Tag Archives: applying for credit

Understanding why you were refused credit

The monthly financesIt can be a real pain when you make an unsuccessful credit application, especially when you can’t see why you were refused.

“But I’ve got a good credit score!”, “But I pay all my bills on time!”, “But I don’t even have a credit card!”, people may say.

When you apply for a credit card, a loan or even a mobile phone contract, it’s up to the lender to decide whether or not to lend to you – and they have varying methods to work out if you’re a risk worth taking.

New research from Experian* has found that 86% of Brits think that lenders should share information on the reasons why they have been refused credit.  If you’ve been turned down, only the lender can tell you why because only they know. If you ask, they should be able to give you the main reason.

Does being refused credit affect your credit score?

Experian’s research also found that 75% of the population think that being refused credit affects your credit score.

Being refused for credit is not, in itself, hazardous for your credit score. While your credit report will show that you applied for a credit card – it stays on for a year –  it won’t actually show whether or not you were accepted.

However, credit refusal can often lead to more attempts to get credit – and making a lot of applications in a short space of time could have a serious impact on your credit score, and your ability to get credit in the future.

That’s one reason why Experian have partnered with Credit Strategy for 2017 Credit Awareness Week, in which the aim is to empower people to improve their financial future.

Some common reasons to be refused credit:

  • You’ve missed or made late credit payments recently, which show up on your credit report
  • You’ve had a default or a CCJ in the past six years, which will show up on your credit report
  • You’ve made too many credit applications in a short space of time in the past six months
  • There are mistakes such as incorrect addresses or other errors on your application form
  • You may not fall into the target bracket for the type of credit you’ve applied for

Understanding the impact of your credit report

Did you know that 61% of homeowners have never checked their credit report? Your credit report is a summary of credit accounts you’ve had in the past six years – and that can include not only credit cards, loans and mortgages but also overdrafts, mobile phone contracts and certain utilities such as gas, electricity and water.

Lenders use it to take note of your repayment records and how well you’re coping with your finances, and use it, along with the info on your application form and info they might already have if you’re an existing customer, to help them make their lending decision.

In our survey, only 56% identified the lender as the one who makes the final decision for a credit card, with loan (61%) and mortgage (67%) not far ahead.

Interestingly, 76% said they would like to see more information on what they can do in the future to ensure they don’t get refused credit again.  Understanding how your credit report works could help you understand the reasons why you may have been refused credit – and help you manage your finances better in the future.

Understanding your credit score

We also found that the young don’t check their credit score. 85% of Brits aged 18-24 don’t know what their current credit score is, and almost three-quarters (73%) have never checked their credit score.

Your Experian Credit Score tells you how lenders may view you, which is useful when you apply for credit – and is FREE FOREVER. The higher your credit score, the more chance of being accepted for credit, at the best rates.

* Conducted by YouGov on behalf of CFA, 10th – 13th March 2017

How do you manage shared finances?

manage-shared-finance_300x200Managing your finances and your relationship can be quite a balancing act. Share a credit account? Then you share credit report information too.  

It can mean you’re more linked than you think. If you have applied for credit together, lenders will usually look at both of your credit reports when working out any future credit applications, even if it’s only for one of you.  

To mark Valentine’s Day, we asked some of our favourite finance, family and budgeting bloggers to share with us how they’ve managed to balance love and money, and what their tips are to make shared finances – and sharing outgoings in general – as harmonious as the day Cupid’s arrow first arrives.

Joint finances, joint decisions

Emma from EmmaDrew.Info: “My husband and I earn significantly different amounts which we really struggled with. We now put all of our earnings into our joint bank account, which covers our joint spending. What really helped us was that we now both withdraw the same amount of “pocket money” from the joint account, meaning that we have a level footing. This has made such a difference to how we feel about our money and I would recommend it.”  @emmadrewinfo 

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What you need to know about credit builder cards

For those who maybe haven’t got the credit history they’d like to have, the options for credit cards may be fewer.

But there are credit cards around which are aimed at helping you get your credit history back on track.

How do they work?

These no-frills cards are aimed at people who need to help build their credit history.  They often have low credit limits to start with and a high APR, but paying off the bill each month can help show lenders that you’re reliable.  Applying for too many cards at once can hurt your credit score even more, so it’s an idea to choose a credit card you’re more likely to get, and one that suits your needs best.

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Positive influence from parents leads to good financial habits

Parents often wonder exasperatedly if their offspring ever listen to their advice – but it appears that today’s young adults have learnt from the experiences of their elders when it comes to their finances.

Experian’s Millennial Me & My Money report found that 45% of Millennials – that’s 18-34 year olds – manage to save at least a quarter of their disposable income each month, compared to just a third (34%) of 35-55-year-olds (widely known as Generation X).

Millennial-Me-and-My-Money-Report_FINAL

Millennials who believe their parents have had a positive influence on their money habits have almost double the savings of those who say their parents had a negative influence.

See the full illustration of the Millennial Me findings here

However, those who say their parents have had a negative influence on their money management are more than twice as likely to have missed an agreed credit repayment, twice as likely to have been refused credit, and twice as likely to have run out of money before payday in the past. Continue reading

Is your credit report missing information?

By Neil Stone, Experian UK social support team

credit-score-report-history-300x200I’ve been looking to get some improvements done around my home lately. The kitchen has been looking a bit tired so I was thinking about getting a loan to cover the cost.

Before I even contacted my bank, I checked my credit report to make sure that all of my accounts that I expected to be showing were on the report. The more information a lender can see the better picture they will have of my credit history. If you have well run accounts then you want to be sure the lender can see them!

There are times though, when information that you might be expecting to show on your report doesn’t appear. Continue reading

5 tips if you’re thinking of working for yourself

Plumber working on sinkPeople become self employed for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps they want more freedom and want to fit their work around their lives more, perhaps it’s just the best option available, or maybe they feel ready to take on the challenge of running their own business.

Either way, more people than ever are taking the leap into self-employment. According to the Office for National Statistics, 4.53 million people in the UK are self-employed – with 1.67 million taking the plunge in the past five years alone.

Whether you’re a painter & decorator, an internet start-up or planning to write that great novel, there are a few things you could benefit from before you dive into the world of working for yourself. It’s something this writer has tried  – and learned a lot of lessons from. Continue reading

How late payments on my credit report could affect you

Gray from Experian Experts explains how late payments on your credit report might affect your credit application, and what you could do to help give your credit application a better chance of success. You can see more videos from Experian’s Experts on our YouTube channel.

Who decides if you get approved for credit?

In the first of a regular video series that we’ll be hosting on our YouTube channel – the Credit Café –  Experian Experts James Jones and Joanne Leahy explain who decides if you get approved for credit.

This video is one of four short episodes in the ‘Demystifying Credit’ series that we’ll be posting on YouTube, every Friday for the rest of January. Look out for the next one coming soon on our YouTube channel.

How your credit card can affect your credit rating

Here are 4 ways your credit report can show how good management of your credit card could help improve your credit rating:

 

  1. credit-score-report-history-300x200Check out your credit report before you apply for new credit, as this can give you the best indication of whether or not you’d get accepted, and after that check your credit report on an on-going basis.
  2. Ensure that the information on your credit report is accurate, up-to-date, and reflects your present circumstances, as there may be some discrepancies. Should you find anything that isn’t right, then contact the relevant lenders to get it altered. Watch out too for unfamiliar or suspicious entries there that could indicate identity fraud, and financial associations which are no longer relevant. Continue reading