Category: Get The Facts

Best Guide to Get a Cheaper Loan

When financial markets are volatile – especially when your own finances are under pressure – the chance of getting a cheap loan can seem daunting.

This is an important decision, and it is worth spending your time to make sure that you do not get caught up in the downward spiral of paying interest or getting stuck in a long-term repayment agreement for many years.

Whether you are looking for a loan, or you already have one, and want the best deal, there are options. Read Money Magpie’s tips on how to get your funds right and find cheap credit.

Specific Loans for a Smaller Amount

Higher rates in the market mean smaller borrowings. This is because it is possible to borrow a small amount of money in the short term, so the lender will not have much time to make money on interest payments. So, instead, they raise interest rates to make sure they are profitable.

Because of this, for a small amount of money that you think you can repay in a relatively short period of time, you should definitely look for ways to get a non-performing loan.

Credit cards

Purchase Credit Card 0% APR allows you to pay for transactions using your credit card for a specified period of time – usually six to 12 months – depending on which card you receive.

The longest running 0% of the currently available purchase agreement is the APR Tesco Club card Credit Card, which offers you 22 months prior to charging interest. You collect one club card point for every 4 you spend on the card from anywhere in the world.

(Especially if you shop at Sainsbury’s) is Sainsbury’s Credit Card, which offers its shoppers a card that offers 0% on balance transactions for the first 29 months and 0% on purchases for the first six months or 0% for 27 months. On purchase. Like the Tesco card, you will collect loyalty points when shopping on your Nectar card – in fact, you must be a Nectar card holder and actively use it within six months to apply for a credit card.

Always remember

The same principle applies to all of these cards; you use the card to pay what you need and then you have a period of 0% interest to pay the remaining amount. You will be charged interest after this time – so pay it off quickly!

How much can you spend?

The amount you can spend on the card depends on your credit limit, which is defined by your credit rating. Credit limits vary greatly (up to £ 250 in regions 250). Remember, however, that no matter how much you spend, it can be very difficult to repay in full at 0% interest, so make sure you have the funds to repay it.

Not everyone approves of these cards. Keep in mind that every time you apply for a loan and it is rejected it reflects negatively on your credit rating.

If you find that your score is not the best, it is best not to apply for one of these cards. Try to read as more as possible about improving and viewing your credit score.

Replace the card with less regular balance. Look here for the lowest fixed rates.

Need more time to pay off the balance?

What can you do if you are unable to repay what you owe within a year, then take a 0% APR on the balance transfer credit card. These cards do not charge interest on balances transferred from other cards – that is, the card you first paid for the transaction.

Without applying for the Platinum card, the longest 0% balance transfer contract is the Knot West balance transfer card, which offers 0% for transfers up to 20 months.

This greatly increases the time it takes to repay your loan, but it is not a silly method. When things change all the time, when you get your 0% APR result during the purchase period you should definitely make sure you have a suitable card to change your presence. That being said, it is unlikely that they will suddenly disappear completely; instead, the interest period will be slightly reduced.

Loans for the Bigger Amount

The advantage of a personal loan is that you can ensure that you buy at a monthly repayment rate, that you are sure you can buy, and for a limited period of time.

However, personal loans can be confusing. Not only do you have to look at the interest rate you have to pay on the loan amount, you also have to repay it.

A lot of people don’t realize that debt is really like borrowing money from a bank. You get all the money you ask for, and then every month you repay it a little, and a little more for rent. The longer you borrow money, the more ‘rent’ you pay. See below for an explanation.

For example

If you borrow 500 7,500 over three years at 8% APR, you will repay a total of 4 234.14 per month up to 4 8,429.04 – which is 9 929.04 for total interest.

If you take out the same loan over five years instead (actually 7.9% APR is charged), your monthly repayment is just that. 150.81, but in total you will repay 9,049 – a total of 5 1,549 interest – plus a cost of over 600.

Ideally, you should borrow at the lowest rate you can find in the short term.

How to Find Better Loan Deal and Swap?

If you have already entered into a long-term loan agreement, you can save money by taking out another loan, repaying your original loan, and then repaying it to a second lender – such as restructuring.

The only drawback is the prepayment fees or penalties.

The problem with loans is that the cheaper ones are rarely more flexible. Banks want to lock you in for a period of time, ensuring that they earn an income by giving you money. Just as consumers are guaranteed to know how much they have to repay each month, banks also want to know how much interest they are going to pay.

