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Money tips brought to you by World Remit

MONEY MATTERS: WorldRemit share their best financial tips with our readers

THIS WEEK Claire Walsh offers tips on moving to the UK:

RELOCATING TO THE UK

Relocating to a new country can be both exciting yet challenging at the same time. There’s so much to consider before you’re up and running. Claire Walsh – an independent financial adviser and Head of Advice at Unbiased.co.uk – shares her five financial tips for those relocating to the UK.

Open a bank account

Claire suggests that instead of waiting to open a bank account in the UK, talk to your bank at home first. Many banks will have links with UK banks, so you could get an account open before you even arrive in the UK.

If this is not an option, once in the UK, visit a number of banks on the high street to find the one that’s best for you. They will all have different criteria for opening an account, but typically will want to see proof of address (utility bill or tenancy agreement) and proof of ID.

Keep an emergency fund aside

Claire really recommends holding back three months’ worth of spending money as an emergency fund. Funds that can be used to pay rent, for food or bills, should something unforeseen happen.

Build your credit rating

If you want to take out a mortgage, loan or even mobile phone contract in the UK, you’ll need to build up a credit rating. So how do you do this? If you’re a commonwealth citizen, you can join the electoral role. Or you can set up direct debits to be paid from your bank account or take out a credit card.

However, Claire gives a word of warning on credit cards. She says that it’s important to repay the balance in full each month to avoid getting into debt. If you don’t repay the balance, you risk incurring expensive interest payments.

Buy a property and get a mortgage

Claire says that if you’re staying in the UK for some time you may well want to get on the property ladder and buy a home. This will probably entail getting a mortgage. Here are a few things to consider about mortgages:

• Banks will look at your credit rating and whether you’ve paid outstanding bills such as mobile phone or credit card

• You need proof of a steady and secure income stream

• Banks can typically lend up to 4 times annual earnings

• Banks will usually only lend up to 80% or 90% of the value of a property, depending on individual circumstances.

Join an employer pension scheme

All employers in the UK are now obliged to provide an employee pension scheme. Claire tells us that it’s a great way to save towards retirement. Your contributions are deducted from your wages and your employer adds to your pension pot, too. So the pot can build up quite quickly.

Claire finishes by saying that for the best advice on mortgages, investments and pensions, it’s best to get the very latest information and advice from an Independent Financial Adviser.

For more money tips, visit: www.facebook.com/worldremit

Stay tuned for next week’s edition on workplace benefits!

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