Your Loan is an Emergency!!!

Saving money to help pay back your loan can be a double-edged sword. While trying to find ways to live on less, wouldn’t it be much better if you didn’t have to struggle with anything but unnecessary loans or, even better, no loans at all? How would you feel if I told you that you can easily and effortlessly save anywhere from £200,000 to £1 million during your prime years (and past your prime too); money you could spend to live a great life free from mandatory work!

Think those sums are unimaginable? Inaccessible? Impossible to rack up? I bet that by the end of this beginner’s guide, you will reconsider. In fact, you will find out that your money can indeed work harder than you can! And, trust me, the more you sharpen your financial skills, the more your youth loans will seem like no big deal.

Believe it or not right now, getting rich is what I like to call “an avalanche process”. An avalanche starts small, and somewhat uncertain, but gradually gets bigger, faster, and more powerful. After some meters down the hill, snow accumulates faster than and faster, creating an even bigger snowball. Getting rich is exactly like that. It starts with baby steps and, before you know it, you run a 15-mile marathon without breaking a sweat. You will soon understand what this means…

Should You Starve to Get Out of Loans?

Absolutely not. We will not talk about clipping coupons to save half a buck on the newest O-Cedar Spin Mop and Bucket System, making a budget that forces us to save 10% of our income (and allows us to spend the rest of it guilty-free), or cutting up our credit cards.

No. I will also not talk about my personal struggle with loans and how much effort I put to get out of it. I mean, I was storing my spare change in a piggy bank when I was eight. Apparently, I could never let myself go out and spend more than I could afford to pay back at the end of the month!

Real life reports :

I have just paid off my stag-do thanks to oakam. I am just back from Tenerife and it was brilliant. I had to take out a loan to pay for it but it was so worth it. 

Kyle  McGhee– Readies

Kyle  McGhee– Readies

This unique perspective, though, for which I have my parents to thank, allows me to be able to see quite clearly things that other people living in this tremendously consumer-debt society cannot easily see. Please allow me to explain through some observations. Many people treat their loans as something they simply “work on” rather than an “our ass is on fire” situation. Let’s see some examples.

The Different Opinions About Debt

The University Friend

When I was still in uni, a lifelong friend of mine asked me to lend him some money to pay his uni fees. I transferred the money from my bank account and was left with merely enough money to cover my basic expenses for the academic year. However, I was not worried because I assumed that my friend would make repaying his loan as his top priority. So, I was sure I would have the balance paid back shortly.

The months passed and my friend went on living a normal university life that included lots of eating out and partying. His repayment process was delayed, but that didn’t seem to bother him much. In the end, of course, everything worked out fine because my friend was honourable. However, that taught me a lesson about the different ways people deal with their loans.

The Married Couple

On another occasion, I was visiting Mark and Jill, a married couple with whom I have been friends forever. Mark was showing me his new 4K Ultra HD TV and new Corsair ONE video gaming PC when Jill came home from her second, part-time job she had recently taken up to help repay some old personal debts faster. She was holding a bottle of wine and some take-out food.

You may think that the picture I just described is a typical Friday night. However, do you see that purchasing expensive gaming consoles, wines, take-out food, and TVs was a much more important consideration for Mark and Jill than paying off their laon? Jill thought that she was working two jobs to pay down loans, when, in fact, her second job was to pay for game consoles, wines, take-out food, and TVs.

The “Minimum Monthly Payments” Delusion

I receive many emails from people that are trying to develop their own money-saving strategies and debt-repayment processes. They often detail their debt situation, as well as spending and income situations. Most of the times, there is also a category for loan debt in their spreadsheets. More than often, I also see amounts for cable TV, entertainment, and the running and maintenance of more than one cars.