So if you decide to repay the loan in advance, they will charge you to recover some of the lost interest.

Calculates the cost

If switching is worth it you need to understand how much money the new loan you are considering switching to work will save. You do this:

Calculates the term of the loan you currently hold and how much interest you will have to pay in total for the new loan.

Make a difference between this amount and the amount you owe for your current loan, plus the penalty for repaying the interest paid on the new loan.

If you can offset the early repayment penalty with the difference between the two loans and save some more, it is time to switch. Otherwise, it would be better to stay where you are.

You can save money by getting a lower interest rate when changing or by reducing the repayment period.

Reducing the term of your loan

Let’s take the previous example for a 500 7,500 loan.

For example

The difference in cost between the three-year and five-year periods is 69,619.96. The initial settlement fee is interest for up to two months, which comes to about £ 300 for a period of five years.

Therefore, if you switch from a five-year loan to a three-year loan, you save over £ 300 even with the initial repayment fees (ஆக 619.96 – £ 300 = £ 319.96).

So your time to switch to this matter will be clear.

Find the lowest interest rate

By finding loans with low interest rates and shortening the term of the loan, you can try and get the best rate. This is a bit tricky as it gets a somewhat lower rate and will not always save you money considering the initial repayment fees.

For example, if you are currently repaying a £ 10,000 loan from Halifax at 8.9% APR over five years, and you saw the same loan advertised at 7.9% APR from Tesco Personal Fund, you might consider switching.

The initial settlement fee for a Halifax loan is equal to 58 days interest, which means you will actually pay more by switching because the difference in APR rates is not more than the initial payment.

Getting Started

The first thing to do before applying for any loan is to look at your credit rating and remember to cancel it at the end of the 30 day free period if you do not want to subscribe.

By checking your credit rating, you know which loans you can access because they only apply to those with some very high ratings. This will give you a realistic idea of ​​what you are looking at and will help you see how much you can save.

Some Alternatives to Banks

Credit unions are independent co-operative societies formed and owned by members. They provide loans and credit at a competitive rate, and they generally aim to improve the community.

There are no down payment fees, and you need to pay off your debt and save often. This includes life insurance. If you die before repaying the loan, the insurance will cover the outstanding fees.

The amount of interest can increase or decrease. It varies from one union to the other union. By law, they are not allowed to charge more than 2% per month in arrears of debt reduction, which equates to 28% APR. It is worth weighing this against the loans you get from banks.

You can check the credit calculator provided by the Limited Association of British Credit Unions.

Click here to find your local credit union.

Bear-to-peer loan with sofa

Sofa is an online marketplace where people register their money as a loan – and are guaranteed a huge return on it – this money is distributed at low cost to all the users who actually sign up for a personal loan. This agreement works very well for both parties because taking a bank out of the equation means that the borrower does not have to pay expensive overheads.

The site offers loans for one to five years, earns its money by charging borrowers a transaction fee, and offers an annual service fee of 1%

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Get Free Coupons and Discounts from Companies- Here is How

Who wants a free lunch? I know I do! If you are someone who believes in something like there is no such thing as free lunch, think again. I am about to blow that myth for you guys. Read on carefully as you are about to discover how I got myself sprinkled (if not showered) with small and big complimentary free stuff like coupons and discounts over different products from some real (and some very generous) companies. If not most of the times totally free, all I had to pay was like 49 cents so yes, Life is good!



I pulled out my forever stamps out of the drawer, gathered some envelops, a pen a letter pad and some time to think and compose and write (with the pen) some heartfelt appreciation I had for many companies. Not all to whom I wrote proved worthy of practice of getting together the pen and paper and whole scribing part.


It all can be dated back to when I was a teenager. As a young and enthusiastic fan I once wrote and sent my favorite basketball player a letter of appreciation and asked if he could send me his autograph. Naïve as it was of me, but my favorite player proved to be far more thoughtful than expected. An envelope turned up in my mail after a couple of months that contained his shiny photo signed by him and that is one moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Snail mail was never boring. Not back then and not today because that is where my free lunches keep appearing ever since I posted those many letters of appreciation.

Yes no one writes and posts letters anymore. Emails far more conveniently do that for us. So when someone receives a physical letter it grabs all his/ her attention. Same goes for the companies. All the time and energy and work that go into getting a letter together is different from emailing and tweeting and are difficult to go unnoticed.

