Simon Read: Information is power. And it's in the wrong hands when people are cold-called by companies that know they're in debt

In debt? You're likely to be targeted by unscrupulous companies that hope to profit from your misfortune. They may try to pretend to be your friend by offering what they call "help" – but almost certainly that help will come with a cost and leave you worse off than you were before they got in touch.

Simon Read: A couple of decades late, the bankruptcy threat recedes

I'm pleased to report some good news this week for debtors. It's going to become much harder to push people into bankruptcy.

Coalition grants respite to debtors

People struggling with debt received a boost yesterday with the announcement that the threshold for forcing debtors into bankruptcy was being raised from £750 to £5,000.

Will a credit card balance transfer work for you?

The battle between credit card companies vying to offer the longest 0 per cent term for balance transfers shows no sign of tailing off, with the launch of yet another high-profile deal.

Simon Read: Your country needs you ... to go massively into debt

Cynicism is an important part of any journalist's outlook. I gave a talk at my son's school last month about careers and the jobs market. There were one or two other dads and former pupils doing the same.

Simon Read: Credit card companies are keeping you in debt with tricks like 0 per cent deals

Credit card companies have largely escaped the criticism heaped on the likes of payday lenders for fuelling Britain's debt problem. But they are just as culpable and predatory as the short-term lenders.

Five questions on: Credit cards crackdown

Who's cracking down on credit cards?

Money Insider: Time to get your Christmas (credit) cards

With less than four weeks until Christmas, if you're thinking of taking out a new credit card to help ease the financial burden, you'll need to get your skates on.

How not to go into the red over Christmas

Video: Simon Read offers some advice on ensuring you enjoy Christmas without the financial hangover

Five questions on: Overdrafts

They're all expensive, aren't they?

Simon Read: It's time lenders stopped flummoxing us with fees

Anyone who's taken out a mortgage lately will have been charged a fee. Fair enough, you might think; lenders have plenty of administrative paperwork to sort out – why shouldn't they charge for that?

NatWest is taking a stand against payday loan brokers

Payday loans are controversial enough but now there's a new shark in town: the payday loan broker.

Nationwide Building Society launches kids account - but it's not what you think

A current account for kids? That’s what the Nationwide Building Society has launched today. But before you raise your hands in horror, consider the benefits, for there are some.

Simon Read: Payday loans that are marketed at kids? Why not? They're already brainwashed into wanting products

The first payday loan shop especially for children opens in Finsbury Park in north London on Monday. The store, which offers kids advances on their pocket money at rates as low as 5,000 per cent APR, says it hopes to attract young people from across the capital to take advantage of its wide range of credit products.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Simon Read: The markets might not be calm but you should be

Don't panic, it’s a wise idea to check investments regularly to ensure they are on target for your hoped-for returns

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