Tag Archives: improve credit rating

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

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.

Ask James: credit questions answered

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

Jack from Cheadle wanted to know if claiming benefits would affect his credit rating, and would be part of a future credit check.

James from Worthing wants to know why his Experian Credit Score has gone down when nothing has changed with his financial profile, while Susan from Bury St Edmunds asked Why can’t the pre-app checker identify me?, about not being found on a credit card eligibility calculator.

Finally, Diana from Exeter would like to know why she was unable to change her gas meter from pay as you go to direct debit,

You can also 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.

 

Why your credit score matters – and 5 tips to improve it

Your credit score is often seen as the key that could unlock access to better credit deals, mortgage approvals & more. But who decides your credit score? And what are the factors that most affect it?

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 a credit score for you.  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.

There is no ‘one’ universal credit score. Different lenders can score differently, using their own formulae based on their own factors – there really is no ‘magic number’.

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, and can give you an indication of what kind of loan you might get. Usually, a higher score means you’re seen as lower risk – meaning you’re more likely to get credit, and at better rates.

Your Experian Credit Score is not set in stone – it’s a living, breathing thing and it changes along with your own financial behaviour. Getting your credit score up could open up the potential chance to get better loans – and at better rates.

5 tips for improving your Experian Credit Score

  1. 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.
  2. Credit scoring can also look at the average age of your accounts, so try not to chop and change all of your accounts on a regular basis.
  3. 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 dispute on your behalf. Even small details like the way your name and address is recorded could have a significant impact.  
  4. Don’t resort to a scattergun approach to credit applications, as each application is recorded on your credit report and if lenders see lots in a short period, they could think that you’re desperate or suspect a fraud.
  5. Make sure you register to vote at your current address, as lenders use the electoral register to help confirm who you are and where you live.

Talk to us
If you have questions you’d like answered about your Experian Credit Report and Score, our Twitter and Facebook customer service teams are online Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm. Saturdays 9am to 5pm.

You can also send in general credit or ID Fraud questions to James Jones, our Head of Consumer Affairs, who regularly answers queries on his popular Ask James column – a selection of which we regularly feature in this blog.

How Matt turned his credit rating around

Matt managed to turn his credit rating around a short space of time and now owns his own home – here he tells us how he took control of his credit history to achieve what he wanted.

After running up huge balances on credit cards, mobile phone bills and being hit charges through missing payments, Matt found that it seriously affected his chances of getting a first mortgage.

Checking his Experian Credit Report and Score allowed him to see how he could sort out his finances and ultimately help him get that first home.

Now much more money-savvy, he works for TopCashback and is dedicated to helping people get deals that could help them save money.

You can also check out Becci’s story of how she is using the Experian Credit Report and Score to help her save towards a mortgage here.