Part of the debt-section on their spreadsheets look pretty much like this:

Mortgage£90,000 (4.5% interest rate)
Loan £2500 (45% interest rate)
Credit Card 1£4900 (10.9% interest rate)

Followed by a comment like this:

We have cut down on going out to eat and Peter now bikes to work one or two times a week to save petrol on his car…”

Can you see the big issue in these cases? If not, you probably still feel that throwing yourself into unnecessary debt is not a big deal. So, let me make it a bit clearer for you.

Normally, this sort of debt should cause a reaction that reminds a mix of heart attack failure and a stroke!

Imagine the person whose debt we showed above about a month after they got that first credit card. They went out for dinner a few times, purchased a few tanks of gas, and bought some nice suits for the office. The bill climbed to £2200. When it came in the mail, they realised that they only had £1200 in the bank but that was OK because the “minimum payment” was only £140.

At this point, a deafening alarm bell should go off for every single person in this wide world. The response should be:

F*&K! I totally blew it and my spendings are more than my earnings! I must fix this NOW. So, no unnecessary spending from now on. I will get to and from work in the cheapest way possible and make sure I only eat home-cooked dinner instead of out. I also don’t need 2 more credit cards to pay back my debt; nor a budget. I just need to do NO extra spending until I repay all of my debt.

Note: If you come to this realisation several credit cards later, the emergency still applies; only to a greater degree.

Real life reports :

What isn’t acceptable, is the attitude and telephone banner of the two Advantis employees I had the misfortune of speaking with. I forgot to change an address, I didn’t run over someone’s pet or rob a bank. If the person on the other end of the phone refuses to pay, that’s when you should turn up the heat. What happened to courtesy?

Adam Astbury– Trustpilot

Adam Astbury– Trustpilot

Bottom line: If you borrow even £1 for something other than a profitable investment or your first house, you should pay that back the very next time you get money on your hands. If you want to get this over with quickly, do NOT:

  • space out your debt with monthly payments.
  • have a budget for entertainment or other such hogwash.
  • start a family
  • get a dog, or
  • go out for dinner and drinks with friends.

You got the idea. There will be plenty of time to do all these things later, when you don’t have DEBT hanging all over your head, weighing down on your shoulders.

Mistakes: Please Make…But Learn From Them!

Nobody is perfect. In fact, making mistakes is a valuable part of the learning process, especially if you make sure you learn by correcting the mistakes you make, rather than letting them overpower you.

Yeah, of course, you would say that” some beginners in personal finances will say now. “The point is that I am much less practised than you. My hubby loves watching football games on cable and I still like having a Starbucks latte every morning before I go to work, so I can’t cancel cable and can’t cut my lattes. Please stop giving me such a hard time. Can I just reduce my consumption gradually?

My dear friend…this is the WRONG ATTITUTE. Running a loan balance is depriving yourself of all the great things you should have. Every buck you pay in interest to the credit card company is slowly and meticulously stealing money away; money you could use to purchase more luxury items for yourself. Sadly, that money is gone forever. On top of that, that attitude is reducing your ability to buy luxury items for as long as you live.

Living a Posh Lifestyle…the Right Way!

If you absolutely need luxury products in your life, wouldn’t it much better if you made sure you got out of debt quickly so that you have money to afford more luxury purchases? You are throwing more than £4000 of your after-tax salary out of the window every year for interest payments due to credit card debts. Imagine how many pairs of shoes, lattes, gaming consoles, flights to dream destinations, and thousands of miles worth of petrol for your Crossover you could get with that money.

On top of everything else, if you get serious with personal finance, the interest savings can also help you reduce the years you need to work by some decades and ensure a good-quality retirement! Is that enough motivation to get started or not?

Your ..“Huge” Debts!

Trust me when I say that “No debt is insuperable (if you have a job)”. Sure, a £10,000, £60,000 or £220,000 debt is big measured against the cost of groceries. It certainly is not money to be wasted. However, since this is an early retirement guide, we are learning how to save much larger sums so that we can eventually live our lives without having to work around the clock until we are 65.

