Monthly Archives: October 2016

Plan your shopping budget for winter

Sometimes just making small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down the cost of our weekly food shop.

Small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down costs

Small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down costs

With winter on the way, reducing what we have going out can help us make the best of what we have coming in. Especially when January can sometimes be a challenge, if like many people, you were paid earlier than usual in December and have a much longer run until the next payday.

Here are five simple tips for a food shopping budget in winter:

  1. Plan ahead and budget – It could be something as simple as making a shopping list, so as not to overbuy at the supermarket, or it could be comparing prices in shops, across websites and with available discounts before you make a large purchase or sign up to a utility. And keeping up to date with when your credit bills are due can help you avoid the risk of missing payments. Continue reading

Spreading the cost of Christmas shopping

friends-shopping-xmas-300Most of us spend more in the immediate approach to and during the festive period than we normally would, so it’s probably a good idea to budget in advance and put some money aside – so that come mid-December, you don’t have to dig too much into money you either don’t have, or money you’re going to need in January.

Here are five things that might be worth thinking about:

  1. Christmas is a prime time for buying things that are either unwanted, don’t work properly or don’t fit. But… buying on credit can give you protection. If you buy goods or services on your credit card, you have extra protection if things go wrong, compared with paying by cash or even debit card, under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Continue reading

Making a will can help raise money for charity

Last will and testament documentHave you made a will? Did you know that half of Britons have not made a will, meaning they have no say in who their assets will be passed on to when they die – according to new figures from the charitable initiative Will Aid.

While young people are the least likely to have made a will, almost 1 in 5 (19%) of people aged 55 and over haven’t made a will either. Continue reading

Ask James: latest credit questions answered

James Jones

James Jones

Every month Experian’s James Jones answers a selection of your questions about credit and fraud in his ‘ask the experts’ style column here.

Sultana from Ilford wants to register her 17-year-old for a credit report but is unable to – James explains why this is so, and what they can do next.

Bianca from Tunbridge Wells wants to know if her library fine will affect her credit score, while Alan from York has a row of U’s on his credit report and asks Will the status code U on my credit report damage my score?

Anne-Marie from Newcastle-under-Lyme has this question: Can changing bank accounts have an effect on my credit score?, as she wants to apply for car finance later in the year.

See the previous Ask James: questions about claiming benefits and credit rating, changing from PAYG to direct debit, and more.

You can find more Ask James questions answered in our Ask James archive.  If you have a specific question and can’t find an answer here or you wish to contact us to query something on your credit report, please contact us – find all the ways you can contact us here.

What is a good credit score?

A good credit score

A “good” credit score depends on the scoring system used by your particular lender – there’s no one credit score or magic number – different lenders score differently.

However, if you have a good credit score from one of the main credit reporting agencies such as Experian, you are likely to have a good credit score with your lender.

  • The Experian Credit Score runs from 0-999 and is an indication of how lenders may view you.
  • It is based on the information in your Experian Credit Report
  • The higher your score, the greater the chance you have of getting the best credit deals

To get your Experian Credit Score FREE forever, sign up to CreditMatcher, a free independent service that helps you compare credit deals you’re more likely to get, based on your credit information.  We are a credit broker not a lender, working with selected lenders.†*

Credit score bands

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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 £54,008 at the end of Q3 1996 to £206,346 at the end of Q3 2016 – a whopping 282 per cent increase.

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 of over £10,000. Add in solicitor and estate agent fees and the initial layout can seem daunting.

Continue reading

5 half term money saving tips

Mother and kids hiking in sunny forestSummer’s gone – and so this October half-term is possibly the last opportunity for some sunshine for a few months.

But all is not lost – with some simple planning, you can entertain the kids and have a great time yourself, without splashing the cash.

  1. For short breaks and days out, you could check voucher websites for useful ‘percentage off’ code campaigns or cashback deals – there are often short-term promotional offers for specific places, dates and times. There are plenty of railcards that could save you money if you use the train a few times, like Family & Friends (up to 4 adults and 4 children) and Two Together (over 16s), or if you get advance ‘exact train’ tickets (just as you would with a plane). Continue reading