Here we take a look back at 2016 and some of the more significant things that may have affected our finances.
January We focused on our Millennial Me report, which found that 45% of Millennials manage to save at least a quarter of their disposable income each month, compared to just a third (34%) of 35-54 year olds.
February With a busy year of voting ahead, we focused on National Voter Registration Drive (1-7 Feb), which not only encourages young people to register to vote to increase their voice, but also to help boost their credit profile – as lenders use the information on your credit report to help confirm your identity which could help you when you apply for credit.
March March saw George Osborne’s final Budget as chancellor (though he didn’t know it at the time) , and the main points we focused on included changes to the personal allowance, spending cuts, changes to savings and infrastructure projects.
Everyone has an Experian Credit Score. Looking after it, nurturing, growing and improving it can help you get a better rate on loans, credit card or mortgages. Some simple steps can help you improve your credit score:
Stay within credit limits and keep balances low – The lower your overall balances (not including mortgage), the better.
Try not to make too many applications for credit – each application is recorded on your credit report – the fewer you’ve made in the last 6 months, the better.
Make sure all bills are paid on time – Missed or late payments can have a big impact, but paying on time can really help your score.
Register to vote at your current address – lenders use the electoral roll to help confirm who you are and where you live.
Review your credit report regularly – make sure it’s up to date and in good shape for when you’re ready to apply for credit.
It can also help you keep an eye on your progress while you maintain or improve your credit score before you apply.
Do try to stay within your credit limits and do try to pay your credit bills on time. Missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years, and this can have a big impact on your score. Continue reading →
The Experian Credit Score is a guide to help you understand your credit report, and how the way you’ve managed the credit you’ve had in the past might affect applications you’re making now.
It can also help you keep an eye on your progress while you maintain or improve your credit score before you apply – and here are our five top tips to help you do that.
Tip 1 – Stay within credit limits and keep balances low – The lower your overall balances (not including mortgage), the better. If you can afford to pay off a bit more debt and you want to improve your Experian Credit Score, reducing the balance on your credit cards and overdraft can be useful. Close unused credit accounts if you don’t use them anymore, as lenders can take into account the credit limits available to you, not just what you owe at the moment.
Tip 2 – Try not to make too many applications in a short space of time – A scattergun approach to making credit applications, even if you see it as just shopping around, can have a negative impact on your Experian Credit Score. Each application is recorded on your credit report and if lenders see lots in a short period, they could think that you’re desperate for credit or suspect fraud.
Tip 3 – Set up direct debit payments to make sure credit bills are paid on time – Missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years, and this can have a big impact on your score. Regular payments on time can help build up a good credit account payment history.
Tip 4 – Register to vote at your current address – Lenders use the electoral register to help confirm who you are and where you live.
Tip 5 – Review your credit report regularly – Make sure it’s up to date, and that the information on it is accurate. If you do find anything that needs correcting, contact the relevant lender and ask for an amendment – Experian can also raise a query on your behalf. Even small details like the way your name and address is recorded could have a significant impact.Also check your financial associations with other people.
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.
When 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 →