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Rebellious Renters

You’re in your 20s and 30s. Holding down a job, but struggling with a toxic combo of ever-higher rents, rising costs of living and possibly student debt too. You don’t want to live at home forever but current house prices are brutal.

We can’t wave a magic wand but we can share some quick ways to get ahead and max out what you’re entitled to. The Government offers some free top-up cash for first-time buyers courtesy of the Help to Buy and Lifetime ISAs. Loved-up with another first-time buyer? Double cash.

Pensions probably feel a million miles away but if you have an employer they need to be paying into one for you – make sure you know what you’re due. And nothing’s private these days, not even your cash. Even if you’re starting from a low base, make sure your credit score looks as fit as it can. 

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OK Rebellious Renters 3

1That first flat - pipedream or potential?

What's it all about?

Deep down, you have a feeling that you’re being a bit screwed over by your landlord. And we all love our parents – well, most of us do anyway – but living under the same roof as them would make even Mother Theresa go on the rampage from time to time. How about your very own parachute plan to get you out of expensive rented accommodation or the B’n’B of Mum and Dad? 

There are 2 sorts of savings account designed to help first-time buyers with Government top-ups.

A Help to Buy ISA will offer first timers up to £3,000 free from the Government – a Lifetime ISA (LISA) could net you a higher bonus of up to £12,000. But there are strings attached to the LISA in the form of exit fees and no wriggle room if you change your mind.

There's also an age restriction on the LISA. Over 40? Sorry to deflate you further but you're too old. 

Finally the Help to Buy option is cash only. Lifetime ISAs offer you a stock market option which can pimp your returns over the longer-term but carries more risk too. 

Free government money!

  • 25% freebie government bonus for first time buyers
  • Lifetime ISAs let you save into the stock market as well as cash
  • Top Help to Buy pays 3% interest today
  • Lifetime ISA carries hefty exit fees - not for ditherers or the unsure

Read

We'll tell you in plain English what your choices are, run through the pros and cons, and suggest which of these might be the best option for you. 

Listen

Holly and Georgie discuss the differences between Help to Buy ISAs and Lifetime ISAs, and which one might be best for you.

2Credit Score - get it fit

What's it all about?

So it’s a catch 22 situation. You need a good credit file to get a mortgage approved. To get that, you need to demonstrate you’re a reliable borrower who can pay back debt on time. To do that, you need to have a history of borrowing and in order to get approval for credit…yes, you’ve guessed it…you need to have a good credit file!

So I bet you’re thinking; how the hell am I supposed to get around this? Well, you’ve gotta play the credit game. We show you three rules to having a well-fit credit score; they’re easier than you think.

Three credit score tips

  • Get on the electoral register - can be done online
  • Pay bills such as your mobile phone bill on time!
  • Consider a credit card for online purchases but pay it off!

Read

Debt is cheap, but you're going to need a good credit rating to get it. Our 2-page factsheet can help.

3Workplace Pension - free money from the boss

What's it all about?

Since April 2018 every employer had to sort out a pension for staff, paying in 2% of your salary. From 2019 they have to pay 3% of your salary into this. You have to pay in a % of your salary too unless you opt-out - try not to do this as you kiss goodbye to free money from your boss and the Government. Self-employed? Try and save into an ISA or a pension on a regular basis or you'll get left behind. Our Best Buys tell you who we like.

What are the numbers?

  • Since April 2018 your boss pays in 2%, so do you
  • This increases to 3% from your boss in 2019
  • The government pays in 20p for every 80p you do

Read

Our 2-page guide spells out the basics and just how much is involved.

Listen

Holly and Georgie discuss long term savings goals and how best to stash your cash for maximum benefit when you're saving hard for something big like a house.

Watch

Holly discusses the importance of having a pension, and how to get free money from the Government.

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