Credit cards and credit ratings

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How to improve your credit score

Everyone should make time to check and manage their credit score regularly, as it can affect your ability to borrow money or access products such as credit cards, or loans. You can check your score for free and if it isn’t in the best shape, there are things you can do to improve it. We’ll show you some ways to improve your credit score today.

Refused credit or refused a loan – what you can do

If you’ve been turned down for a credit card or loan there are steps you can take to understand why. There are also things you should avoid doing which could make it even harder to get credit in the future. Read on to find out more and to learn about alternative borrowing options to consider or avoid.

Reclaiming unfair credit card charges

If you’ve had charges added for late or missed credit card payments or for going over your credit card limit you might be able to reclaim some of them, particularly if you’re struggling with debt. Check your rights and options for complaining – including for charges dating back several years.

Credit card and debit card protection explained

Paying by credit card can be convenient, but it also gives you added legal protection if the company you’re buying from goes bust or doesn’t deliver what it’s promised. You might also get some protection when paying by debit card under a voluntary scheme called chargeback. With charge cards though you don’t generally have protection. Here’s how it works and how to go about making a claim.

Choosing and applying for a credit card

Getting a credit card can be exciting, but you need to choose wisely and apply with care. Find out about choosing the right card for you, and how to make a successful application without damaging your credit rating.

A guide to store cards

Handle with care. That’s the most important thing to know about store cards. They can be useful if you’re disciplined enough to always pay back what you owe each month, but if not they can be expensive – so check whether other credit options are better.

A simple guide to credit cards

Used well, a credit card is a secure and flexible way to pay and can be a good way to spread the cost of major purchases. But if you only make minimum payments or run up a bill you can’t pay back, credit cards can be costly.

Credit card cheques

If you don’t have enough money in your account, credit card cheques might seem like a great option if the shop or tradesman doesn’t accept credit cards. However, they are likely to leave you in a worse financial position.

Managing your credit card account

Credit cards can be a handy way to borrow if you use them in the right way - but get it wrong and you could find that your debts spiral out of control. Follow these simple tips to manage your card correctly.

Recurring payments for payday loans

Before giving a loan, payday lenders might ask you to agree to a recurring payment (also known as a continuous payment authority or CPA). It’s important to make sure you understand how these work before agreeing to one.

How to use credit card comparison tables

If you’re looking for a credit card, then comparison websites can be helpful. But do you know the difference between a best buy table and a ‘whole of market’ search? Or that a best buy table might not show the best cards that are currently available?

In-store credit and hire-purchase

There are many different forms of in-store finance, each offering ‘buy now and pay later’. These are often presented in a way to attract you into taking them out but make sure you know what you’re getting into before you do.

Catalogue credit or shopping accounts

When you shop using a catalogue you will normally be offered the option of spreading your payments over a period of time. This can make large purchases seem more affordable. But if you’re not disciplined to repay on time, catalogue credit can be an expensive way to borrow.

Cashback credit cards

Cashback credit cards offer you the chance to earn cash from the money you spend, by paying you a percentage back or giving you reward points.

Paying off your credit card

Using a credit card for your spending can have many benefits, from added legal protection to cashback or collecting loyalty points at your favourite retailer. However, credit card debt can quickly mount up if you don’t pay your card off in full each month. Here’s how to stop that happening.

How do you increase your credit limit?

If you have a credit card or overdraft but want to increase your credit limit, how can you go about it? This guide looks at what you can do to increase your limit and, more importantly, whether or not you should.

How to check your credit report

Have you ever wondered how a bank or other lender decides whether to give you credit? One of the tools they use is your credit report. This tells them about your credit history and helps them assess how much of a risk lending to you will be.

How to get credit for the first time

To be accepted for a credit card, personal loan, mortgage, overdraft or most other forms of credit in the UK, you will usually need to have a good credit history (and credit score). Find out how to start building one.

Charge cards

Charge cards are like credit cards in that you buy something now and pay for it later – but the big difference is that you have to pay it off in full every month. These cards are usually for people with high incomes, or for putting things on the company account. They come with extra perks, but there are a few things you need to know.

Find an adviser

If you decide you want financial advice, you can begin your search for the most appropriate regulated financial adviser for you by simply entering your postcode below:
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