• Experts

    Has changing my surname after getting married given me a poor credit record?

    I got married last year and am currently in the process of changing my surname across all of my accounts.This is a rather lengthy process, with a lot of forms and admin, and at the moment half of my accounts are in one name and half are in the new surname.I didn’t think much of this but when I recently switched energy providers, I was initially rejected when using my new married name. After getting married and changing my surname, I was then rejected for an energy accountI explained the situation and then went back to using my previous name ...

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  • Experts

    What happens to credit card debt when you die - does it end with your life or land on your loved ones?

    What happens to debts when we die is something most of us don’t really want to have to consider.But it’s a topic that causes much confusion, both in life and after death. And it's one that can have a huge impact on those we leave behind.We asked an expert at debt charity Step Change what happens to your credit card debts if you die and whether your family members inherit them from you. What happens to your debt if you die? Credit card companies will take payment from your estate after you dieAndrew Shaw, debt advice policy coordinator at StepChange ...

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  • Experts

    Why hasn't the Isa limit risen with inflation this year – and what will it be for 2019/20?

    I am looking at maxing out my Isa limit ahead of the 5 April deadline and was wondering why the £20,000 sum didn't rise with inflation this financial year?I saw that Junior Isas are rising with inflation but the general Isa limit isn't.Additionally, I like to future plan and was wondering when the 2019/20 Isa limit will be revealed? Isa limits: This year the amount that can be saved in a tax-free wrapper hasn't changedLee Boyce, consumer affairs editor of This is Money, replies: The first question is one that has been frequently asked by our readers both via e-mail ...

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  • Experts

    I'm buying a flat with my girlfriend and she's taking the mortgage, with my mum giving us the deposit - will we get a home loan?

    My girlfriend and I are looking to buy a flat together in the next few months but our financial situation is a bit unusual.I’m an entrepreneur and have started several businesses over the years. The last one was not a success and I ended up having to declare bankruptcy 18 months ago.I’m now back on my feet and newly self-employed, but my girlfriend will be applying for the mortgage on her own.However, I’m putting the deposit in as my mum has agreed to give me £30,000 towards it.She lives in Spain, so the money will be coming from there.We’re not ...

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  • Experts

    Can I refuse to work if it drops below a certain temperature in the building? Our employer is just telling us to get on with it…

    I work in a warehouse with around a dozen people. It is cold in there at the best of times, but this week it has been unbearable.We have a few patio-style heaters dotted around and have been closing the main loading doors as much as possible, but it is ridiculously cold inside, even with thermals, coats, gloves and extra socks.A few of my colleagues have simply downed tools and said it is too cold to work – but our employer is telling us to get on with it and that it hasn't shut down in the decades it's been in ...

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  • Experts

    My grandmother's house rose in value between her death and its sale, do we have to declare our capital gain even though it's less than the tax-free sum?

    We recently sold my grandmother’s house after her death, which was left half to my aunt and half to me and my siblings.Due to the time between her death and the date of the sale of the property there was a rise in value. After taking into account a legacy also left to us, each of the four grandchildren owned 14 per cent of the property, while my aunt owned 44 per cent.There was a capital gain of £10,500 each on the 14 per cent stake owned by the grandchildren, which is below the annual capital gains tax allowance threshold ...

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  • Experts

    Can I get my smart meter removed and will it cost me anything to do so?

    I've moved into a property with a smart meter, but I don't want it and I would prefer to give my own readings.How can I get it removed and will it cost me anything to do so? I don't want a smart meter but the house I've moved into has one, can I get it removed? Rebecca Rutt, of This is Money, replies: Smart meters are currently being installed in households across the country.They are designed to be fitted to your standard gas and electricity meter and send information directly to your energy supplier about your energy usage.This should then eradicate ...

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  • Experts

    Will my sister who cared for our poorly dad be made homeless after he moves to a care home?

    My sister moved into my parents' home nine years ago to help my mum care for my dad. My dad has dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's.My mum sadly passed away last December, which left only my sister (and her two daughters) to look after dad.My dad has since (due to gangrene) has had his left leg amputated. He now needs 24 hours' care and has to be put into a residential care home.My dad has no savings but owns his own house. Will we have to sell the house to pay for his care or does my sister have any rights ...

