Tag Archives: money-saving

Can switching accounts save you money?

Moving into a new home can be a great opportunity to check whether you’re getting the best deals from the bills you pay, whether that’s energy, broadband or credit cards.

Often, once an introductory deal is over many people allow their contracts to roll on to higher rates without even realising it – so they end up paying more each month for the same thing.

So now may be a good time to compare deals to make sure you’ve got one that suits you, and Experian can help you every step of the way.

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We are a credit broker not a lender, working with selected lenders.†

Switching energy providers could save you money

Did you know switching utilities could save you over £200 a year? Loyalty can often mean you’ll end up paying more – from October to December 2016, UK households spent £3.61 per day on water, electricity and gas, a rise of 11% on the previous quarter.

In fact, domestic utility switches were up 25% in the 12 months ending February 2017, and there’s no shortage of account providers and suppliers looking to attract new customers.

March 2017 Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) figures suggest there is as much as a £250 difference between the cheapest deals and the average standard variable tariff. Tariffs are changing frequently, with companies trying to get customers from their rivals and maintain their loyalty.

How to compare energy providers

Find a benchmark, and check as many companies as necessary before you find the one that gives you the best deal to suit your needs.

Look into customer service as well as price – you might see a low tariff in the compare charts, but then find out that comments on the forums suggest that the provider has a poor reputation.

It’s worth remembering that energy prices differ around the UK so the cheapest provider could change when you move home.  Reviewing deals every six months can ensure you are on the cheapest deals to suit your needs.

Changing should take a matter of minutes – it’s all done for you and all you usually need is your postcode and your email address.

Compare energy deals

Switching to a different credit card could save you money

When you buy a new house, you’ll probably want to furnish it straight away and transform it into your dream home.

If you want to use a credit card, make sure you read about the different types to get the right one for you.

0% purchase cards could help spread out costs, giving you more time to pay it off and make flexible monthly payments without having to pay interest. Balance transfer cards can help you move credit card debt to another card with a lower rate or no rate at all, typically for a small transfer fee.

If you switch to a credit card with a 0% offer, make sure you never miss the minimum monthly repayment as this can result in additional charges and could negatively affect your credit score. If you can, try to clear the balance by the time the offer period ends and the card reverts to a standard rate.

Get credit cards you’re eligible for

You can compare credit cards matched to your credit information, and find which deals you’re more likely to be accepted for, with Experian CreditMatcher and it won’t negatively impact your credit rating.

We are a credit broker not a lender, working with selected lenders.†

Compare energy deals

Experian CreditMatcher also allows you to check your Experian Credit Score FREE forever, to help give you an idea of how lenders may view you. With Experian, you can feel financially prepared and confident in your new home.

†Experian acts as a credit broker and not a lender in the provision of its credit cards and personal, car finance and guarantor loans matching services, meaning it will show you products offered by lenders and other brokers.

Experian acts independently and although CreditMatcher shows products for a range of lenders and other brokers it does not cover the whole of the market, meaning other products may be available to you. CreditMatcher services are provided free however we will receive commission payments from lenders or brokers we introduce you to.

CreditMatcher is provided by Experian Ltd (Registered number 653331). Experian Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 738097). Experian Ltd is registered in England and Wales with registered office at The Sir John Peace Building, Experian Way, NG2 Business Park, Nottingham, NG80 1ZZ.

Copyright © 2017, Experian Ltd. All rights reserved.

How could recent inflation rises affect us?

Small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down costs Did you know inflation in the UK reached a two-year high in December 2016? We look at how this could affect all of us.

With the weaker pound pushing up air fares and food prices, the cost of weekly shopping and jaunts abroad is on the up, not matter what your budget.

The  Office For National Statistics estimates that a basket of goods and services that cost £100 in December 2015 would have cost £101.60 in December 2016.  They put the rise down to “Price movements for the majority of the broad groups of goods and services.”

*Did you know: the most recent figures show that in 2014 the average food shop was £58.80, which would have meant an extra 50p a week in 2016 with these rises.* Continue reading

Would a missed gym membership payment affect my credit report?

Gym membership and your credit reportIt’s no surprise that gym memberships rocket in January. Resolutions to shed the pounds in the new year are not uncommon, and gyms and fitness centres know full well that a high number of new members will find it hard to keep up their commitment beyond the end of the month, let alone the full year.

Even with introductory offers, gym membership can still be costly if you’re committed for a year upfront and are loathe to cancel.

Spending some time balancing out your income against your outgoings can be beneficial in the long run, and can also make you feel like you’re in control of your finances.  And the start of the year is often a good time to think about if there are any costs you can do without – outgoings you may no longer need or use.   

Besides gym membership, it might be satellite TV channels you never watch.  An extended warranty you didn’t really need to buy. It can all add up! A budget calculator may help you work out if you could live without it.

Would a missed gym membership payment affect my credit report?