What I did here is I contacted 26 separate companies and expressed my heartfelt appreciation in my letters to them. Each letter was custom made for each company and they could not have guessed me as a food and drink writer by my letter. Chances were low for my letters to land into the hands of a real authority person. But I got responses from 15 fifteen companies which proved my estimates wrong. I got coupons of free meals and discounts upon buying a meal or a drink or a pack of their cookies etc. some were more generous than others but the whole practice is worth a shot definitely.

Important thing to remember here is never ever copy paste a template from the web. See the awesome stuff that I received in the end that, all came from real people who really read my appreciation letters so if you plan to do what I did; tailor your own letters just like me.


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Less than one in five people enrolled on the UK’s top computer science programmes are female – and Oxford and Cambridge have fewer female computer science students than any other top university.

The technology industry is disproportionate from the educational level as it fails to attract females to enroll on its key courses, data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveals.

The UK’s top ten computer science programmes are 84.55 per cent male – with the worst performing university having nine times as many men than women.

Out of the UK’s best computer science courses, University College London has the most female students. Of its 355 students, 95 are female, accounting for just over one in four graduates.

The Universities of Cambridge and Oxford are the worst for gender representation in computer science, with 10 and 10.5 per cent female students respectively.

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Owning a pet is among the greatest pleasures in life. However, it definitely isn’t cheap!

Getting pet items for free is an excellent way to try new products out and save some of your hard-earned cash. Free things are not only for humans and it is possible to claim many free treats for your furry friends.

Keep reading this article to figure out why, where, and how you can get all kinds of free things for your beloved pets.

Why do businesses give free pet stuff away?

It is for the same reasons businesses have free sampling campaigns: it is to generate added interest in the products that they are selling, hoping that if consumers like their products, then they will buy them later on.

Every day Mega Free Stuff  gets updated with all of the latest freebies that we have found, so be sure to visit our page on Free Stuff for Pets often to find all of the newest pet offers and frees and sign up to receive newsletter directly into your inbox to find out about all of the latest freebies.

Feed your pets free of charge…

The pet freebies that are the most popular of all are pet food samples.

That is because pet food companies understand that one pet food will not fit the needs of all dogs. Pets are all different, just like humans, and have their own preferences of taste and texture as well as dietary needs.

The best way to discover the right pet food for your animals is to trial free samples from various companies.

Would you like a pet freebie today? Claim 100% cashback on Perfect Fit Pet Food’s full-size bag. Just buy a qualifying bag, then go online and upload your receipt details and money will be transferred into your account, which makes it totally free!

Top tips

Compared to other freebies, pet food freebies have a tendency to be much more personal. Usually you will need to give some information about your pet, which includes breed, size, weight, and age. That is just to ensure that your pet will love the food and will be properly suited for them.

Get pet freebies from product testing trials

When purchasing a new product, most of us check out the reviews first. Positive, detailed reviews from actual customers will make it a lot more likely you will want to try out the product yourself.

Companies like BzzAgent, Trnd, and The Insiders have product testing campaigns that they run for all kinds of things, including pet food, which comes up on a regular basis. When an application is successful, the product is given to the pet owner to test and keep completely for free, in exchanging for writing an honest review. Some of the previous companies who have run these campaigns include:

  • Bakers
  • IAMs
  • Purina

Contact companies to get free pet items

There are many different ways that you can get free pet stuff. Some of the most effective ways are directly contacting companies and asking for free samples. That works particularly well with those companies that are mainly online, since without free samples customers will be unable to see what their products look like, or how well they like products.

Targeting the company’s unique selling point is the best way to approach contacting companies. For example, for a company that specialises in making organic pet food be sure to tell them that you are interested in providing your pet with an organic lifestyle. Or if you have a pet that has any special requirements that is what the company caters to, be sure to mention this!

Most important of all, be polite when you email – companies are not obligated to send free samples out. Be sure to show that you are interested in their products and they will reward you!

  • Keep an eye out for discounts and coupons
  • Watch for money off coupons that you can use on pet stuff. Go to the social media channels of your favourite pet brands to stay current with all of the latest deals and discounts.
  • 50p off might not seem like a lot. However, everything does add up!
  • Pets At Home offers free pet consultations
  • Pets At Home is dedicated to ensuring that pet owners are equipped as best as they can be.

Pets At Home is not only one of the top places to find your new fluffy family member, they also run various in-store sessions to assist you with taking care of your pets in the best way possible.

