Experian CreditExpert - Get your Christmas credit sorted
In the run-up to the Christmas shopping period, your credit rating matters more than ever. It's one of the main ways lenders decide whether or not to accept your credit applications, which is important if you're looking to spread the cost of this expensive time of year.
Experian CreditExpert can help give you the best chance of getting credit and getting the deals you want.
- Top 10 credit myths
- Sign up to CreditExpert
- Click here to see other Mumsnetters tips about budgeting this Christmas
What is a credit report?
A credit report is a personal history of all the credit you've had, from mobile phone accounts to mortgages and more. Lenders like them, because it's a snapshot of how well you cope with your finances, and helps them to decide whether or not to give you credit.
And while they may not expect you to have a perfect credit report, they do want to know that you'll be able to make repayments on time, and that you aren't already over-stretched.
What's in your credit report?
So what's in a credit report? You can expect to find information that confirms your identity (such as electoral roll details), as well as information about previous credit applications you've made and financial information like a list of your credit accounts and repayments. Missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years.
It's wise to check that your credit report is accurate and up to date before applying for any new credit. You can give yourself the best chance of getting credit, getting the deals you want, and will help protect yourself from the possible impact of ID theft.
Refused credit? Don't panic
If you've been refused credit, don't panic. Much of the time it's just a case of working out why, then addressing the issue. There are three reasons that are most likely. It could be because of:
- the information on your credit report
- because you are not the target customer for that type of credit
- because there may be a mistake on your application form
A website such as Experian CreditExpert can help match you to products that may suit your circumstances, based on your Experian Credit Score.
How you can improve your credit rating for Xmas
With eight weeks until Christmas, you may not be able to make sweeping changes to your credit rating, but there are some simple things you can do in that time to make it as high as possible. Make sure you've registered to vote as lenders use the electoral roll to check you live where you say you do. Fill out your credit applications carefully, and don't apply for too much credit at once. And don't be tempted to skip payments – make sure you pay your bills and make your repayments on time.
Staying safe online while doing your Christmas shopping
It's essential that we make sure that when we do shop online, we are protected from the risk of our passwords falling into the wrong hands – which could be like rolling out the welcome mat to fraudsters to access our personal data.
By using strong passwords – and different ones for different sites - checking websites are secured, and using an effective web monitoring service such as Experian CreditExpert you can help keep yourself and your personal data safe online.