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.

What is a good credit score?

A good credit score

A “good” credit score depends on the scoring system used by your particular lender – there’s no one credit score or magic number – different lenders score differently.

However, if you have a good credit score from one of the main credit reporting agencies such as Experian, you are likely to have a good credit score with your lender.

  • The Experian Credit Score runs from 0-999 and is an indication of how lenders may view you.
  • It is based on the information in your Experian Credit Report
  • The higher your score, the greater the chance you have of getting the best credit deals

To get your Experian Credit Score FREE forever, sign up to CreditMatcher, a free independent service that helps you compare credit deals you’re more likely to get, based on your credit information.  We are a credit broker not a lender, working with selected lenders.†*

Experian Credit Score bands and what they mean

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How to make your dream home a reality

Britain has enjoyed a number of property booms over the past 20 years. And despite the fact that property prices have also tumbled on a number of occasions, the average house price has risen significantly. 

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the average UK house price went up from £54,008 at the end of Q3 1996 to £206,346 at the end of Q3 2016 – a whopping 282 per cent increase.

Unfortunately, rising house prices has meant that it has become harder for first-time buyers to get a foot onto the property ladder. Using the average house price as a guide, even if a mortgage has a 95 per cent loan-to-value, buyers would still need to find a deposit of over £10,000. Add in solicitor and estate agent fees and the initial layout can seem daunting.

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5 top tips for 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

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

How to avoid the Identity Fraud horror story

Scary Monster Halloween Hands Use Laptop Computer with Blank ScrAt Halloween people spend a lot of time, effort and money pretending to be ghosts, monsters and other scary characters.

But online identity fraudsters can spend the whole year prowling the web for the things they’re after.

And once they have enough of your personal details, they can apply for credit in your name and run up debts without you knowing.

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Brexit: What’s the latest, and how does the interest rate cut affect homeowners?

brexit-interest-rate2After the political whirlwind of the last couple of months, it appears the country’s immediate future may be becoming a little clearer.

Now that Theresa May has taken office as Prime Minister, she will agree the government’s negotiating position before she triggers Article 50, and officially starts the clock on the UK’s exit from the EU.

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Why choose Shared Ownership?

The home ownership dream can seem more out of reach than ever, with mortgage affordability rules making the home-buying process more complicated. And ever-increasing house prices mean that many hopeful homeowners usually have to find larger deposits than before.

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the average UK property price in October 2015 was £196,807 – up from £173,678 in October 2013 (a rise of 13.3 per cent). On a mortgage that offers 90 per cent loan-to-value (LTV), this means finding a deposit of nearly £20,000, with estate agent and legal fees on top of that too.

More information: What type of mortgages should I get?

So what for the hopeful at the foot of the property ladder? One potential solution is part-own, part-buy – Shared Ownership. A step that yours truly took a few years back and have never regretted.

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Experian Credit Score is now FREE. FOREVER.

The cat’s out of the bag – for the first time, the UK’s most trusted credit score* is now free, for everyone**, forever.

That’s right – the Experian Credit Score, which shows you how lenders may view you, and can be a useful thing to know when you are thinking of applying for credit.

To get your Experian Credit Score FREE forever, sign up to our new CreditMatchera free independent service that helps you compare credit deals you’re more likely to get, based on your credit information.

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

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