For the majority of us, this means somewhere between £400,000 and around £1 million. If you are just starting out with saving money and personal finances, you may find these sums inconceivable, even impossible to reach. Believe me…after a few years, you will find out that your reduced spending and investment returns will add, at least, an extra £100,000 every year.

Remember the “avalanche process” I talked to you about at the beginning of this guide? Now, you understand more clearly what I was trying to tell you, right?

Achieving Personal Finance Mastery

To obtain the high-level financial skills required to become rich and live the lifestyle you want in the coming years (and for the rest of your life), it is important to become debt-free. So, by all means, do get bolder about shaking it off of your shoulders.

Sure, you can choose not go for “sudden-death” and instead do it slowly. Just like you can lose 150 pounds by lifting a 10-pound dumbell 2 times a day while watching Sherlock and Doctor Who on TV. But, I suggest you put on your walking shoes and get down to business. Walk as much as you can. Three hours a day. Four hours a day. Six hours a day. As much as you can tolerate. Adopt a healthy eating regime and stick to it. Allow the forward process speed things up for you and you will soon reap the fruits of your labours. Likewise, the more efficient path to eliminate debt is to think loans as excess body fat you want to get rid off, well…YESTERDAY!

The more demanding the method you choose, the more (and faster) the benefits you will have. Every pound you decide not to spend unnecessarily builds your money-saving skill. It also teaches you how to spend your money more efficiently. Plus, every pound of debt you pay off, is a pound added to your bank account. In the long run, once you develop these skills, you never lose them. They are for life.

So, if you still have a loan, make it your top priority to repay that debt pronto. The sooner you start, the faster you will be in the position to be able to save for the financial independence you are longing for. When you are close to the finishing line, you can certainly take it easier. But, right now, you engines should run full speed.

Yes, you will need to make some sacrifices, but they will be for a short period of time. Trust me on this one. If your strategy is effective, you will soon find yourself out of any debt and free to start living the life you deserve. You may need to take on an extra job, go car-free for a while or enjoy only local travels, depending on your life situation, but you will be rewarded for your patience and determination to get the job done effectively.

Then, I will see you, my friend, at the next, more advanced, stage, where more magic happens!

Good Luck! Money Nerd

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These terms and conditions apply to all and anybody who uses the MoneyNerd Website or DebtNerd tool. By using the website and toll you agree to be bound by these terms. If you do not accept these terms, please do not use the website.

The term ‘you’ refers to the user or viewer of our website.




Privacy Policy

The Data Protection Act 1998 requires every data controller who is processing personal data to notify the Information Commissioner of any breaches no more than 72 hours after becoming aware of it unless they are exempt from doing so. Failure to notify is a criminal offence.  In addition, any FCA regulated firm must notify the FCA – ideally within 24hrs of discovery of a breach.

This document should be read in conjunction with our Acceptable Use policy and Information Security policy which form part of the Employee’s Handbook.  We are committed to protecting and respecting privacy.

This policy sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from a consumer will be processed by us.

For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the Act”), the data controller is Nerd FS.

By visiting and using our website the consumer is consenting to the practices set out below.

If our firm needs to collect data for any purpose not stated above we should notify the Information Commissioner before collecting that data.

Whenever collecting information about people, our firm agrees to apply the Eight Data Protection Principles:

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  2. Personal data should be obtained only for the purpose specified
  3. Data should be adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purposes required
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  5. Data should not be kept for longer than is necessary for purpose
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  7. Security: appropriate technical and organisational measures should be taken unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction or damage to personal data
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The same principles apply to when data is taken out of the office

Working at home

The use of data for marketing purposes

For marketing purposes, there are two types of data:

Data obtained in-house

Data obtained from third parties

Security Statement

We have taken measures to guard against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.

This includes:

Customers Right to Withdraw Consent

The customer has the right to withdraw their consent at any time. The withdrawal of consent shall not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before it’s withdrawal. However, it does mean you can no longer rely on consent as your lawful basis for processing. They withdraw consent by either of the following; putting this in writing to address details, by calling telephone number or emailing email address.

