical Illness Insurance. Cancer Tests To Increase Women's Premiums
Ladies, if your mother or any other female blood-line relatives have a history of breast or ovarian cancer then from next year onwards, you could face higher insurance premiums. You could even be refused cover altogether.

When these women apply for life and critical illness cover, the insurance industry wants to ask them whether they ...

40). Life Insurance and Life Assurance are not the same!
The average man in the street assumes that Life Insurance and Life Assurance are names for the same form of insurance. How wrong they are! But don't hang your head in shame, many financial commentators get it wrong too! Life Insurance and Life Assurance perform different financial roles and are poles apart in cost - so it helps to surf for the corr...

41). Life Insurance and the Law. A layman's introduction.
There are no laws in the UK that require a person to have life insurance. It’s an entirely voluntary insurance. About 40% of the UK's working population are covered by life insurance either through their own policy or via an arrangement through their employer.

So the simple things first. You have to be a UK resident in order to buy a ...

42). Life Insurance Available With Tax Relief.
At last you can buy life insurance and get tax relief. The breakthrough results from changes in the Gordon Browns' latest Budget speech but the tax relief is only available on a new special sort of life insurance policy. You can't get tax relief on your existing life insurance policies.

These new policies exploit a loophole in the new ...

43). Life Insurance Take A Last Gasp And Count The Savings!
We're not being insensitive, honestly! We're talking about your last gasp of smoke – have you given up smoking recently?

Did you know that smokers paying up to 60% more for their life insurance cover compared to non-smokers. So, besides the health dividend and the money saved on cigarettes, insurance companies will chip in with lower ...

44). Life Insurance – 66% Of Applicants Face Loaded Premiums
If you're lucky, you'll get a life insurance quotation that you are happy with, progress to application, and get yourself insured within 48 hours at the original price quoted. Unfortunately this isn't the case for 66% of applicants - who face delays and loaded premiums.

So why is this happening? Well, life insurance companies provide ...

45). Life Insurance – Medical history increases the cost for 66% of applicants
Lucky applicants for life insurance can be insured within 48 hours and at the premium quoted - but 2 in 3 applicants are faced with delays plus the prospect of having their premium loaded.

So who are the lucky ones? Basically, you'll have to be as fit as a flea with no family history of serious illness, under 45, in an office type job ...

46). Life Insurance – Smokers and Overweights pay over 50% more!
The life insurance industry is becoming tougher on smokers and those of us who are overweight.

When an insurance company calculates its premiums, it has to work out the risk of you dying whilst the policy is in force. (Or with Critical Illness Insurance, the risk that you will become critically or seriously ill during the policy's ter...

47). Life Insurance – Why Does The UK Have A £2.3 Trillion Protection Gap?
According to Swiss Re, one of the world's largest re-insurance companies, less than half of the UK population has any form of life insurance protection. They then go on to put a figure on the value of this protection gap. Using an average income of £20,000 and assuming that the value of protection needed ranges between 5 and 10 times income, they p...

48). Life Insurance. Bargain Life Insurance When You Take Out A Pension Policy
At last, a real life insurance bargain – but as always there are strings attached!

If you take out a new pension policy after 6 th April 2006 and within the same premium pay for life insurance cover, then you can use your pension contribution tax allowance to reduce the cost of your life insurance. This means if you're a standard rate...

49). Life Insurance. How The New Regulations Affect Policies Written In Trust.
In his spring Budget the Chancellor Gordon Brown announced swinging measures to tackle the use of Trusts being used to avoid Inheritance Tax. The immediate reaction amongst the financial and legal fraternity amounted to panic and confusion. Within ten days of the budget speech the estimates of the numbers of people that could be hit by the new anti...

50). Life Insurers Use The Body Mass Index To Tighten The Belt On Fat People
Overweight people are in the firing line again. Life insurance companies are increasing premiums up to four fold for fat people. They've always charged more for those of us who over-eat, but during the last year the penalties have got worse.

In moves to tighten the belts further, the life insurers are lowering the weight limits they u...

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