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Fergus will be back on the John Beattie Show on BBC Radio Scotland on Wednesday just after the 1pm news with some great tips to help organise your money and understand your consumer rights. This week he'll be looking at the best way to spring clean your finances at the beginning of a new tax year. Catch up on previous shows here

Moneysucks for musicians

Have a look at the first part of our new series on how musicians can best maximise and protect their income from their own words and music.

Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.

It looks as though credit cards companies are up to their old tricks of increasing the credit limits on our credit cards without asking us, and perhaps doing it jut as we approach our old limit and are therefore slightly more susceptible to the promise of a little extra cash to spend.
To make matters worse Citizens Advice reckon that nearly twenty percent of people who are already struggling to meet existing credit commitments have had their limits increased without asking for it.

This is unacceptable and it’s clear that lenders are not doing enough, if in fact that re actually doing anything, to check the credit stats of their cardholders before implementing increases on their credit limits.

Credit is at an all-time high at the moment and coupled with the fact that prices are growing faster than wages, and have been for a number of years now, we are seeing more and more consumers facing serious debt issues.
Tens of thousands of consumers now use credit cards on a regular basis to pay monthly food bills, electricity and gas bills, and to but new clothes for their families. It’s an increasing spiral of debt that is not helped by an ever increasing line of credit that could take decades to repay if cardholders only ever pay minimum monthly payments.

Consumers can take action to refuse increases in credit limits when they are notified on them, but that is genuinely difficult to do when it seems that it is the only solution t bills that might otherwise not get paid.
So lenders have a part to play as well and if they don’t take the time and make the effort to assess their borrowers financial situation into account on a voluntary basis before extending further lines of credit then perhaps the regulator should force them to take action and ban these ad-hoc increases unless customers ask for them and, following thorough credit checks, they are seen to be justified.

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It looks as if the Financial conduct Authority might be about to take action to help so-called 'mortgage prisoners', borrowers who have loans with companies that are no longer trading.
60 Second Tips

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