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The top five considerations when seeking credit

The top five considerations when seeking credit

Category: Debt

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

A familiar air of excitement, panic and mild hysteria is beginning to fill high streets across the UK as the Christmas shopping season begins in earnest.

Managing the cost of the festive season can be a daunting prospect and the temptation to take out new credit cards and loans to pay for the barrage of food, drink and presents can be strong.

Careful financial planning can go a long way to achieving a debt-free Christmas; however, sensible borrowing can also help accommodate extra spending.

Lenders nowadays are extremely wary as to whom they lend to, so bear in mind that a number of factors, not necessarily obvious, can hinder your chances of being successfully accepted for credit.

Check out our credit considerations to avoid getting your tinsel in a twist:

1. Have you checked your credit report lately?

If the answer to this question is "no" it may be wise to check it out to ensure all the details are up to date and correct.

Companies such as Experian and Equifax will let you view your credit reports for a small fee, usually £2.

If any part of your report appears to be incorrect, contact the lender in question immediately to get it amended as soon as possible.

2. Have your personal circumstances changed recently?

Lenders will pay close attention to the stability of a prospective borrower, so any major changes such as moving home or jobs may affect your application for credit.

Whilst it is unlikely that your application could be declined just for moving home, you may find your lender asks a few extra questions to gain an understanding of your current situation, particularly if you have frequently moved house or jobs over a short period of time.

3. Have you borrowed money before?

Believe it or not, having no track record of previously borrowing money can impact on successfully accessing credit.

Lenders like to see evidence that you are a reliable borrower and have behaved responsibly with credit in the past by making repayments on time and managing your debts efficiently.

Paying off mobile phone contracts in full and making small purchases on your credit card (whilst paying off the balance in full each month) can be good ways to gradually build up your credit profile.

4. Are you a prolific credit applicant?

On the flip side, lenders also take a dim view of repeated credit applications!

Each time you apply for a credit card, loan or mortgage, a search will be made on your credit report, leaving a foot print.

Don't be tempted into applying for handfuls of credit cards in an attempt to bag the best deal. A series of foot prints on your profile, especially within a short space of time, may suggest to lenders that you are desperate to borrow money.

5. Are you on the electoral roll?

Lenders will be less inclined to approve credit to people who are not registered to vote, even those with glowing credit profiles!

Contact your local authority to make sure you are fully registered.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.