As the right to withdraw is ‘at any time’, it’s not enough to provide an opt-out only by reply. The individual must be able to opt out at any time they choose, on their own initiative.

In some cases you may need to keep a record of the withdrawal of consent for your own purposes – for example, to maintain suppression records so that you can comply with direct marketing rules. You don’t need consent for this, as long as you tell individuals that you will keep these records, why you need them, and your lawful basis for this processing (eg legal obligation or legitimate interests).

Subject Access Request (SAR)

One of the main rights which the Data Protection Act gives to individuals is the right of access to their personal information.  An individual is permitted to send us a subject access request (“SAR”) requiring that we tell them about the personal information we hold about them, and to provide them with a copy of that information.  In most cases we must respond to a valid subject access request within 40 calendar days of receipt.  Any business is able to charge a customer a reasonable charge of £10 for providing this data however it is not our companies policy to do so unless the request is excessive or unwarranted.  Any Subject Access Requests must be sent to a Senior Manager for processing purposes.

Third party requests are also permitted e.g. a friend or relative, a solicitor, a claims management company or other third party. Under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Data Protection Principles, are not permitted to reveal such information to a third party without the authority of a customer. On this basis, for any third party SAR, we will ensure that we have a written record of authority held on file before we release any personal data.

Where there are two or more customers linked to one credit agreement and the request comes from one of these parties, we will provide the response to both parties

We are required to 'give' a copy of the executed agreement and any other document referred to in it and the required statement. In the FCA’s view, sending a copy of them by ordinary second class post will suffice. Guidance on what constitutes a ‘copy’ can be found in the case of Carey v HSBC Bank plc [2009] EWHC 3417 (QB).

The duty under the relevant section does not apply if no sum is, or will or may become, payable by customer under the agreement. This is irrespective of whether the agreement may have already been terminated.

We will promptly facilitate a SAR request, although we have up to 40 days to do so.  All staff are made aware of this during induction.  Refresher training will be provided on a regular basis.  Although the rules permit the Firm to charge a maximum of £10 for responding to the request for personal data, it is not the Firm’s own policy to do so.

Client consent to the application of the Act and their right to access to their records are included within the firm’s terms of business/client agreement.

Any data collected must not be excessive and must be relevant to the purpose and it must not be kept longer than is necessary.

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The ICO has the power to issue monetary penalty notices of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act occurring on or after 6 April 2010, and serious breaches of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.


Our Privacy policy is in full view on our website.  This section must be read in conjunction with the Privacy Policy.

It is the responsibility of the senior management of our firm to ensure this policy is effective through monitoring and complaints procedures.

All employees, affiliates and ARs dealing with customers have a responsibility to read, understand and implement this policy and to hold their own valid and appropriate Privacy policy where appropriate.

The Firm holds a valid Data Protection license and it is bound by the rules of the Data Protection Act 1998.  The full extent of the rules can be found at

The 8 principles that the 1984 Act introduced are as follows.  Data must be:

Criminal offences

A criminal offence is committed by the Firm or an individual member of staff if they knowingly or recklessly:

Uses of customer information

When submitting application forms to banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, this means that personal data will, by default, also be submitted.  In these cases, clients will be informed that their personal data may be used.

The Firm will request client consent before any transfer of data takes place.  Clients will be asked to confirm that they are comfortable to have their personal data used in one or more of the following forms:

Post, telephone, email etc. subject to the conditions of the Data Protection Act.

Information Classification


The following definitions provide a summary of the information classification levels that have been adopted by our firm and which underpin the 8 principles of information security. These classification levels explicitly incorporate the Data Protection Act’s (“DPA”) definitions of Personal Data and Sensitive Personal Data, as laid out in our firm’s Data Protection Policy.

