There are some big changes coming up in February that could affect your bank balance.
From rate hikes to soaring energy bills, there are some important dates to add to your schedule next month.
Bills are expected to continue rising this year and several major announcements will be made in February.
This includes information on how much your energy bills are going to increase by this year and some mobile phone tariff increases.
There will also be changes to Universal Credit for terminally ill applicants.
In the meantime, an important deadline is approaching for consumers who have missold payday or doorstep loans.
They have just weeks to claim compensation that could be worth hundreds of pounds.
We explain what financial changes are coming in February and how they could affect your wallet.
Bank of England interest rate decision – 3 February
The Bank of England is preparing for a rate hike this week after voting to raise rates in December.
The bank hiked rates to 0.25% late last year for the first time since August 2018.
Its monetary policy committee will meet on Thursday to vote on whether to hike interest rates a second time.
Rate hikes are bad for anyone with debt — especially if you’re not tied to a fixed rate.
Credit cards, overdrafts, and mortgage rates could all be affected.
However, a rise would be good for savers who can get improved interest rates on savings accounts and ISAS.
Energy price cap – February 7th
The energy price cap limits how much suppliers can charge for standard tariffs, and it’s set to rise this year.
It is reviewed every six months, with the next update scheduled for February 7th.
Millions of households have moved away from cheap fixed rates when their previous providers went bust, meaning they are protected by the price cap.
However, the ceiling is expected to rise from £1,277 to £1,900 for an average household.
That means millions of Brits will be paying an extra £600 a year on energy bills when the new limit is introduced in April.
Universal Credit rule change – February 15th
Universal Credit claimants must agree to take certain steps in order to receive their benefit payments—this is known as the claimant obligation.
From February 15, terminally ill people will not have to show they are taking specific actions to receive their payments.
Those who currently receive benefits under the special rules for incurable diseases are exempt from looking for work.
However, they are not automatically released from other obligations of the applicant.
That will change next month, meaning those nearing the end of their lives won’t have to meet specific goals to receive their payments.
Last year it was also announced that terminally ill patients would have expedited access to services.
Applications from applicants in their last year of life will be given priority.
Previously, these rules only applied to people with a life expectancy of no more than six months.
O2 raises prices – February 17th
The retail price index will be released on February 17th – which might be of interest to you if you are an O2 customer.
The network uses the index to set its prices, adding an additional 3.9% to the RPI rate announced in February.
Other companies have already revealed how much phone and broadband bills will increase from April.
BT, EE and Vodafone raise prices by up to 9.3% in April – that’s up to an extra £74 each year.
These companies calculate their prices by adding 3.9% to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January.
The CPI is a measure of inflation and hit 5.4% earlier this month.
Deadline for misselling credits – February 28th
Consumers who have missold loans from Satsuma or Provident have until the end of the month to file a claim for compensation.
More than four million payday and home loan customers could be entitled to a refund — even if they’ve already paid it back.
Some Provident and Greenwood doorstep loans, Satsuma payday loans, and Glo guarantee loans were sold to cash-strapped borrowers who could not afford them.
If you took out a loan from one of these companies between April 6, 2007 and December 17, 2020, you could receive a payout.
There are just weeks to claim a share of a £50million compensation pot as the application window closes at the end of February.
You’re unlikely to get back the full amount owed – but your refund could still be worth hundreds of pounds.
Bad grades could also be erased from your borrowing.
Submit your application before 5 p.m. on February 28.
visit scheme.providentpersonalcredit.com or call 08000 568 93 to make a claim.
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