1. Free cat and dog nutrition consultation

If you are having a hard time finding the ideal food for your picky cat or dog, make sure you visit the store for your free nutrition consultation. They have pet food nutrition experts who can advise you on what the best food is to give your dog or cat.

Your consultation comes with a free pet food sample bag and a 25% off voucher for any of their advanced nutrition foods. Get yourself an appointment booked online today.

2. Free pet workshops for children

If you have children in addition to pets, then you will want them to learn about the responsibilities that are involved in owning pets (and the rewards that come along with it).

Pets At Home, over the school holidays, has various workshops that it holds at stores all across the country. The workshops are full of hands-on and fun activities that are an excellent way to keep your kids entertained over the holiday season.

Would you like to do more free activities with your children? Check out our page on Free Days. We update it on a regular basis with all of latest information on free days all over the UK.

3. Go to Super Breed Sundays to learn more about your breed

Pets At Home has come up with the ideal meet place to meet with like-minded owners and get to know more about your dog’s breed.

Every dog breed is different, and has its own exercise and dietary requirements, behavioural traits, and individual characteristics. Super Breed Sundays give you the opportunity to learn how to best take care of your breed and are perfect for first-time down owners. It provides them with the entire run-down of all of the basics of introducing a new pet to your home.

4. Free checks on fish tanks

Check to make sure that your fish tank water is well-suited with this in-store free service. Just brig a sample of water from your fish tank into the store and an expert will assist you.

Win free pet items from entering company giveaways

Pet companies also do free giveaway. These giveaways and contest are an excellent way to get prospective customers interested in their products and help to raise brand awareness.

Whether it is a new toy or lead or bag of treats for your pet, there will always be plenty of great giveaways and competitions for you to sign up for.

Pet ownership

It doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think! When you apply for pet freebies you will save a few pennies, and feel the excitement of having even more free items coming through the door.

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It’s hardly news that the people supporting diversity in tech make up a vibrant and active community. Supporting and inspiring each other through events, in the workplace – and on Twitter, through hashtags like #womenintech.

We were curious to see who some of the network’s more influential tweeters were and built the network below, based on the latest 18,000 tweets on the hashtag.

Interactive: Explore everyone tweeting about #womenintech

Every circle represents one Twitter account, and the darker purple it is, the more central that account is to the community. The bigger it is, the more mentions it’s received from other accounts.

So who are the top ten?

1. @thistechgirl

Also known as Saadia Muzaffar, the founder of Tech Girls Can and committed to “changing the ratio” in tech. On her website she writes:

“Diversity forces innovation to snap out of becoming a claustrophobic, self-affirming, classist idea machine.”

2. @fedscoop

This is part of a US government agency and breaks government tech news, so it’s not entirely surprising that it has a central position in this network.

3. @marthalanefox

Martha Lane Fox

Martha Lane Fox (Photo: Flickr/Open University)

Martha Lane Fox balances several roles, as a business woman, the youngest female member of the House of Lords, and not least in her current position heading the digital skills charity Go ON UK.

4. @dilbert_daily

Yes, this is Dilbert’s creator Scott Adams’ Twitter account.

5. @dreamhost

A corporate account for the cloud hosting platform DreamHost.

6. @codefilm

Code - debugging the gender gap


7. @girldevorg

This San Fran-based organisation have a clear mission:

“Won’t stop til we #closethegendergap”.

8. @blackgirlscode

Black Girls Code works to empower young and teenage girls of colour to go into tech.

9. @womenwhocode

This organisation supporting and promoting diversity in the coding workforce boasts over 25,000 members in 15 countries across the world.

10. @aauw

The American Association of University Women have been promoting education and equality for girls for quite some time. Their tagline?

“Empowering women since 1881.”

Did you find anything interesting or unexpected in the graph? Comment below, or tweet us @ProjectAda_!

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Back in March we found that women were not only underrepresented in the tech industry, but among the journalists writing about it as well. What we found was genuinely surprising: At the Guardian just one in five tech articles was written by a woman, whilst at the Daily Mail more articles were written by women than by men.

So, two months on with a much larger sample size, how has the gender balance changed?

Actually, for the most part, it’s got better.

Telegraph wins ‘most improved’

Every news outlet we studied got at least a little bit better, with an increased number of women making up their tech authors. Three sites had increased their female representation by over 20%.

The prize for most improved goes to the Telegraph, leaping from 46% of articles written by women in February, to 59% in April. This represents an increase of 27%. Did we have something to do with that? Probably.