‘Confidential’ information has significant value for our firm, and unauthorised disclosure or dissemination could result in severe financial or reputational damage to us as an FCA authorised firm, including fines of up to £500,000 from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Data that is defined by the Data Protection Act as Sensitive Personal Data falls into this category. Only those who explicitly need access must be granted it, and only to the least degree in order to do their work (the ‘need to know’ and ‘least privilege’ principles).  When held outside our firm, on mobile devices such as laptops, tablets or phones, or in transit, ‘Confidential’ information must be protected behind an explicit logon and encryption at the device, drive or file level.

‘Restricted’ information is subject to controls on access, such as only allowing valid logons from a small group of staff. ‘Restricted’ information must be held in such a manner that prevents unauthorised access i.e. on a system that requires a valid and appropriate user to log in before access is granted. Information defined as Personal Data by the Data Protection Act falls into this category. Disclosure or dissemination of this information is not intended, and may incur some negative publicity, but is unlikely to cause severe financial or reputational damage to our firm.  Note that under the Data Protection Act large datasets (>1000 records) of ‘Restricted’ information may become classified as Confidential, thereby requiring a higher level of access control.

‘Internal use’ information can be disclosed or disseminated by its owner to appropriate members of our firm, partners and other individuals, as appropriate by information owners without any restrictions on content or time of publication.

‘Public’ information can be disclosed or disseminated without any restrictions on content, audience or time of publication. Disclosure or dissemination of the information must not violate any applicable laws or regulations, such as privacy rules.  Modification must be restricted to individuals who have been explicitly approved by information owners to modify that information, and who have successfully authenticated themselves to the appropriate computer system.

Designating information as ‘Confidential’ involves significant costs in terms of implementation, hardware and ongoing resources, and makes data less mobile. For this reason, information owners making classification decisions must balance the risk of damage that could result from unauthorised access to, or disclosure of, the information against the cost of additional hardware, software or services required to protect it.


Security Level



FOIA2000 / DPA1998 status

1. Confidential

Normally accessible only to specified and/or relevant members of our staff

DPA-defined Sensitive personal data:

·                     racial/ethnic origin

·                     political opinion

·                     religious beliefs

·                     trade union membership

·                     physical/mental health condition

·                     sexual life

·                     criminal record

·                     salary information

·                     individuals’ bank details

·                     passwords

·                     large aggregates of DPA-defined Personal Data (>1000 records) including elements such as name, address, telephone number.

·                     HR system data

Subject to significant scrutiny in relation to appropriate exemptions/ public interest and legal considerations.

2. Restricted

Normally accessible only to specified and/or relevant members of our staff

DPA-defined Personal Data (information that identifies living individuals including:

·                     home / work address

·                     age

·                     telephone number

·                     schools attended

·                     photographs

Subject to significant scrutiny in relation to appropriate exemptions/ public interest and legal considerations.

3. Internal Use

Normally accessible only to our staff

·                     Internal correspondence,

·                     internal group papers and minutes,

·                     information held under license company policy and procedures

Subject to scrutiny in relation to appropriate exemptions/ public interest and legal considerations

4.  Public

Accessible to all members of the public

·                     Company filed documents

·                     Company websites

Freely available on the website.

Explicit Information Ownership and Other Rights of Access to Information

We recommend that departments and functions within our business explicitly designate information owners.

Other users may have rights of access to data according to the terms of engagement under which the data was gained or created.

Granularity of Classification

The sets of information being classified should, in general, be large rather than small. Smaller units require more administrative effort, involve more decisions and add to complexity, thus decreasing the overall security.

 Information Retention

There may be minimum or maximum timescales for which information has to be kept. These may be mandated in a commercial contract. Other forms of information retention may be covered by environmental or financial regulations.


All ‘Users’ must obtain authorisation from their line manager before their classification request is submitted to Senior Managers. Nerd FS is responsible for assessing information and classifying its sensitivity.


A violation of our Information Security Policy and supporting policy documents will be investigated and consequentially may result in disciplinary action which could include the termination of employment contract for employees, the termination of contractual relations in the case of third parties, contractors or consultants.

