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

About Debt Awareness Week

Debt Awareness Week: 26 Jan-1 Feb

Debt Awareness Week: 26 Jan-1 Feb

Here’s Rachel Connor from Stepchange.org with a guest blog post to help introduce and explain more about Debt Awareness Week. 

StepChange Debt Charity wants you to take control of debt!
Personal debt is a cause of worry for millions across the UK, and it’s estimated that some 2.9 million people desperately need debt advice right now*. The trouble is that many people who are struggling simply don’t know where to start. They may not even know that free debt advice is available to them.

Monday 26 January will see the launch of StepChange Debt Charity’s second annual Debt Awareness Week. During this week, we’ll encourage people to get free debt advice as soon as they need it. Continue reading

Video: How recent mortgage rules could affect you

Applying for a mortgage is rarely a straightforward process. Your mortgage is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you’re ever going to make – with lots of decisions to make, forms to fill in  and waits for lenders to respond.

In April 2014, the process was made even tougher with the introduction of new rules on mortgage affordability.  In this video, financial journalist Melanie Wright helps us find out what the new mortgage affordability rules might mean to you.

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Credit Café: How is a credit score calculated?

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.

Video: If there are late payments on my credit report

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.

What January blues?

Start as you mean to go on

Start as you mean to go on

There’s a lot said about the January Blues: how it’s cold, dark, there’s no money in the pot and it’s the most miserable time of the year. So far, so typical.

But we think there’s actually a lot good about January, certainly in terms of taking control of your finances – check out our reasons why.

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Credit Café: 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.

Video: Defaults on your credit report

Kay from Experian Experts explains what steps you can take if you have a default on your credit report – and how you could improve your credit score. You can see more videos from Experian’s Experts on our YouTube channel.

How prepared are you for an interest rate rise?

Are you one of the many homeowners that might be affected by a rise in your mortgage rate?  It’s been a long time coming, but after almost six years many experts believe an interest rate rise is coming at some point this year. Since March 2009 the Bank of England rate has stood at a record low of 0.5%, having been as high as 4.5% just five months earlier in October 2008.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says that it could mean as much as £119 added to the average monthly mortgage payment across the country, with figures in the south-east much higher.

Many homeowners, particularly those who’ve joined the market in the past six years, will have never been faced with an interest rate rise. Not surprisingly perhaps, many are not sure if, when and how rates could increase, with six out of ten homeowners saying they are confused about when it will happen.

CEBR’s research found that around three-quarters of homeowners had not been putting money aside in order to be ready for an increase in the cost of their monthly mortgage repayment if interest rates went up.

Do you know how an interest rate rise might affect you?  Watch this video to see what some people said when we went on to the streets to ask for some thoughts.

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Video: Inside Experian

What does Experian do? And how do we use data to help people get to grips with their finances?

Watch this video to find out how joining Experian CreditExpert helped our customer Claire Barron get back on her feet financially, and how understanding your credit report and what’s on it could help you use it to get the things you want.

You can also see the other ways we help people protect, manage and make the most of their finances, and what new plans are in the pipeline – and how it’s more than just a credit report.

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