Neil Stone from our Social support team says:  We’ve recently been contacted by a worried customer who was being chased by a debt collection agency over a missed gym membership payment and were concerned that it would impact their credit report. Continue reading

5 ways to get a money-saving winter break

Money-saving christmas breakWho wants to spend winter in the sun? It’s fair to say many of us could do with a break – ideally with a bit of sunshine included.

So we’ve put together 5 ways to get away from the cold and wet of a British winter without having to over-splash the cash.

  1. Book at the right time – Online ‘screenscrapers’ can instantly hunt down and compare the cheapest flights, while popular review sites have dozens of useful customer reviews to help you compare hotels and resorts. With package holidays it can pay to book late (as long as you’re flexible), as unsold seats and rooms have to get sold one way or another – and by then it can be a real buyer’s market.
  2. Credit-savvy – While many credit and debit cards charge up to 3 per cent per transaction if you use them abroad, there are specialist credit cards available that don’t charge for overseas cash withdrawals or have no foreign exchange fee. If you do get one of those cards though, make sure you pay the bill off in full when the bill arrives if you can. It’s also advisable to let your lender know you are going abroad, so as to prime them in case it raises suspicion when they see you making large purchases in duty free! Continue reading

5 half term money saving tips

Mother and kids hiking in sunny forestSummer’s gone – and so this October half-term is possibly the last opportunity for some sunshine for a few months.

But all is not lost – with some simple planning, you can entertain the kids and have a great time yourself, without splashing the cash.

  1. For short breaks and days out, you could check voucher websites for useful ‘percentage off’ code campaigns or cashback deals – there are often short-term promotional offers for specific places, dates and times. There are plenty of railcards that could save you money if you use the train a few times, like Family & Friends (up to 4 adults and 4 children) and Two Together (over 16s), or if you get advance ‘exact train’ tickets (just as you would with a plane). Continue reading

Managing debt and future finances – live discussion

Managing debt and future-proofing your finances is a target for many of us.  We hosted a video on June 15th with consumer champion and BBC Dragon Sarah Willingham, Chief Executive of the Money Charity Michelle Highman, and Experian Experts’ own James Jones to provide expert tips on how to beat debt and prepare financially for the future.

The guests spoke about three main topics –
Managing debt – Watch them discuss how and why people get into debt, what the common mistakes are and how we can try to avoid them, and give tips to beating debt and getting back on to an even keel.

Future-proofing your finances – Experian research has shown that the over-55s are worried about their financial future. Our panel discussed how people who fall into that demographic can help ensure they’re prepared for retirement and the probable loss of income that it brings, and also talked about how younger generations can future-proof their finances.

Financial education – The panel also spoke about what parents can do to help ensure they give their children the best start when it comes to financial education.

What do the new pension freedoms mean?

retired-couple-in park-300April 2015 saw the introduction of ‘pension freedoms’, which essentially gave those aged 55 and over wider access to their pension funds.

In previous years, this meant being able to take a quarter of their ‘defined contribution’ pension (ie: one based on how much they paid into it) as a tax-free lump sum, but invariably using the rest of the money to buy an annuity designed to pay out an income each year for the rest of your life.

Video: How we manage money has changed over the generations

Continue reading

7 ways Eurovision has changed over the years

Map of EuropeYes, it’s Eurovision 2016 this weekend –a feast of ‘douze points’, tacky costumes and unfathomable voting decisions which it seems Britain’s entrants never win any more.  

Still every year we watch it: an average of 6.6 million viewers on BBC1 last year, part of an estimated 197 million viewers in 40 countries worldwide.

But for those of us who’ve been watching Eurovision since childhood and the days of Abba, Bucks Fizz and Terry Wogan, like most things in life it’s gone through a whole lot of generational changes in the past 30 years.

1. The number of participants – By 1987 the number of countries taking part had reached 22, which was unofficially set as the limit. However, the fall of the Berlin Wall two years later, and the subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, quickly led to a massive rise in entrants peaking in 2018 with 43 countries. And that’s before Australia were invited to take part last year!

Continue reading

World Book Day 2016

world-book-day-300Did you know that Thursday 3rd March is the 19th annual World Book Day? If you have school-age children you may well be aware, as schools up and down the country will have children parading in fancy dress to represent their favourite books.

It’s encouraging to know that even in the age of instant online, anytime anywhere information, physical books are on the way back into fashion.  Technology comes and goes but it seems that nothing beats the feeling of holding a book, turning the pages and enjoying a more physical experience. Continue reading

6 money-saving tips for travelling by train

OTravelling by train can be one of the most pleasant ways to travel across the country. Sitting back and watching towns and scenery pass by, without having to think about traffic and motorway turn-offs. And there are several ways that you can make sure it stays low cost.

One of the best things about a recent short stay I had in the beautiful city of Bath was the satisfaction of knowing that I’d kept the cost of getting there to a minimum, thanks to advance booking, planning timings and using a railcard.

Here are six ways you could save money on train travel in the UK: Continue reading