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Five money questions you asked us to help with

In the last year, the team at our contact centre has answered nearly 86,000 telephone calls and 30,000 webchats.

They do a terrific job day-to-day dealing with the money worries of the general public, helping on a huge range of topics.

We've taken a look at some recent queries which reflect common issues our team help with. Plus, we've suggested some further reading on the website if you're worried about the same issues as our callers.

I've built up quite a lot of debt…

"Robert" asked “I’ve built up quite a lot of debt and I’m looking for a solution. At the moment my debts are over £10,000, but it’s not going down as I keep having to borrow to pay off the debts. I’d like to get a larger loan to pay-off everything, but my credit score is really bad.

Debt is a major problem in the UK and conversations like this are not unusual. The most important thing is not to bury your head in the sand. Debt problems are not going to go away and tackling them earlier can make things a lot easier.

I don't know where to start with pensions…

"Harriet" asked “I’m already paying into my workplace pension and I’d like to start paying into a private pension as well, but I don’t know where to start.”

Saving for your retirement is really important, but the State Pension alone is unlikely to be enough. Paying into your workplace pension is a really good place to begin and a sensible starting point for new pension savers. But, it is also worth looking at other pension investments to give your retirement pot a boost. 

What benefits can I get?

"Zara" asked “My husband is disabled and I’m his carer. What benefits would I be entitled to?

Looking after a sick or disabled relative can put a real strain on family finances, so it’s important to look at the allowances, credits and other help which might be available to you. You will need to apply for these yourself, so it’s worth talking to an organisation like the charity Turn2Us, who can assist you in this process.

I'm confused about mortgage fees…

"Oscar" asked “I want to buy a house with my wife and I know how much I can afford for a mortgage, but I’m confused about all the extra fees I’m expected to pay.”

If you’re buying a house it’s easy to only think about the deposit and mortgage repayments. But there are a number of other costs and fees which can really add to the price. Stamp Duty’s the most obvious of these, but there are a range of others you need to be aware of.

My bank is closing down…

"Claire" asked “I have a current account with Norwich and Peterborough Building Society and I’ve just found out they’re closing all their accounts. I’d like to know what to do and get some advice on how to choose a new bank account.”

All 100,000 current accounts with Norwich and Peterborough will close on 31 August 2017. The good news is the Current Account Switch Service means you can change bank for free in just seven days. However, before you make the switch, you need to find the right account for you.

You can get in contact with the Money Advice Line on 0800 138 7777.

All calls and webchats are confidential so names have been changed to protect callers' identity.

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  • John Just / 29 August

    I have a small private Pension,they said I cannot take a lump sum ? I thought that the Goverment said we could now if we wanted too?