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As it’s being reported that a price war has broken out between providers for fixed rate mortgages, credit information expert, Equifax, is urging homebuyers to review their credit history before they try to make the most of the lowest ever 2 and 5 year fixed rate deals.

“Probably encouraged by the Bank of England Funding for Lending scheme, there are now some fantastic fixed rate deals being offered in the mortgage market”, explained Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax. “But homebuyers who want to capitalise on these offers need to make sure their credit history will help them secure the best possible rate for their circumstances.”

Lenders make checks with credit reference agencies to see whether an applicant has kept up to date on repaying their credit. Having several credit cards with high limits and missing repayments can be cause for concern for lenders and could give the impression the person is financially stretched. And that could result in an individual being unable to obtain new credit or paying higher than the rates currently getting all the headlines.

“It’s really important that anyone planning to apply for new credit – including a new mortgage – checks their credit information before they start making applications” continued Neil Munroe. “Then at least they can spot any information that might need updating – such as being registered on the electoral roll – to put them in the best position to get a good deal. And if they are declined or offered a less favourable rate they will be able to ask the lender the reasons why, fully armed with the knowledge about their own credit history.”

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at 8.99 pounds per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

The Equifax app is available free from the Apple iTunes Store on iPhone and iPad and from Google Play for Androids.

TOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE

1. Are you Registered?
The electoral roll is used by many companies for identity verification purposes in order to combat identity fraud. It is vital, therefore, that you are registered on the electoral roll at your current address. And if you believe the address is not properly presented, you can ask the credit reference agency to take this up with the lenders and the local authorities.

2. Are you credit active?
Not having many credit cards or loans can affect your credit score. Lenders are looking for signs that you are capable of repaying money you have borrowed. So it’s worth considering opening an account to establish a credit history – even if you pay it off in full at the end of every month.

3. Change of Circumstances
If your circumstances have changed and you have had difficulties keeping up with credit payments, then it’s important to say so, for example if you were made redundant or recently divorced and have fallen behind on credit repayments. You can place a Notice of Correction on your credit file explaining the background to any missed payments, especially if you have now got back up to date. A lender will review this when assessing any credit applications you make.
If you believe a lender/company has provided incorrect information on your credit file, you can raise a Notice of Dispute with the Credit Reference Agency and they will take this up with the lender. This will usually be resolved within 28 days.

4. County Court Judgments (CCJ)
If you’ve had a CCJ and it is now settled make sure the settlement is recorded on your credit file. If not contact the court to get confirmation details and inform the credit reference agencies.

5. Stop Applying
If you have been refused credit, obtain a copy of your credit report. But DO NOT carry on applying elsewhere. Each credit application search by a lender will leave a “footprint” on your credit file. Too many searches in a short space of time can be perceived by lenders as you maybe over-stretching yourself financially and could therefore affect your ability to get credit.

6. Avoid a high balance
Avoid carrying a balance that is more than 30 per cent of your credit limit. Lenders may view this as a sign of you having too much credit already and that you therefore may not be able to keep up with any new repayments.

7. Be Direct
It’s easy to forget a payment so setting up direct debits and standing orders with your bank will ensure payments go out on time.

8. Close it Down
Make sure any accounts you don’t need or use are closed. Lenders are paying more attention to the total amount of credit available to an individual and whilst you may not be using them, these accounts could affect your ability to get credit.

9. Early Bird Catches the Worm
Try to pay off loans and credit agreements ahead of schedule. Lenders will look favorably on this.

For further press information please contact: Louise Fowler, Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: louise@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Harrison Sadler in the following categories: Personal Finance, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.