The higher your score, the greater the chance you have of getting the best credit deals
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That’s right – the Experian Credit Score, which shows you how lenders may view you, and can be a useful thing to know when you are thinking of applying for credit.
To get your Experian Credit Score FREE forever, sign up to our new 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†.
Are you registered to vote in the UK? It could help your credit report.
The EU referendum takes place on 23 June, and you must have registered on the electoral roll by 7 June in order to be eligible to vote in it. For a postal vote, your application needs to arrive by 5pm on 8 June, while the proxy vote (someone else voting on your behalf) deadline is 5pm on 15 June.
I’ve had a car on finance, but it’s not really suitable for my daily use. Will voluntarily terminating my car finance agreement affect my credit score and could it prevent me from getting another car on finance?
Nicola, Port Glasgow
Ending a car finance agreement early using ‘voluntary termination’ is your legal right, as long as you’ve paid at least half of the total amount due and you hand the car back in satisfactory condition. You should then be left owing nothing and the lender should update your credit report to reflect this. The lender may also add a voluntary termination marker to the entry on your credit report which explains to other lenders why the finance was settled early. Your credit score should not be affected, as long as you have paid all of your monthly payments on time up to the point you hand the keys back, so you should not see any late payments registered. Lastly, unless any lender you approach has a policy of not lending to people who’ve opted for a voluntary termination in the past – and I’ve not seen any evidence of this – then it should not affect your chances of securing credit in the future. (January 2016)
You can find archived Ask James questions arranged under subject headings such as ‘applying for credit’, ‘credit and debt’ and ‘fraud’ at the main Ask James page.
Reviewing your credit report can help you look after your finances better. The data & information held there summarises your credit history, so it can be worth reviewing it on a regular basis, and making sure it provides an accurate and up-to-date picture of your credit histories.
Lenders usually check your credit report when you apply for financial products, as it helps them decide whether to offer you the product and which terms to set, such as interest rates. Continue reading →
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 →
A soft credit check, or soft credit search, is an inquiry that occurs when a person or company checks your credit report as a background check. Instead, it looks at key pieces of information to check an individual’s credit worthiness, so that lenders can assess whether the individual will be successful in applying before carrying out the full examination of a credit report.
When a lender searches your credit report, they’re looking to see how you manage your credit now, and how you’ve managed it in the past. This search is then recorded on your credit report for future lenders to see. This is useful to lenders because if you’ve made a lot of applications for credit recently, it could suggest to them that you have an urgent need for credit which you may struggle to pay back. Continue reading →