FROM reclaiming mis-sold PPI to checking for missed benefits – households could be owed thousands of pounds they don’t know about.
To help you track down this lost cash we’ve put together ten top tips to ensure you don’t lose out.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Check if you’re owed thousands from mis-sold PPI
If you’ve had a loan, credit card, store card, catalogue account, overdraft or car finance deal in the past 30 years you may have been mis-sold PPI.
PPI stands for payment protection insurance – it covers repayments on your loans if you’re unable to make them yourself because you’ve lost your job or you’re too sick to work, for example.
But millions were mis-sold it as they were told they had to take it out to get a loan or they were sold it even though they were self-employed and wouldn’t have been covered.
A recent ruling even means that you’ve been mis-sold to if your lender took more than 50 per cent of your PPI cost as commission without telling you.
Consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com says people are often owed thousands and the largest claim it’s ever seen is a whopping £175,000.
But you only have until August 29 2019 to submit a claim.
For more information, see our guide to what is PPI and how to make a claim.
2. You could reclaim £500 to £1,000 from mis-sold payday loans
Complaints about payday lenders have soared by a “startling” 130 per cent with some lenders’ behaviour being slammed as “unacceptable”.
But you could be owed your money back from a payday lender if a loan is deemed to be unaffordable.
This typically means you were rolled onto new loans as soon as you’d paid one off or you were lent more cash even though you were struggling to repay your existing debts.
DebtHacker.co.uk is a completely free tool that will help you to claim your money back. It says it’s reclaimed £7million covering more than 15,000 complaints.
Sara Williams, who runs the Debt Camel blog and is a debt adviser at charity Citizens Advice, says compensation payouts from Wonga, for example, have typically been between £500 and £1,000 – although some could get a lot more.
3. Are you getting the benefits you’re entitled to? You could be missing £10,000 a year
Households collectively failed to claim over £10billion worth of benefits in the 2016/17 financial year, according to Government figures.
That’s made up of £2,500 in pension credit, £3,000 on housing benefit, and £4,500 on income support or employment support allowance.
And these are only the four major benefits so the amount you’re missing out on could be much higher.
You can use free online calculators to check if you’re missing out on vital support.
4. Families could be losing out on £2,000 in tax-free childcare
More than 1million families are missing out on tax-free childcare worth up to £2,000 a year per child, new figures from HMRC show.
Tax-free childcare replaced the Government’s childcare vouchers scheme, which closed to new applicants on October 5 2018.
The scheme is available to working parents each earning at least the national minimum wage or living wage for 16 hours a week and less than £100,000.
To claim, kids need to be 11 or under or 16 and under if they’re disabled.
If you’re eligible, you get £2 for every £8 you pay towards childcare.
Check out our guide to what tax-free childcare is, how to apply, and who is eligible.
5. Flight delayed or cancelled – you could be owed £522 per person
If your flight from an EU airport or to an EU airport on an EU airline is delayed by more than three hours or cancelled you could be due compensation of up to €600 (£522).
The crucial factor is that the delay or cancellation needs to be the airline’s fault – so crew shortages count but bad weather doesn’t.
To claim, you need to contact your airline which you can do using Resolver’s free online complaints tool.
For more information, see out guide on How to claim compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
6. Save £1,000 a year by checking you’re paying the right council tax
New figures from the Valuation Office Agency show that 31 per cent of people who challenged their council tax band in 2018/19 saw their bills fall as a result.
The problem with banding dates back to 1991, when the new council tax system was launched and the Government needed to value every property in the UK.
The valuations were done quickly and not very well – meaning you could be paying more council tax than your neighbour, even though you live in the exact same sized property.
Read our guide to find out how to challenge your council tax bill to find out if you could save thousands.
Also check if you’re eligible for a council tax discount. Tens of thousands of people with a severe mental impairment, for example, could be missing out on a 100 per cent cut.
7. Dig out Premium Bond prize wins of up to £10,000
There are £61million worth of Premium Bond prizes that still haven’t been claimed, including five worth £100,000.
Thousands of winning prizes have also been lost in the post.
Bond holders can check if they’ve won by downloading the prize checker app and typing in their unique Premium Bond number.
If you don’t know this number, you can use your NS&I number found on any corresponding letters to find it by logging into your account and going to the “account details” page.
Those that don’t have either of these numbers to hand can call NS&I on 08085 007 007 to ask for a replacement bond record to be sent to you which will include your Premium Bond number, or use the NS&I’s tracing service.
8. Uncover hundreds in lost accounts
My Lost Account is a free service that reunites you with lost bank accounts and savings accounts.
There’s no figure on how much you could be owed as it will vary from person to person but it could be hundreds or even thousands.
Also, nearly 2million Child Trust Funds have never been touch – check out our guide to find out if you kids have one.
9. Find secret pensions worth thousands
The Government estimated back in 2016 that there was around £400million in unclaimed pension savings.
It’s easy to see how this can happen when you move job and lose track of your workplace savings.
But you can use the Government’s free Pension Tracing Service to find out whether you have a missing pension and how much it’s worth.
In one case, the Government reports that a user reclaimed a whopping £10,000 pension.
10. Claim £1,200 free cash from Help to Save
Around 3.5million Brits on Universal Credit are missing out on up to £1,200 free cash by not taking advantage of a Government saving account.
For every £1 you save in a Help to Save account, the Government will top it up by 50p.
If you put in the maximum of £2,400, your cash will be boosted by £1,200 bringing your total savings up to £3,600.
You can apply or find out that you’re eligible via the HMRC website or app.
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