The Guardian and Wired also saw the percentage of female tech reporters rise.

The Daily Mail had the largest female representation in March, and remains much the same on around 54%. Buzzfeed is also largely unchanged at 46%.

Although the Guardian increased the share of articles written by women from 19.6% to 23.7%, this is a small improvement that sees them still lag some way behind their tabloid rivals.

How many reporters are female?

The male dominance in tech journalism is clear when looking at the number of reporters for each site. Only two of the news outlets we looked at have more women than men writing about tech: Buzzfeed and the Mail.

Surprisingly, based on the articles in our sample, the Telegraph has the most skewed gender balance in the newsroom. Just 32% of their tech writers are female – but those writers have produced 58% of the articles.

What difference does it make?

Do investigations like these have any impact on gender representation? Well, as Google said when they released their diversity report last June:

“It is hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts.


What do you think? Get in touch with us @ProjectAda_ or leave a comment below.

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As odd as it can be, women and men are not paid equally.

In the UK’s tech industry, female workers earn less than their male colleagues in all jobs, from computer programming to data processing.

According to the ONS’s Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, women’s salaries can be as much as 37 per cent less than men’s.

In the graphic below, it’s possible to see the salary gender gap in seven jobs in the UK tech industry.


The highest gap is seen in the role “data processing and web portals”. While male workers earn £726 per week, women are paid much less, at £457.

Even in computer programming, where the payment difference is the smallest among the jobs analysed, female programmers still make 22 per cent less than men. Women earn £534.70 per week, while men get £689.90.

The graphic below shows that there is no equality in salaries in any job considered in the analysis. Other roles in the survey, such as software designing and computer games, couldn’t be analysed as there was no sufficient data about women’s earnings.


“Raise awareness”

Earlier this month, the group Girls in Tech launched a campaign to bring awareness to the gender pay gap in the tech industry.

The campaign is a response to the recent comments by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who said during an interview in the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference that women should rather trust the system than ask for a raise.

Girls in Tech campaign promises to raise the gender wage gap with companies such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, IBM, PayPal and others.

Kate Brodock, Girls in Tech president, said:

“By teaching employees how to effectively ask for a raise and creating a system that supports that, we hope to empower those women that are currently hesitant to ask for a raise, and gain productive partners in the participating companies.”

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Women are grossly underrepresented as speakers at tech conferences, and IP Expo Manchester, opening today in Manchester, is no exception, as a Project Ada analysis reveals it has just seven per cent female speakers.

The problem is a familiar one: women are missing not just from the industry, but on stage. Even when an event’s audience is more equally split between genders, among keynote speakers and panelists women can still be hard to find, and all-male panels still all too common.

At IP Expo Manchester, held 18-19 May, just three of the 43 speakers advertised on the website are women. A whole 92.5 per cent of the speakers are male.

In fact, there are more Davids among the event’s speakers than there are women, as we found that four of the promoted speakers are named David – and just three are women.

Proportion of male and female speakers at IP EXPO

IP Expo Manchester’s organisers tell Project Ada they’d love to see more female keynote speakers and panelists:

“It is one of our main aims, that we remain focused on attracting the thought leaders in the field, irrespective of gender but would certainly like to see a bigger representation from the talented women in technology,” said a spokesperson for the event.

This year speakers include Dr Sue Black and Dame Stella Rimington.

This isn’t just a problem for IP Expo. “Where are the women speakers?” is a question that’s been asked time and again. It’s a vicious circle, of course: with a lack of women in the industry leading to a lack of women on stage – damaging women’s career prospects.

But women are underrepresented even when taking into account their smaller numbers in STEM industries. And not all the blame can be laid at organisers’ feet: Women, it seems, are more likely to say no, when asked.

In 2013, researchers from the University of Sheffield found 50 per cent of female biologists turned down an invitation to speak, against just 26% of men.

IP Expo Manchester’s spokesperson confirmed this has been a difficulty:

We’ve worked really hard to promote gender equality on our keynote programmes, however, despite approaching a huge selection of relevant, qualified female speakers it is really difficult to get commitment.

So is there a good way of solving the problem? One study suggests that an effective way of increasing female speakers is actually quite simple: make sure there is at least one woman organising the event.

One woman makes all the difference, according to researchers at Yale University and Yeshiva University, who found that having one or more women involved in organizing scientific conference increased the proportion of female speakers by 72 per cent.

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