A violation of this policy and misuse of the systems and applications within our firm may also be a breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990; consequentially the company may at its discretion take legal action against an individual or organisation that is found to be in breach of its policies.

How we may use customer data

 We may as a result of a consumer or a third parties’ interaction with our website/s obtain their personal data and process their information on our computers and in any other way.

By “third parties” we mean any lender, broker or affiliate who interacts with us in enabling a consumer to make a loan application.

We will use the information to manage their account(s), give them statements and provide our services, for research, assessment and analysis (including credit and/or behaviour scoring, market and product analysis) and to develop and improve our services to the consumer and other consumers and protect our interests.

We, and other carefully selected third parties, will use their information to inform them by post, fax, telephone or other electronic means, about other products and services (including those of others) which we believe may be of interest to them.

If they contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence.

We will keep details of transactions they carry out through our site and of the fulfilment of their applications and their loan history.

We will keep details of their visits to our site including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data and the resources that you access.

In order for us to be able to collect and use personal data and / or to pass If they do not want us to use their data in this way, or to pass their details on to third parties for marketing purposes, customers must manually opt in to this agreement (See CONC section of this Compliance Manual).

IP Addresses

 We may collect information about their computer, including where available their IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration and to report aggregate information to our advertisers. This is statistical data about our users' browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual.


 For the same reason, we may obtain information about a consumer’s general internet usage by using a cookie file which is stored on their browser or the hard drive of their computer. Cookies contain information that is transferred to their computer's hard drive. They help us to improve our site and to deliver a better and more personalised service. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the site to operate.

If they register with us or if they continue to use our site, they agree to our use of cookies.

Please note that our advertisers may also use cookies, over which we have no control.

Cookies can be blocked and a consumer may not be able to access all or parts of our site. Unless a consumer has adjusted their browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon they visit our site.

Where we store data

The data that we collect from a consumer is stored within the European Economic Area ("EEA"). Such staff may be engaged in, among other things, the assessment and fulfilment of a consumer’s application, the processing of a consumer’s bank details and the provision of support services. By submitting their personal data, they agree to this transfer, storing or processing.  We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that a consumer’s data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

All information a consumer provides to us is stored on our secure servers. Any transactions will be encrypted. Where we have given (or where they have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our site, they are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask a consumer not to share a password with anyone.

The transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although our systems exceed industry standards for security, and we will always do our best to protect a consumer’s personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of a consumer’s data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at their own risk. Once we have received their information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Disclosure of information

We may disclose a consumer’s personal information to any member of our group, which means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and its subsidiaries, as defined in section 1159 of the UK Companies Act 2006.

We may disclose a consumer’s personal information to third parties:

Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs)

When a customer makes an application for a credit, we will check whether they are likely to be able to meet the monthly payments and repay the loan.  However, we are limited in what we can actually do as we do not work directly with CRA’s as we are not eligible to do so.  We will work with what the applicant divulges on their fact find/application but we can only judge as accurately as the information given allows.

When we submit an application to a lender, it is normal practice for a lender to carry out a credit search with a CRA.  In the past, this would have left a search ‘footprint’ on the applicants’ credit file that may be seen by other lenders. Large numbers of applications made within a short period of time would adversely affect a customer’s ability to obtain credit, and they should always consider this before making an application for a loan.

However, the lenders that we have chosen to deal with offer a facility known as a ‘quotation’ search, which does not leave a footprint. This is in line with CONC 2.5.7 which suggests that during the ‘shopping around’ process of the customer, the lenders that we promote should only use a ‘quotation search’, which does not leave a footprint.

Access to information

The Act gives a consumer the right to access information held about them. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the Act. Any subject access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing them with details of the information we hold about them.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

 Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on our web page, and, if appropriate, notified to consumers by e-mail.

Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcomed and should be addressed to moneynerduk (at)

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