What’s the difference between a soft and hard credit search?

Whenever you apply for any form of credit – be that a loan, a credit card or a mobile phone contract – the lender will run a check on you with one of the major credit reference agencies. That check will help the lender decide whether you represent a safe prospect and that you are likely to meet all of your repayments on time. Alternatively, if you have had problems in the past and perhaps have some late repayments, defaults or county court judgements on your file, then it is more likely that you will be turned down for new borrow ing. Such a search is often referred to as a “hard” credit check because it is an extensive and detailed look at your credit history and a record of the search is left on your file. In fact, every time that you apply for credit and a lender checks your credit record, that search is added to the record. And as a rule of thumb, the more searches there are on your file, the less likely it is that you will be approved for further borrowing. What’s a sof


Why do Britons find it so hard to save?

Saving money isn’t exactly the most glamorous thing to do with your hard earned cash. A recent survey by Aviva found that 21% of us in the UK have no savings whatsoever. That’s almost a quarter of people who haven’t managed to put cash aside for a rainy day. And even those of us who have managed to put money aside may not be saving enough. The same Aviva research found that even those with retirement savings are around £9,900 short of the annual amount they need to live comfortably. Why can’t we Save? Research from the US identified that people are not naturally inclined to save money. This mostly comes down to a ‘Carpe Diem’ attitude i.e. we’re more motivated to live in the present and ‘seize the day’ than wait. So, rather than spending a bank holiday quietly doing nothing and saving the money instead, we’re more likely to book a crazy trip or a mini break or long lunches with friends. In fact, it’s occasion spending that often scuppers us. While many people ar

How to prepare for a long, hard winter

By: Alex Hartley Jan 11, 2016 How to prepare for a long, hard winter Although we had one of the mildest Decembers on record this year, we’re now in the period of winter that often results in snow, where temperatures plummet, and when spring can seem very, very far away. As well as this being the worst time for weather, it can be a difficult period for your finances too, and even your state of mind. As we’re looking ahead at what could be a long, hard winter we’ve got a few tips to help you get through the worst of it. Tip 1: Heat yourself, not your house Many of us waste money on heating during the winter months and it’s the time of year when the temptation to just turn up the thermostat and shut the door is overwhelming. However, your home doesn’t need to be warm if you’re not in it and the way you dress and act can have an impact on how much heat you need. Buy yourself warm slippers or socks, a cosy duvet and perhaps a hot water bottle so that when it gets really cold you