Covid 19 Status

In line with HM Government requirements to fight the spread of Covid-19 we have measures in place to ensure that we protect our staff, their families and the wider community, but also to ensure that there is minimal disruption to our customers.

Your access to online Multi Agency Credit Reports, Expert Help and Account Management remains unaffected. We take great pride in the support that we provide to our customers and throughout this period will do all we can to minimise the impact on our services. While the country remains in lockdown we will continue to support your queries via a dedicated and experienced team that will be securely working from home, and supported by a Management Team that will continue to be based at our head office and who will be able to provide customer support as required.

The security measures that we have in place to protect your Personal Data, in line with our Privacy Policy, will mean that some elements of our personalised support are affected during this period as our support team will be working with anonymised data when working remotely. Freephone access to our Credit Analysts has been removed during this period while we focus our efforts on continuing to reply to all of your emails and secure messages within one working day.

Thanks for your understanding, and we hope to have full customer support available as soon as possible and wish you well during these challenging times.



Why You Should Check Your Postcode Before Buying a House

Posted by Katherine Cornell in Neighbourhood on 3 January 2018

Whatever reason you decide to move house, maybe it’s for downsizing, upsizing or a change of scenery, you’ll want to make sure that the house is the right fit for you (perhaps give or take a compromise or two). However, the area you’re thinking about moving to also needs to fit in with your needs and may be a far larger consideration than you may have realised.

How to check your postcode

If you’ve found a house you’re interested in, then you can search for a detailed overview of the area with our free-to-use Postcode Check service. By popping in any postcode, our tool provides you with information including social group classifications, an area summary, house sale prices, property types for the area, identity fraud hotspots, reported crimes, resident classifications and the credit score for the area and local services such as schools and transport.

The information provided is based on geodemographic information held about the area you live in - it is derived from census based information and responses received to several consumer questionnaires.

This information is used to generate an average estimated credit score within the postcode, which gives an indication as to the wealth and credit risk factors for that area. Whilst the finances of other people in the area should have little to no impact on your overall score, it could be important for you to know how your postcode may be assessed by potential lenders.

Comparing house values

When estimating the value of a property, one factor a mortgage lender may well look into is the historic sale prices of other buildings in the area- this has become increasingly common thanks to desktop and kerbside valuations. You can look at this data too, using it to see the average price of houses in the area so you can come up with a reasonable figure you can expect to pay.

It could also give you an insight into future gains you might hope to make on the property, however due to turbulent developments in the property market in recent years this may not be an entirely reliable way of predicting market trends.

Crime statistics

Almost all areas of the country will have some recent crime statistics to show, whether they are for petty crime or more serious offenses, but a frequent trend in crimes might show you something you may not have picked up on when visiting the area. Regular noise disturbance reports or antisocial behaviour may be indicative of a late night venue nearby that you could end up regretting choosing to live near.

Home and car insurers will use the postcode score to assess the likelihood of burglaries etc. when establishing premiums, but this doesn’t however mean that a ‘wealthy’ postcode will necessarily be cheap for insurance.

Spending time in the area at different times of the day, speaking to residents and local police/community support officers can be another great way to gauge what the neighbourhood is like.

Nearby schools & services

Families will want to find out information about schools in the locality and getting into the right school can often be a big reason for making a move. It is important to note that as with crime figures and house prices, the information on schools can vary over time, so look for recent history, word-of-mouth recommendations and Ofsted reports for information to gain a bigger picture of what the schools can offer.

When buying a house, it’s worth noting that houses in an area with one of more school with a good reputation may notice a bump in the price. For parents it’s a case of supply and demand; everyone wants their kids to go to a good school, but there are only so many houses in the area and travelling a longer distance may not be a viable option. Good transport links and easy access to other services may also have a similar increase in house value.

Once again, visiting the area and the schools will be a good indicator of their suitability to your needs, so choosing a house based on how close it is to a school might be a moot point if it turns out not to be the right fit for your kids.

How it will affect your credit rating

There’s a widely-held misconception that your address contributes to your credit file or that a below-average credit score for your area will affect your chances when you apply for a loan. There isn’t any truth to this, but the area you live in will affect the types of credit that is advertised to you.

Postcode profiling is often used by lenders when they’re choosing advertising distribution for their products, so more affluent areas may get leaflets through the door offering attractive credit card deals, but less wealthy areas may be targeted for higher interest products that have a higher acceptance rate.

While this makes a difference to the kind of product that you are offered, it has no bearing on whether or not you are accepted for finance. That means if you live in a less well-off area and you have a good credit history, you should still be able to apply for the best credit deals.

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Published on 6 Sep 2016 by Ben Ryland

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Iplayer now comes at a cost

Following new rules put into place on Thursday morning those watching programmes on BBC iPlayer will require a TV license. This new rule means that even if the programme is not live you will still need a TV license. Previously no TV license was needed if you were watching programmes not being broadcasted live.

Published on 5 Sep 2016 by Paul Anderson Riley

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Parking permit prices on the up and up

More than half of local authorities have expanded the number of parking zones which require a parking permit. As a result, the cost of parking has spiralled out of control, so much so that parking permit prices have increased by 51%.

Published on 26 May 2016 by Jasmin Stopford

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The government will need to shell out at least £50bn to turn the north of England into an economic powerhouse.

Published on 21 Sep 2015 by Simon Hadley

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Property asking prices spike 3pc

It seems that this summer might be a good time to sell a house.

Published on 16 Jun 2015 by Richard Catlin

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Middle income households continue to fall

We’ve see tax cuts for the richest in society in recent years, often at the expense of the poor. So it may come as no surprise to hear that whilst both poor and rich households are on the increase, middle-income households continue to fall.

Published on 11 Mar 2015 by Kelly Luff

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The areas where consumers borrow the most

Peterborough holds the highest debt per person in the country, a new survey reveals.

Published on 14 Oct 2014 by Ben Tumilty

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High Street shuffle

Our High Streets are changing rapidly according to a new survey from PwC and the Local Data Company.

Published on 9 Oct 2014 by Barry Stamp

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