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Pension Credits 'Can Help Consumers Pay Off Debts'

Oct 13, 2007
Taking full advantage of the pension credit scheme could see older people handle their finances with greater ease, it has been suggested.

According to a spokesperson from Age Concern, claiming the maximum amount of pension credits they are entitled to can make a "massive difference" in retirees' quality of life. And by receiving extra money on a regular basis the representative suggested that such people could find themselves in a much more favourable financial position, which in turn may help them to service demands on their spending such as utility bills, personal loans and care expenses. Meanwhile, the charity spokesperson stated that consumers who are unaware that they have missed out on money could be able to access "back-dated payments" providing them with "tens or hundreds of much-needed extra pounds per week".

She said: "This can help to end the stress of finding it difficult to make ends meet. Claiming benefits helps many pensioners to pay their bills, buy better food, help pay off debts, pay for care, put money aside for emergencies and be able to afford small luxuries that make a big difference."

Although she reported that the introduction of the scheme has helped "lift many pensioners out of poverty", the Age Concern official asserted that there are still millions of older people who are missing out on benefits to which they are entitled. Consequently, it was suggested that more work needs to be done in simplifying the system to make claiming easier, with the creation of an automatic payments process additionally advised. Meanwhile, the provision of more information and help in languages other than English was also recommended.

The news comes as research carried out by the charity reveals that six out of ten older people are discouraged from claiming for their benefits as a result of a complex tax system. In turn the charity claims that this has led to some 2.5 billion pounds going unclaimed. The spokesperson also pointed out that some consumers are embarrassed about making a claim, dislike the fact the scheme is means-tested or may just be unaware they are eligible to receive money.

Even after receiving pension credits, should they be eligible to do so, older people who find that they are struggling to service various demands on their finances may wish to consider opting for a low-rate personal loan for debt consolidation purposes, in which they may be able to pay off numerous debts quickly and so leave them with more disposable income at the end of each month.

Such a product could be welcomed by retirees, as recent figures by Scottish Widows show the average person who has given up work owes some 38,000 pounds on their mortgage. In addition, a third of older people are indicated as being some 5,900 pounds in the red through personal loans, credit cards and other types of "short-term debts". Consequently, Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development for the firm, claimed that those approaching retirement, who still owe money on their mortgage, should consider how they will be able to manage their finances when they go on a reduced income, with a consolidation loan one possible way of providing such help with spending.
About the Author
Tom Dawson writes for Essentially Home Loans where visitors can apply for secured loans online, we also specialise in bad credit loans for UK residents. Visit Today: http://www.essentiallyhomeloans.co.uk
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