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Is it worth getting credit on catalogue purchases?

When you buy things from catalogues, whether you have a physical book or buy online, you will usually have the option of paying all at once or over a number of months or weeks. This normally comes with a cost with the longer that you take to pay, the more expensive the items are. It is worth considering whether you are happy with doing this.

It can be easy to think that because paying weekly or monthly for items is easier that it will be well worth doing, but actually it could cost a lot more money. It is worth calculating the difference in cost to see how much more you will be paying. If there is no extra cost, then you might think that it is fine. However, you may find that you can buy the items cheaper elsewhere as the cost of the interest free credit is added into the items so that the seller can cover the cost of the risk of someone not making the repayments. So make sure that you do your research first and buy from the place that has the best price as you could save a significant amount of money.

When you borrow money you should always think hard about it. Whether you are buying things which offer credit or getting out a loan, there is still risk and there are still things that you should think about. The cost of the loan, is a big factor and as mentioned above it is worth calculating how much that cost will be. Consider whether you think that the item you are buying is still worth having at that cost. If you think so then you should also think about the repayments and how you will manage them. Consider where you will get the money from each month or week to make the payments. Consider what you will have to go without in order to afford it. Also think about what will happen if for some reason you have extra expenses to pay or you have less income. You will still need to find the money for the repayments and you may find that you have to go without essentials instead.

It can be really easy to think that paying for something over a longer term is a simple and good way to make it more affordable. It is wise though to think it through first. Find out how much extra you are paying for being able to do this and think about whether you think it is worth paying this extra money. Then you need to think about how you will manage the repayments. It may seem easier than paying a lump sum, but you will need to find the money to cover each payment. It could be much better to save up for the item and wait a bit and then buy it. This way you do not have to worry about making repayments, if you cannot afford to save then you will just have to wait a bit longer. It will also be cheaper this way and you might even gain some interest on the savings while you are saving up.

It may seem a lot of fuss to be making about someone buying a jumper or some undies, but it could make a significant difference to your finances or even your life. If you can save money every time you buy clothing or other catalogue items then these savings will really add up. Getting into debt is not fun and if you find repayments hard then you could face charges and fines and you may even be sent to court. It is unlikely but it is still a possibility and the stress of this could be huge and have a massive impact on your life. It could therefore be worth just saving up rather than getting into debt so that you know that your future will be happy. If you think that you will not be able to save up, then see whether there are ways that you can make more money, things that you can sell or alternatives to buying those items so that you can still avoid getting into this situation.

Is a Vocational Degree the Best Way to get Value for Money from a Student Loan?

Many students these days are doing vocational degrees because they feel that it will be the best way to get value for money. With students now having to pay for their education, mainly through a student loan, they think harder about the course that they are studying and how useful it will be to them in later life. When courses were free students perhaps studied what they enjoyed or were interested in without thinking about where their future lay. However, now they are paying themselves, they are thinking more about getting value for money from their course. They want to choose one which they think will give them the best skills that they need for getting a job and so many are now more inclined to pick a vocational degree rather than other subjects.

It is worth remembering though that a student loan is not really a loan in the normal sense. Firstly you only have to start paying it back once you are earning above a certain amount of money. This means that if your degree does not lead to a well-paying job, this needn’t be a big worry with regards to the loan repayments, as you will not have to make them. With the loan being written off after thirty years, you may find that you will only have to pay back a small percentage of it anyway. It also has no effect on your credit score and so will not affect your future borrowing unless they take your disposable or net income into account, as the repayments are taken out of your tax code. This is only likely to happen with a mortgage anyway.
It is worth thinking about whether you will pass the course or not. You will certainly not get good value for money if you do not pass. If you choose to do a vocational course that may not be a subject that you are excited about or so good at, there is more of a risk that you will not pass. There could also be the risk of your dropping out. This could be more problematic as you will be expected to start making your loan repayments as soon as you drop out and this could be tricky if you do not manage to get a job very quickly. It may feel bad having to make loan repayments too when you have no qualification to show for it. If you do not pass the course you will certainly not be getting value for money.

It is worth considering what career you actually want and which degree will be best for that and then thinking about whether it will be flexible should you change your mind. You may know exactly what you want to do and have been set on it for a long time and so think that there is no way that you will change your mind, then you should be fine. However, a lot of students have a hard time deciding what they want to do and may change their mind after they have qualified or even before they have qualified. This can make things difficult unless it is possible to change a course part the way through. Therefore a more general qualification could be a better option in this situation.

It is worth noting that some graduate jobs do not require a specific degree anyway and so as long as the course is completed and passed, whether it is a vocational qualification or not will make no difference. However, it can be worth looking into what careers are available as a result of getting certain degrees so that you have a better idea of how useful they will be at the end.

Deciding on a career and a degree course can be very difficult and with the added factor of having to pay for the course as well. If you really cannot decide then it could be a good idea to do some work experience first. Try doing something in the field that you want to go in to and then you will get a better idea of whether it is the right career for you. If you make a good impression you may even be able to work part-time while studying to cover some of the costs or you may be able to get the company to cover some of the coast, particularly if they are large company.

Should you Borrow Money to Start a Business?

If you are starting your own business then you may find that they will be a lot of costs. It all depends on what you are doing but you will need to think about a website and marketing or most businesses and then some will need stock, premises, staff and other things as well. Even a small business providing a service will have some start-up costs and a larger retailer or wholesaler will have a lot more. You may feel that the only way to get started is to get a business loan, but is this the right answer and is it worth the risk?

You may be in a situation where you cannot start your business until you have the cash to do so. This could be a smallish amount and it may be wise to take a bit of time to save up while you are finalising your business ideas and not borrow money. This is because if you do borrow money you will start with extra expenses that you may be better off without. You will have loan repayments to have to make as well as all of the other spending commitments that go with running a business. Loans are expensive as well and so you will have that additional cost on top of everything else. It is worth thinking about how you think that you will manage those loan repayments on top of all of your other business costs and whether it is worth waiting a while to start the business while you save up the money that you need so that you can avoid having that debt to pay off in the future as well as the additional cost.

The above idea could work if you do not need that much money and you know that you will be able to save up for it in a few months or a year. However, if you feel that you have no way of saving up enough money and cannot start the business without a loan, then you may have no choice but to borrow. You will need to put together a business plan for the lender, so that they can decide whether they think that they wish to invest in your business. This will also help you to look ahead and think about how you expect it to do and what money you expect to come in. You need to be realistic though. Not only will the lender be experienced enough to see through overly optimistic business plans, you need to be fair to yourself as well. You need to accept that you may not be able to pay yourself for a long time and that there may be more costs than you expect and less income. Although this may seem rather pessimistic and not the positive approach that is needed for a successful business, it can be wise to plan for the worst. By all means expect the best, but if you have a plan if things do not go as expected, you will be able to be confident that you can cope. Consider what might happen if the business does not make enough to cover costs and whether you will have some money that you can fall back on to help you out. If you have another earner in your household they may be able to help you out but if everyone is invested in the business then it could make things very difficult.

So when you are considering whether to borrow money you need to decide firstly whether you really need it or can manage without it. Then you need to consider whether you can afford the repayments. Try to think about what might happen if the business does not make enough money to cover the cost and how you will manage. It is worth thinking beyond your business plan and imagining what could happen in the worst case scenario and how you might cope, to make sure that you have plans for this as well. It is worth remembering that borrowing money is a risk and even if it is a business loan you will still be responsible for paying it back even if the business goes bankrupt.