Tag Archives: james jones experian

Ask James: latest credit questions answered here

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

Among the new questions, there is Should a default still be showing on my credit report?, about an old default that was due to disappear.

There is also a query about car finance and credit scoring,  Will voluntary termination of car finance affect my credit score?, and another relating to a debt relief order, Why is my debt relief order still affecting my credit rating?.

You can also 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.

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 use our customer service contact form.

Watch James talk to Experian Experts blogger Darren about retirement and your credit report.

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.

5 tips for improving your credit score

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.

james-lbc-mar15When 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

How is a credit score calculated? Watch our new video

In the second of our series of Credit Café videos, our Experian Experts James Jones and Joanne Leahy explain how a credit score is calculated.

This video is part of the ‘Demystifying Credit’ series that we’re posting on YouTube every Friday for the rest of January. Look out for the next one coming soon on our YouTube channel. You can watch the first Credit Café video about who decides if you get approved for credit here.

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 will cancelled Wonga loans affect credit ratings?

Dear James,

Wonga has recently announced it is cancelling loans owed by a number of customers following a review of its lending criteria. Can you tell me what will happen to these people’s credit reports and when, and how this will affect their future credit ratings? Thanks.

Ben, Brighton

Continue reading