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Five reasons to use an insurance broker

... rather than going direct to an insurer. 1. Customer service – Although the majority of direct insurers will provide good customer service, due to the volume of calls, most of them will be based in a large contact centre so the chances of you speaking to the same adviser each time is very slim. However, R K Shipman is office based so you can get the same great service time and time again from the same pe ...

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Six ways to make your graduate application count

Recent reports have suggested graduate prospects are at a ten-year high. And with more graduates in the market than ever before, competition for jobs is heating up. Firms are feeling considerably more confident about investing in their future talent than they did a few years ago and this has led to many ramping up their graduate recruitment plans. But with so many aspiring professionals out for the same rol ...

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Moving home? A look at mortgage assessment

Following new rules introduced in 2014, getting a mortgage is now harder and tougher than ever before. You will need to go through a thorough mortgage assessment process with your chosen mortgage lender- so if you are thinking of taking out a mortgage this year here are a few pointers to help you understand the process. Mortgage lenders must assess what level of monthly payments you can afford, so they carr ...

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Having a baby and moving home

Having a baby is a big step especially when you are also looking to move or buy your first home. If you are looking to extend your family and take out a mortgage here are some financial considerations to bear in mind. Child Benefit  Child benefit is no longer available to all families, if either you or your partner earns more than £50,000 you might not be eligible for some or all of the benefit. Child benef ...

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A quick guide to buying your first home

Buying your first home can be a daunting prospect, it’s likely to be the biggest purchase you will ever make – and for first time buyers it can seem scary. If you are looking to buy your first home then here are the 12 key stages – from getting a mortgage to getting your keys! 1. Firstly you need to talk to a mortgage advisor to find out whether you can get a mortgage (including a Help to Buy Mortgage) and ...

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Job hunting in the New Year

It’s that time of year when employers across the majority of sectors are considering investing and taking on new employees. As the global recession has cleared and the economy has improved, the job market has also been revitalised and hirers are actively looking for talented individuals. So with this in mind, what are the top tips for job hunting in the New Year? Get your CV up to scratch It can be tempting ...

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Dispelling the myths on recruitment

In recent years, the perception of the recruitment industry has changed drastically. It is now seen as a career of choice for many aspirational professionals and has largely moved away from the tainted image it once had. Despite this, however, there are still a number of misconceptions about the hiring arena. So what are they? I’ll spend all day cold calling This is perhaps one of the more common misconcept ...

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12 tips of Christmas… for the perfect graduate job

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It’s the time of year you spend with loved ones and eat far too much food. It is also the best time to start looking for a graduate scheme or internship. Make the most of your leisure time by researching into the best ways to find that all important graduate job. Write the perfect CV and learn how to handle graduate recruiters professionally. Here are our top 12 tips t ...

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Top tips for buyers moving to London

During my two years as a property writer for a national newspaper, my inbox was always crammed with questions from people on the brink of buying a home (and not just from first-timers). Often, they would ask the 'basic' questions that I just assumed everyone knew the answers to (it turns out they don't!) That's what prompted me to write by book – Property Uncovered. It's not a book for seasoned landlords or ...

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Personal injury claims

We’re all familiar with the term ‘compensation culture’ – the often strongly-held belief that people regularly make frivolous claims for accidents and push up the cost of everyone else’s insurance. In fact, new research from QualitySolicitors indicates 73% of people are judgmental of personal injury claimants and a further 60% feel ‘resentful’ that these claims mean their insurance premiums could go up. How ...

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How and why you should save for retirement

Are you one of the many people not putting money aside for retirement? Find out how, and why, you should save up for your prime When it comes to investing in a new, exciting venture such as buying a house, everyone errs on the side of caution. People ask themselves questions such as, ‘Am I getting the best deal on a mortgage?’ and ‘What sort of loan shall I take out?’ Others devote hours to research in orde ...

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WIN! £100s worth of shopping vouchers!

Make your money go further with £100s worth of shopping vouchers – and watch just how far your money goes! Even the most savvy money savers need a few tips sometimes, and the Making Money Go Further blog by Debt Free Direct is packed with inspiring ideas and useful advice to help you live more comfortably. You’ll find articles on everything from saying no to that New Year's gym membership, to managing your ...

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Wonderful winter savings!

From rising heating and electricity bills, to expensive Christmas decorations and presents, this time of year can be an expensive one. Even trying to entertain the kids while they're on their school holidays can rack up the costs – but fear not. Here are some great winter savings on decorations and food during the festive period. Home-made decorations Adorning the Christmas tree with gleaming and glittering ...

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“We’ve worked with people including Victoria Beckham, Ken Livingstone and Stevie Wonder”

THE BOSS of a Hertfordshire translation and interpreting company is aiming to dispel the commonly-held belief that working in the language industry is all about sitting in booths listening to dull political or legal debates and dealing with boring documents. Clare Suttie, 44, who runs Atlas Translations in St Albans, which deals with no less than 339 languages - including the most unheard of dialects such a ...

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Money, money, money

Whether it’s for university fees or a deposit for a first house, putting money aside for your children as early as possible is hugely beneficial – especially if the interest pays off. The financial pressures on today’s young adults are immense. Step forward a generation and along with uncertain future economic markets, it is inconceivable to think that today’s toddlers could well end up starting their young ...

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Equity release: what you should know before you cash in

Make sure you know the pros and cons before signing up for equity release. Equity release, for homeowners aged over 55, can be a great way to take a tax-free, cash lump sum or an income from the equity (value) your property has built up over the years – without needing to move house or sell up. There are many reasons you might want this extra money: three of the most common are to fund everyday living costs ...

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Are you saving enough for your future?

Your golden years are meant to be a time to focus on yourself, but seven million people aren’t putting away enough money. When it comes to investing in an exciting venture such as buying a house, everyone errs on the side of caution. You ask yourself ‘Am I getting the best deal on a mortgage?’ ‘What sort of loan shall I take out?’ You tend to devote hours to research in order to stretch your money as far as ...

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Have we reached the bottom of the interest rate cycle?

As we commented last month the Government’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed that the period of economic activity previously referred to as a recession that the UK plc experienced in the final quarter of 2011 and first quarter 2012 did not actually occur. Apparently the data has been revised and now suggests the economy did not actually decline but was merely stagnant, thereby avoiding two ...

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Debt vs. Savings

Splash out, save for a rainy day, or reduce debt to a trickle? Here’s a thought for you; could you ‘earn’ more by paying off any debts you have, rather than saving the money? The savings vs. debt debate is common enough, and the answer is never completely straightforward. In the end, it all comes down to what sort of debt you have, and what sort of interest you can expect to earn from your savings. How much ...

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Most common interview faux pas

Interviews can be a daunting experience for everyone, but don’t jeopardise your chances of landing a dream job by committing those common interview crimes. We should all be familiar with the basic interview rules: be on time, don’t chew gum and be prepared, but you'd be astounded at how many candidates manage to get it wrong. Read through our list of what NOT to do when it comes to job interviews and impres ...

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