Spring clean your finances – with Mrs Moneypenny

Mrs Moneypenny (Channel 4′s Superscrimpers) is writing a series of blog posts for us, all about making better financial decisions in 2015. @mrsmoneypennyft 

It was my birthday recently, and the bulbs I planted in the autumn have produced a beautiful set of colourful flowers to greet me in my garden. It’s that time of year when I want to shake off the winter blues and make everything clean and tidy, and not just in the garden and the house.

How long is it since you took some time out to spring clean your finances? Before you can do this, you need to assemble a list of all the bank accounts, building society accounts, credit cards and loan and mortgages you have so that you can decide what to tidy up and how. I always counsel people to buy a notebook, put all their information in it and then spend an hour a week with that notebook and an internet connection to help them get their finances in shape. Continue reading

Mrs Moneypenny is back for a second Twitter Q and A

Following our successful Twitter Q and A on @ExperianExperts in February, on how you can make 2015 a financial success, Mrs Moneypenny (Channel 4’s Superscrimpers), is back!

Between 1 and 2pm on Friday 27th March, Mrs Moneypenny will be answering your questions live, about how to go about spring cleaning your finances.  

NEW on the blog: Mrs Moneypenny on spring cleaning your finances

So if you’ve got anything you’d like to ask her, tweet us @ExperianExperts between those times with your questions, using the hashtag #moneypenny.

And that’s not all – the four most interesting questions put to Mrs Moneypenny in that hour will each win £50 of Amazon.co.uk 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 27th March between 1 and 2pm, @ExperianExperts on Twitter. Hope to see you there! #moneypenny

So how might Budget 2015 impact you?

How will the Budget impact you?

How will the Budget impact you?

The final Budget before the General Election is here, and what does it have in store? We’ve seen announcements on pensions, tax, housing and much more that will affect all of us around the country in different ways.

Some of the headlines from Budget 2015 were:

Income tax
One big win for many is that the amount you can earn before being taxed - personal tax allowance -  was already due to increase from £10,000 to £10,600 from April, and is set to rise further  - up to £10,800 next year, and then to £11,000 the year after.

Some people will also benefit from the higher tax rate threshold – in other words, the moment you start paying 40p in the pound – being raised from £42,385 in 2014-15 to £43,300 by 2017-18, although some speculation had suggested it would go as high as £50,000. Continue reading

5 tips for improving your credit score

Last night (16 March), Experian’s James Jones and Jill O’Connor appeared on LBC’s Money Hour show answering listeners’ queries about credit scores and credit ratings.

It’s a living thing
Your credit score is not set in stone – it’s a living, breathing thing. Your own credit rating changes along with your own financial behaviour.

james-lbc-mar15When you make an application for a loan, credit card, mortgage or other type of credit (such as a new utility contract or mobile-phone account), lenders look at your credit report to work out your credit score.  Why do they do this? So they can judge for themselves if they think you’ll be a responsible borrower and likely to repay what you owe them. Continue reading

Mum’s the word on Mother’s Day

mothers-day-250This Sunday (15 March) is Mothering Sunday – the day when Mums up and down the country get spoiled rotten, and why not?

It’s also a big day for spending, with research from Mintel showing that £505million was spent on it last year in the UK – an average of £24.10 each.

Not only that, but the same research reports that Britons spend 53% more on gifts, cards and the like on Mother’s Day than on Father’s Day – which suggests that the type of gifts we choose are, shall we say, a bit more thoughtful when it comes to mum.

However, figures from Dot Com Gift Shop found that what mums really want on Mother’s Day is not so much an expensive gift but something a bit more homely. Almost 6 in 10 said they wanted a hug, with other top answers including a card and a lie-in.

The figures say that 57% will buy their mum flowers on Sunday, spending on average between £20 and £29 on gifts – however, they also suggest that some mums underestimate the value of the gifts their offspring are getting them, and think the average price spent on them is only between £10 and £19.

Finally, apparently sons are more than 3 times as likely as daughters to forget Mother’s Day. Gulp. We at Experian Experts Blog say: most of all, just don’t forget your mum on Mother’s Day!

Why it’s good to understand your credit history

Getting a good understanding of the factors that do and don’t affect credit ratings can help you both now, and in the future.

Experian research found that seven out of 10 of Britons (71%) believe they have a good or excellent history of managing credit*.

But two thirds of these (66%), equivalent to almost half the UK population** have never actually checked their credit report or score – and should their credit rating be damaged, it could get in the way of their chances of getting the most suitable deals, and at the best rates.

So that’s why we’ve now launched a series of online guides to help take some of the mystery out of the credit referencing process, and help people take control of their finances.

Continue reading

First-time buyers: check your credit history

Could your credit history prevent you from getting a mortgage? Experian research suggests that more than a quarter of people in the UK looking to buy their first home before 2016 –  around 1.81 million people  – have missed credit repayments, defaulted accounts and CCJs currently listed on their credit report. And all of these could prevent them from securing a mortgage.

Continue reading

Make 2015 a financial success – with Mrs Moneypenny

Mrs Moneypenny (Channel 4′s Superscrimpers) is writing a series of blog posts for us, all about making better financial decisions in 2015. @mrsmoneypennyft 

2015 is the year that you could really sort out your finances, and here’s how.
First things first: buy a notebook and record, accurately, how much you spend. Set out a page for every area of your life (mortgage/rent, utilities, mobile phone, and council tax, car insurance and so on). Everyone should aim to spend an hour a week on their own finances. Sounds a lot? Contrast that with how much time you spend worrying about them, and it will seem a small sacrifice. Continue reading

Ask #Moneypenny – this Friday

moneypenny-300x200In partnership with Mrs Moneypenny (Channel 4’s Superscrimpers) , we’re on a mission to help people make better financial decisions in 2015.

Between 1 and 2pm on Friday 27th February, Mrs Moneypenny will be taking over our Twitter account, Experian Experts, to answer your questions about how you can make 2015 a financial success. So if you’ve got anything you’d like to ask her, tweet us @ExperianExperts between those times with your questions, using the hashtag #moneypenny.

And that’s not all – the four most interesting questions put to Mrs Moneypenny in that hour will each win £50 of Amazon.co.uk 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.

Mrs Moneypenny will also be contributing guest blog posts on these very pages, and some videos to accompany them. And look out for more Twitter Q and As with Mrs Moneypenny at the end of both April and May.

So that’s Friday 27th Feb, between 1 and 2pm, @ExperianExperts on Twitter. Hope to see you there! #moneypenny

Quiz: How well do you really know your partner?

Valentine’s day may be long gone, but the quest for love and harmony goes on all year!  We decided to look at how well people know their partner’s attitude to finances – money and relationships. It only takes a minute to do this fun, interactive quiz to find out!

Your Experian Credit Score is a guide that will help you understand how your credit history is likely to be viewed by lenders. It can also help you both understand if one partner’s credit report needs a little work before any joint credit applications, such as a joint mortgage, are made.