Equifax urges shoppers to review their credit information before applying for balance transfer and 0% deals
London, 13th November 2014 – Black Friday is the day that now sparks a wave of shopping deals and discounts online and across UK stores in the run up to Christmas. As shoppers prepare to bag a bargain on what could be the biggest shopping day ever in the year, Equifax, the credit information expert, is reminding consumers who might be thinking about getting a 0% interest credit card to spread their Christmas shopping spending, that it’s worth checking their credit information before applying.
“Black Friday, which falls on 28th November, incentiveses consumers to start their christmas shopping and when bargain hunters across the country try and grab themselves a great deal heading into the festive period,” says Andrew Webb, Head of Equifax Personal Solutions at Equifax. “And savvy shoppers are probably thinking about what credit facilities they might use to help spread their christmas shopping expenses, whilst also putting off paying for them until the new year.
“There’s a range of 0% deals currently being promoted by card providers. But they may only be offered to consumers who don’t appear to be over-stretching themselves financially. And that’s where credit information comes in. Anyone planning to capitalise on the Christmas credit card deals should check their credit history before making applications which they can do by getting a copy of their Credit Report.”
Lenders want to see that an applicant has kept up repayments on past and current agreements. They will also be interested in what other financial commitments they already have. Plus, by reviewing their credit history, shoppers can take stock of their current financial commitments. This means they can budget for any christmas purchases and avoid the risk of falling into unmanageable debt.
The Equifax Credit Information Check List
- Are you on the Electoral Roll? Lenders use this to verify your ID and combat fraud. Make sure you are on the electoral roll at your current address.
- Do you have a credit history? Building up a credit history will allow lenders to see that you have demonstrated responsibility in repaying debts. If you don’t have much credit history it’s worth opening a credit card account with your current bank.
- Are your bills paid? Settling debts, such as personal loans or hire purchase agreements in full demonstrates responsibility in repaying debts. Missed payments may make lenders think you’re already struggling with debt.
- Do you pay the minimum? Try to pay more than just the monthly minimum on credit agreements. This demonstrates your ability to repay debts.
- Have you got cards you’re not using? Lenders will often look at the total amount of unutilised credit available to an individual and consider this when making a lending decision. This could include looking at credit available to you in accounts you no longer use so it’s worth closing any that are dormant.
- Been refused credit? Stop applying for credit elsewhere. Each application logs a search on your credit file. Too many could appear as if you already have too many commitments.
“It is much easier to tackle any factors that might be affecting a person’s credit status before making new applications, rather than having to address them once the process has started”, concluded Andrew Webb. “We are, therefore, urging consumers to take a look at their credit information before applying for a 0% interest credit card in the run up to Christmas.”
The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk/Products/credit/credit-report. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £9.95 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.
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Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. The company’s significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enable it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 19 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. In 2013, Equifax was named a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company, was #3 in Fortune’s Most Admired list in its category, and was named to InfoWeek 500 as well as the FinTech 100. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.
Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.