What to know when buying a car on credit

When you’re buying a car on credit, your credit report can be the difference between getting a good interest rate or not, or sometimes getting any deal at all.

Whether second-hand or brand new, you may need to spread the cost with a loan fixed against the car, a personal loan or even hire purchase, so making sure you can get a good deal is really important.

Here we’re joined by Ed Lewis, a car buying expert from Zuto, to discuss the different types of car finance and how your credit report can help you when you’re buying a car on credit.

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How being a wedding guest can be a pricey affair

Being a wedding guest should be great fun, but for some of us the ‘wedding season’ can be a source of financial pressure and domestic strife.

A new Experian survey* suggests that the rising cost of weddings is rocking the boat for many couples, and not just for the bride and groom.
Wedding guest infographic-600

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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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Credit Café: Smartphones and your credit score

Around half the population currently owns a smartphone. We use them now for everything from booking hotels to making payments by simply tapping our phone against a sensor.

In this video from the Credit Café, Hannah Maundrell from Money.co.uk joins Experian Expert James Wood and presenter Darren Beach to discuss how your smartphone and your credit score can be linked.

How are your phone and your credit score linked?
The mobile phone market is hugely competitive, with all sorts of attractive deals available.

But with expensive handsets on long contracts. providers need to be comfortable that you are going to make your monthly payments on time each month.

It may surprise some people, but mobile phone contracts are actually credit agreements. Applying for a mobile phone contract is not much different than applying to a credit card provider or a bank – they are normally going to look at the information on your application form and in your credit report to give you a credit score.

The credit score the mobile phone network gives you is a guide for them to decide whether to accept you as a customer or not – the higher your credit score, the better your chance of getting that brand new phone is likely to be.

So if you are thinking of applying for a new phone deal, you may want to check your Experian Credit Score, to get an idea of how you are likely to be viewed, and then start doing whatever you can to improve it.

Watch the video for more tips, including ensuring your children don’t run up huge costs and making sure the personal information you keep on your phone is protected.

Follow Hannah on Twitter at @moneycouk

The real cost of a year at university

997-cost-going-out-300Sometimes I wonder if I got lucky when I was a student back in the olden days.  No tuition fees, cheap halls of residences, council grants – and no tablets or smartphones around to spend it on.

The ‘A’ level results are now out, and today’s students are finalising their university places for October – and they appear to have it a lot harder, if research from the NUS* is anything to go by.

£23,187 was the estimated average student expenditure for the 2013/14 academic year, making it something for which parents (and students) might want to start budgeting for well in advance. Continue reading

Best Thrifty Blog finalist: Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies

Gina Caro (Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies blog)

Gina Caro (Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies blog)

Gina Caro has moved house ‘approximately 25 times’ in her life and says she’s ‘born to roam’. Her marvellous Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies blog is all about motherhood and living a more frugal, sustainable life.

It’s one of the finalists in the Best Thrifty Blog category at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards, held in September.

Experian is delighted to sponsor the Best Thrifty Blog award, which recognises the mum and dad bloggers helping people make savvy financial decisions every day. To vote for Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies visit http://www.tots100.co.uk/vote/

We asked Gina to tell us what her greatest ambition would be if there were no restrictions – so here’s a lovely piece in which she tells us all about a dream of hers that shows how our priorities can change! Continue reading

The joys (and pains) of emigrating

man-on-the-undergroundIt’s a dream that many people have – leaving Blighty and setting up home abroad. It could be a happy retirement in Spain or a complete relocation of life and work to Australia, but it’s on many people’s wish lists.

According to a recent survey from Experian, 23.4 per cent of people said that they would emigrate if there were no restrictions.

Of course, deciding to pack up your life and move to another country isn’t easy – there are dozens of things to think about, not least where you’re going to live when you get there. And if you have children, their schooling will be paramount. Continue reading

Around the world in as many days as you like

It’s a dream that many people have – to step away from their everyday lives and travel to the places they’ve always wanted to see.

caravan-in southwestWork and family life can often get in the way but according to a recent Experian survey, travelling is the one thing that most people dream of doing. Indeed, 45.9 per cent of people questioned said they would go travelling if there was nothing to stop them.

Some of the reasons that people gave for not being able to indulge their wanderlust included a lack of finance, motivation, knowledge and confidence. After all, travelling costs a fair bit of money and can take a considerable amount of time and effort to organise.

But is it really as complicated as you think and could you actually be stopping yourself from fulfilling your travelling dream, just because you think making it happen might be too difficult?

Here are a few things to think about that could make that dream become reality. Continue reading

How to make your dream home a reality

Britain has enjoyed a number of property booms over the past 20 years. And despite the fact that property prices have also tumbled on a number of occasions, the average house price has risen significantly.

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the average UK house price went up from £51,633 at the end of Q1 1995 to £194,258 at the end of Q2 2015 – a whopping 276 per cent increase.

Rising House PriceSo it’s not surprising that thousands of Britons jumped on the property bandwagon during this time.

Unfortunately, rising house prices has meant that it has become harder for first-time buyers to get a foot onto the property ladder. Using the average house price as a guide, even if a mortgage has a 95 per cent loan-to-value, buyers would still need to find a deposit just shy of £10,000. Add in solicitor and estate agent fees and the initial layout can seem daunting. Continue reading

Best Thrifty Blog finalist: Awesome Austerity – My Dream

Morna Macneill’s super blog Awesome Austerity certainly is, as she calls it, “a blog about money-saving, parenting, crafting, baking and anything else I can think of.”  It’s one of the finalists in the Best Thrifty Blog category at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards, held in September.

Experian is delighted to sponsor the Best Thrifty Blog award, which recognises the mum and dad bloggers helping people make savvy financial decisions every day. To vote for Awesome Austerity visit http://www.tots100.co.uk/vote/

morna's family-300We asked Mum of two Morna, a pathologist in her day job. to tell us what her greatest ambition would be if there were no restrictions. She writes for us here about a long-time dream she managed to realise.


When I was a young thing, I’m sure I could have reeled off a long list of fairly shallow dreams……I’d buy a horse, no, a whole stable, I’d travel the world, I’d engage a personal trainer so I could be really skinny and wear designer clothes. Continue reading