Richard Branson’s Virgin brand is supposed to pride itself on treating its customers right. Whether it lives up to it in practice is open to question, but I was shocked to see what I suspect is a deliberate attempt by the Virgin Atlantic credit card to befuddle consumers into signing up to its marketing, effectively a spammer’s...
Over the last year the regulator has introduced stringent affordability rules on mortgage lending. These check all of your incomings and outgoings to see if you can repay not just at today’s rate but at rates of 6% or 7%. The laudable aim is to try and robustly protect you from overcommitting in the event of an...
Last week we launched the MSE Big Winter Switch Event – a collective switch where we’ve used the huge user base of this site to negotiate what are mostly cheaper than the cheapest energy tariffs. While all the deals are hot, by far the hottest compared to its peers is the Green Tariff, yet while the event...
It starts with something soft. You get 20% off at your favourite shop. It’s so easy, you feel like doing it again, this time perhaps a code-stack or a bit of extreme couponing. Before you know it, you’re hooked and every element of your financial life is being attacked to cut costs – mortgage, credit card, PPI...
These days a very common method to build a customer base for service industries, whether it’s Netflix, credit monitoring services or even Graze food boxes, is the ‘month’s free subscription’. The obvious reason why companies do this is the apathy dividend – in other words, the hope that they’ll gain as people simply forget to cancel for...
While I was getting the lift to the tube over the weekend, I spotted a payday lender advert on the wall. I always scan these things to see how they try and sell their costly wares, and to check out the APR, but this time I couldn’t see it. I looked at the small print. Nope it...
I was mulling today about my grandmother who is now in her early 90s. A few years ago, before her dementia sadly progressed so far as to make this issue redundant, she would constantly call me after a salesman had come to her door, asking me if she should switch to their product. When I asked her...
It’s university application time. Hundreds of thousands of potential students across the country are deciding on their top pick institutions and courses. Many will have been on open days and been impressed by the facilities of the high powered institutions that could change their lives. I’m a huge fan of university education – I think for many...
This morning a nice lady approached me to ask a quick question about her mortgage. She said that thankfully, her finances were in a good state and she had a cheap variable rate mortgage, so she was considering cutting her mortgage term to be able to clear the mortgage much more quickly. On the surface this is...
In August I blogged that I was going to fund a radical pilot scheme to get financial triage into foodbanks with the Trussell Trust. The idea is that when people are asking for food, it’s a great time to try and help them manage their money and see what help is available – so hopefully the trip...
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26 September 2023
11 September 2023Update September 2017: It’s eight years since I first braved this subject, expecting a snowstorm of protest. Instead, year after year more join in, like Julia who recently tweeted me, “@MartinSLewis, finally took your advice and told my family I can’t afford Christmas presents. What a weight off my mind. Thank you.” One year even the Archbishop of...
4 September 2023The 2023 academic year is about to start, and it'll see the biggest shake-up to student finance in England for a decade. The changes are both subtle and massive. On the surface they look like a tweak, in practice they will increase the eventual cost of going to university by over 50% for many typical graduates.