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  • Experts

    I owned a home briefly years ago, do I qualify as a first-time buyer to avoid stamp duty and how would I get caught out?

    I am buying my first home and was delighted when the Budget revealed a stamp duty cut for first-time buyers up to £300,000.I initially thought that this would save me and my boyfriend £5,000, but then saw that I don't qualify, as although I think of myself as a first-time buyer and don't own a property now, I did briefly own one about seven years ago that I sold at a loss and have been renting ever since.My boyfriend has never owned a property before and we are buying together, so do we qualify as first-time buyers as a couple?If ...

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  • Experts

    From tax implications to damage cover: The five questions you should ask yourself before letting out your property on Airbnb

    Got the answers: Nicole Rogers from DAS LawAirbnb is fast becoming the preferred method of accommodation amongst leisure and business travellers. For Airbnb hosts it can be an easy way of making some extra cash.However, recently there have been a number of cases where properties have been damaged by guests, people being injured at Airbnb properties and hosts left with a lot of clearing up to do.Here Nicole Rogers from DAS Law answers the most important questions for existing Airbnb hosts and those thinking of renting out their properties.If your property or belongings are damaged or stolen, will your ...

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  • Experts

    ASK TONY: Help me get back 187.50 in Nectar points after my Sainsbury's vouchers expired

    I changed 37,500 Nectar points into Sainsbury s vouchers worth 187.50 just before Christmas last year.The Post Office special delivery envelope shows Sainsbury s tried to deliver them on Christmas Eve to my office address, which was shut. I eventually received them on January 6.I put them away to spend later as I don t have a Sainsbury s nearby and forgot all about them until June 20.I spotted the use by date was June 14 so contacted Nectar, which said I could not have the credit back but that I should contact Sainsbury s, which would help me use ...

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  • Experts

    Why does NatWest offer overseas customers 25 times more interest on its easy-access savings account than the rate for those who live in Britain?

    I have an instant saver easy-access account with NatWest. It currently pays 0.01 per cent interest.When I looked around on the internet for better deals, I found that NatWest International is paying 0.25 per cent on its version of the instant saver account.I have tried to find out why the difference but have struggled to get an answer. The bank told me to register a complaint which could take 15 days to obtain an answer. G.W, via e-mail. Lower rate? NatWest instant saver offers me 0.01% interest - but the international version pays 0.25%Lee Boyce, consumer affairs editor at This ...

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  • Experts

    TONY HETHERINGTON: I was cold called by a firm involved in expensive watches and then invested 6k how can I tell if it s a share scam?

    P. J. writes: I was cold called by Incrementum Funding about buying shares in Paragon Time Trading Ltd, a business involved in expensive watches that was to be listed on the AIM market according to salesman Spencer George.An impressive email set out returns and other details, and I invested 6,000. Is this a share scam?It might have been better to ask this before parting with your cash. This is a high risk investment, and there are huge question marks over the sales company.There are innocent businesses with similar names, so let me make clear that you were contacted by IFRC ...

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  • Experts

    A fraudster spent 700 worth of my Nectar points in Argos and the scheme still hasn't refunded me - does it have a scam problem?

    I saved more than 700 worth of Nectar points over the years through regular shopping at Sainsbury's and BP.However, I was shocked to discover that 144,000 points have been redeemed in Argos, Slough, at the beginning of July. I telephoned Nectar immediately as the transaction was not made by me and nor had the card gone missing. Nectar sap: My points have been spent in a Slough branch of Argos - but don't understand howI was promised a refund and given a reference number - however after three follow-up calls and continuous promises of reimbursement and call backs I still ...

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  • Experts

    My daughter and her cousins inherited 10k each in trust - can we tap the funds early to pay university fees?

    My daughter and her cousins are coming into some money from their uncle s will. We re not sure how much yet but it s at least 10,000 each.The will says the money must be held in trust until they are 21. I don t really understand what that means.We d like to invest some of the money and save some in cash. Do we really need to pay a solicitor to set up trusts? How does it work? And is there a way of using some of the money before they are 21 to pay for university?Can you explain ...

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