Experts Blog

Expert advice, information and tools on a wide range of credit-related matters.

The best financial advice I heard in 2016

financial planningThere’s nothing quite like the end of the year for taking stock of your finances, and budgeting for the year ahead.

So to help us out, we asked some of our favourite finance and budgeting bloggers to tell us the best financial advice they’d had this year.

Cass from family blog Diary Of A Frugal Family told us: “This year I’ve found out that changing energy suppliers is so much easier than I thought it would be. 

I’d been putting it off for ages because I thought it would involve lots of time and energy for not very much return but it took me a total of about 10 minutes and I saved enough each month for a treat takeaway. ;-)” 

Nicola, who runs budgeting blog The Frugal Cottage, has this to say: “When you invest, you are always going to take a risk. However, if you’re in it for the long term, then ignore the ups and downs that happen daily and enjoy the ride.”

And Francesca From Pennies To Pounds told us she’d learned this year that: “You can only squeeze so much out of your budget – earning more money should be one of the key focuses when you are paying off debt or working towards a financial goal.” Continue reading

Autumn Statement 2016: a summary

The Chancellor announced his first (and last) Autumn Statement on 23 November, and some of the main focuses were in housing, allowances and infrastructure.

We went into the streets to ask what people would do if they were chancellor. Watch the video to find out!

The main headlines – a brief summary

Housing

A £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund is to unlock land for housing, which in doing so is set to create 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand.  There’s also a further £1.4bn to build 40,000 affordable home, as well as a new venture that aims to give the Right to Buy for housing association tenants.

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How well do you know yourself?

How well do you know yourself? We decided to try and find out, one day last month in Nottingham.

And it turns out that while there’s a lot we do know about ourselves, one thing not many of us know is our credit score.

We set up a booth where people could pop in and answer some simple questions in our quiz – but one question above all foxed them.  Watch the video to find out how and why!

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A new US President: what about our finances?

If you’re planning to get a new card for your holiday spending, check your Experian credit report before applyingNow that the US presidential election has reached its conclusion, what does a victory for Donald Trump mean for UK and global finances?

A Clinton win had been on the cards for some time, but Trump’s victory surprised many all over the world.

Before election day
After she was cleared earlier in the week by the FBI of criminal wrongdoing with regard to emails, the dollar immediately rose in value, with US markets easing back on risk-aversion measures. Continue reading

Experian CreditExpert has a mobile app

Did you know we now have a mobile app for CreditExpert members? Yes, that’s right – you can now use CreditExpert on the go to see your Experian Credit Score and a whole lot more.

How to use the CreditExpert app

If you’re an active CreditExpert member, you can get quick access to key important information from your Experian Credit Report, see your Experian Credit Score and get alerts to certain changes to your report.

To see a full score history for the last 6 months you must have had an active account and logged in at least once a month.

It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later), as well mobile phones that run on Android 4.0.3 and up. At the moment it is not yet available for tablets. All you have to do is download the app on either iTunes or Android.

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What’s the average Experian Credit Score where you live?

Average Experian Credit Score in Edinburgh What’s your Experian Credit Score?  We wanted to see if there were any significant differences in the average Experian Credit Score in different UK cities – from a variety of locations.

The Experian Credit Score runs from 0-999, and usually a higher score means you’re seen as lower risk, which means you could be more likely to get a credit card, a loan or a mortgage, and at better rates too.

You may have seen some of our posters beside major roads, or if you’re in London, on tube platforms. If you have, I hope you saw your local area listed!

We looked at the average Experian Credit Score in ten of the largest local authority areas outside of London, based on Experian customers who joined between January and September 2016. Continue reading

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

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

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.

Get my credit score FREE FOREVER

  • 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.

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