Why your credit score counts

Increasingly over the year’s consumers have become more aware of their Credit Score and the general impact this can and does have on their overall finances. The increase in product available in terms of credit means that consumers are using credit based agreements much more frequently than in years gone by. Nowadays credit has become a consumer staple for managing financial concerns, on varying scales and periods of repayment. It used to be common practice than credit was a resource reserved for large scale purchases and financial management but in today’s modern economy, credit facilities have been adapted to be available on smaller scales also. The result of this change in borrowing behaviour means that many consumers have come to rely on credit; some so much so that it is used on a continual and consistent basis. Given the complexities and scope of modern day credit facilities it is therefore becoming increasingly common that consumers are aware of their Credit Reference File and their Credit Score as a result. Maintaining a positive and ‘healthy’ Credit Reference File is now paramount to the financial future of each and every one of us; given the frequency in which it can be and is turned to as a suitable monetary based resource.  

Historically consumers have shied away from their Credit Score through either lack of understanding, inability to do view such information without on-going cost or simply, a lack of general concern. The last decade has seen a notable change in this behaviour however and this is a result of 2 key contributing factors. The first of which we have touched on above and that is a general but steady increase in the use of credit facilities. The second of which is thanks to improving abilities to access and understand our individual Credit Reference File and it’s afore- mentioned contained information. Ultimately improved understanding and access capabilities mean that consumers are becoming more savvy when it comes to their Credit Score and what it’s result means to them financially.

For some time now there has been a free access point for our Credit Reference File and this is thanks to the provider Noddle. Noddle offer a capability to review your Credit Reference File detail, without the need to pay a monthly fee to do so. Another provider is Experian who offer a similar service but require a monthly fee after an initial 30-day trial period. Given many consumers natural disposition to not wish to pay for a service which they do not deem to be necessary, these free services are proving a more favourable choice. In the instance of Noddle, consumers can not only access their Credit Score but also can review a record of active and historic account detail, the detail of linked addresses and also associates. The format of Noddle, like many of these credit viewing resources, is specifically designed to be clear and therefore consumer friendly and gives the opportunity to fully understand the information contained.

A healthy Credit Score will ensure should the requirement for credit arise in the future, there is adequate potential for an application for such to be successful. Many consumers have admitted to feeling overwhelmed or even intimidated by the potential of understanding their Credit Score and often surprised upon discovering the simplicity of the resources which are readily available. Even in instances were a Credit Score is deemed as poor or even ‘bad’, the receipt and knowledge of such opens the door to improving such circumstances over a period of time going forward. There can of course be instances where current or historical data found with an individual’s Credit Reference File is incorrect, due to poor reporting and the correction of this can only be achieved through consistent review of one’s Credit Score. In addition to the free services which are available for the review of Credit Reference File information there is also a host of different resources which provide tools for improvement; based on a monthly fee. It could be argued that such fee based services are valuable, particularly to those consumers who are looking for advice and guidance to improve their existing score or want to monitor their file for the purpose of potential credit. It would be wise to obtain a free Credit Reference File review before then making an informed choice as to whether a fee based extended service would be of true benefit. At the very minimum a regular review of our Credit Score information should be maintained for the purpose of continued effective money management.

Representative Example: Representative 1286.98% APR on a loan of £300.00 with 5 monthly repayments of £101.03 Total amount repayable £505.13 Annual interest rate (fixed) 290%

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems - For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk

This article is not intended to contain information about, or advertise, products offered by us but is intended to contain information, give opinions or discuss generally available products/services.

Author: Internal Customer Services Agent

 

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