Mortgages: do we feel less confident since the MMR?

Applying for a mortgage is rarely a straightforward process. In April 2014, the process was made even tougher with the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), new rules on mortgage affordability. 

In fact, almost half (45%) of those who planned to buy a property since the introduction of the MMR last year have failed to do so, accorRising House Priceding to new research commissioned by Experian.

A quarter claim that the MMR has impacted their ability to buy a property, while a further third (37%) report that the changes have made them feel less in control of securing a mortgage. Continue reading

Mortgage applications and your credit score

If you’re planning a mortgage application, how can your credit score help you? Well, when you make your application, the lender will use the data & information held on your credit report, as well as other information within your application, to give you a credit score.

This will tell them whether to accept you as a customer or not. Generally speaking, the higher your credit score, the better your chances are of getting your mortgage, lower interest rates, and better deals.

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No tickets? It’s not too late but be careful if you go online

Photo: Neal Whitehouse Piper on flickr

Photo: Neal Whitehouse Piper on flickr

This week saw the last few tickets to Glastonbury 2015 go in an instant. And with many of the big summer festivals being long since sold out, being part of the big outdoor musical celebrations might seem a bit of a challenge.

Splashing out for the initial ticket price on release day can of course be tough, especially when there’s also the cost of travel, camping, food and drink to factor in come the event itself.

So how could you enjoy the revelry, the music and the sunshine, and stop worrying about the daily grind, even if you haven’t managed to buy a ticket?

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5 things students need to know about credit

Most students probably realise they’re going to leave their red-brick walls of learning with a loan they’ll sooner or later have to pay back, once they’ve made it into the world of work.

While many of today’s children benefit from financial education in schools, the current group of university entrants may not be as prepared financially – not least to ensure their debt doesn’t hinder them when they enter the graduate world.

How you manage any credit you have now can affect your chance of getting credit in the future, with all the factors mentioned above potentially having an impact.  So we’ve put together five things we think students need to know about credit.  Continue reading

World Password Day: Are your passwords protecting you?

Keeping a close eye on our personal credit information is important

1 in 10 Brits never change their online password…

Are your passwords really protecting you? For the vast majority of account takeovers, the fraudster will need to have gained specific information about you, such as your online log in and password.

World Password Day (7 May) aims to highlight ways in which you can help protect yourself better online by looking after your passwords.

On average, Brits have 19 online accounts each, with an average of seven different passwords. However, one in 10 of us never changes their online passwords and one in 20 uses the same passwords for all of their online accounts, many of which are inactive (social networks (26%), email (18%), retail accounts (21%) yet still potentially accessible to fraudsters.*

Take a look at our tips below to make sure that your passwords are working to protect your ID.

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Starting a family: how much can bringing up baby cost?

As you may have seen, the Duchess of Cambridge’s second baby is now here at last – Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born at 8.34 am on Saturday 2 May. 

baby and coins-300

Of course, for the Royals and all of us alike a new arrival is an exciting time – but for many of us it can be an expensive one.  Your little bundle of joy can come with a large price tag – but there are ways to give your child the very best start in life without breaking the bank.

Planning ahead can be prudent when starting a family. Some recent statistics from the CEBR (Centre of Economic and Business Research)* show that the basic cost of raising a child in the UK, up to the age of 21, has increased by 63% from 2003, with the average total cost in January 2015 standing at almost £230,000. Continue reading

The cost of home improvements

It’s been said that we’re a nation of DIY-ers. Before the credit crunch, the property boom saw many people buying new places, doing them up and selling them on for a profit. But in the years following the crash many were unable to sell, instead choosing to do up their homes and make them nicer places to live.

These days, we seem to occupy the middle ground. According to a 2014 survey by Lloyds Bank, 40 per cent of people undertake renovations to improve the look of their home, while 33 per cent do it to add value.

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Money and relationships: Mrs Moneypenny’s tips

This is the third of three blog posts Mrs Moneypenny (Channel 4′s Superscrimpers) is writing for us, all about making better financial decisions in 2015 - @mrsmoneypennyft 

So, you’ve met someone special. They share your taste in music, love sci-fi films, and have a lopsided smile that you find incredibly cute. But how much do they earn? How much have they borrowed and how much have they saved? What is their attitude and approach to money? Continue reading

Ask your questions to Mrs Moneypenny: Facebook Q and A

 moneypenny-April-400Did you take part in either of our successful Twitter Q and As with Mrs Moneypenny on @ExperianExperts?

Well, we’re pleased to say she’s doing a third Q and A, this time on our Experian UK Facebook page.

Between 12:30 and 1:30pm on Friday 24th April, Mrs Moneypenny will be answering your questions live, about money and relationships.  

And that’s not all – the four most interesting questions put to Mrs Moneypenny in that hour will each win £50 of vouchers, as well as a copy of her book Mrs Moneypenny’s Financial Advice for Independent Women.  You can find the full terms and conditions for the competition here.

You can also watch Mrs Moneypenny’s full video on how to make 2015 a financial success.

So that’s Friday 24th April between 12:30 and 1:30pm on Experian UK’s Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

5 ways registering to vote could help your credit rating

Are you registered to vote in the UK? April 20th was the deadline to register to vote in order to be eligible to vote in the general election, which is just days away now on May 7th. And did you know that being on the Electoral Roll also could help improve your credit rating?

Here are five things you should know about registering to vote:

1.            How can it help improve your credit rating? It’s important that your credit report includes your Electoral Roll details, as lenders use this information to help confirm your name, address and where you’ve lived before. This info usually has to be up to date before they are willing to offer a mortgage, a loan or any other form of financial account. Continue reading