How to Save Big in the Bank Holiday Sales

Posted by Kiah Phillips in Personal Finance on 26 April 2018

Bank holidays may not guarantee a day of sun-soaked fun, but as is British tradition, we’d probably be quite happy barbecuing in the snow if it came to it. But no matter what your plans are, if you want to grab a bargain, you can use the Bank Holiday sales to save some serious money.

The obligatory bank holiday sales are the perfect opportunity to find products that might normally be too costly. To make potential purchases more affordable still, you can choose to buy items using a credit card or in-store finance rather than cash and spread the cost over a longer period – often at 0% interest. But to give yourself the best possible chance of being accepted for finance, you’ll need to make sure your credit file is in good shape beforehand.

That’s where checkmyfile can help. You can try us free for 30 days and then it’s £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel at any time online, or by giving us a call or sending an email. You’ll get a good idea of what your credit rating is and be able to check that everything held about you is correct.

Using your credit file to make sure you get the best deals

In simple terms, the information held about you on your credit file is used by prospective lenders to determine how risky lending to you might be - based largely on how you’ve managed credit agreements in the past - and subsequently, whether you’re the sort of customer they are looking for.

It goes without saying that some credit checks are tougher to pass than others – a mobile phone contract vs a mortgage being an obvious example – and in addition, different lenders will have different criteria. But in all cases, the information held about you and your credit history will be the main factor in determining whether you get accepted or not.

It doesn’t just boil down to a ‘yes or no’ either. Many lenders operate something known as ‘rating for risk’ where the APR that you are offered (if you are accepted) will vary, often by a considerable amount. This is used where the lender basically says that they will extend finance to you, but you’ll have to pay more than the ‘Representative Example’ that will adorn most marketing messages and point of sale adverts. Put simply, the better your credit rating is, the less you’ll probably be asked to pay.

Store finance vs a credit card

Store finance is used by retailers as a way of securing sales from people who can’t or don’t want to pay for something up front. Many deals even offer 0% finance for a fixed period, meaning that you won’t pay more than the retail price. Credit agreements are often administered by a third-party finance company, and where interest is charged, it can be at quite a high rate.

When it comes to credit cards, there are products to suit most needs, with the ‘0% on purchases’ probably being most applicable for spreading the cost of a big purchase. These generally offer 0% (or a very low rate) interest for a fixed period, allowing you to pay something off over a longer period without incurring extra charges.

The big difference between the two is immediacy. Whereas with store finance, you can walk into a shop, see something you want and – assuming you pass the credit check – secure the product you want there and then, using a credit card to pay for something takes a bit more planning. Even Amazon hasn’t quite perfected same-day credit card delivery just yet.

A credit card is likely to give you extra flexibility in terms of managing your payments and being able to use it to buy more than one thing, but at the same time, you won’t know what your credit limit is until you are accepted, so there’s a chance it won’t be big enough to purchases the thing you have your eye on. It could all come down to your appetite for an impulse purchase.

In both cases though, the same thinking applies – apply without knowing what your credit report says about you and you could be left either staring frustrated at a ‘Sorry…’ message on an online application form, or slightly red-faced in a store standing next to a disappointed sales assistant.

So how can I prepare for an application?

These days almost all credit checks are automated, including store finance – the only difference between that and a credit card application is that it’ll be someone in the shop entering your personal information, rather than yourself.

Different lenders will use different Credit Reference Agencies and so knowing what’s held about you by more than just one is a big advantage (only checkmyfile lets you do that).

As well as your repayment history, the ‘public information’ held on your credit report will play a big part. Your Electoral Roll status and whether you are listed at your current address (with the agency that is being checked) carries a surprising amount of weight and can easily make or break a decision. Similarly, any court information will have a significant impact on the decision they come to.

That means if your Electoral Roll listing is missing, or negative court information is returned, then you may find yourself being declined straight away.

If you aren’t listed on the Electoral Roll, it’s not too much hassle to get your listing updated to reflect your latest address and it could make a big difference to your application – it might just mean waiting until the next sale before making that big purchase.

To make sure your credit report is in the best possible shape for being approved, no matter which method of purchasing power you prefer, you can try checkmyfile FREE for 30 days, then £14.99 a month afterwards – you can cancel at any time online or by phone or email.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Store Cards

There are a number of reasons you might take out a store card: whether you’re just waiting in-line at the shop and find out you can save on today’s shopping or they offer the promise of making money in the future, these cards regularly find their way into wallets (or phones via an app). Most big retailers offer their own cards, which allow you to take your purchases home – often with a nice discount applied – without having to part with a penny at the till.

Published on 10 Jul 2018 by Tom Blandford

Full Article

What Happens To Your Credit Report When You Move Country?

Moving from one country to another results in a lot of changes and new things – a new place and culture, new job, new people and in some cases even a new language. However, one thing lots of people do not realise is that you will also be starting afresh when it comes to your Credit Report. Credit Reports and the information they contain are country-specific and do not follow you from one country to another.

Published on 27 Jun 2018 by Kirstie Day

Full Article

What To Do If You’re a Victim of Data Breach

Another day, another high-profile data breach, with the morning news bringing word of another leak of personal information that affects millions of consumers. This time it’s the turn of Dixons Carphone - the company behind PC World, Currys and Carphone Warehouse.

Published on 14 Jun 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

What Does Bongo Know About You?

“What does Bongo know about you?” A slightly off-the-wall question I’ll grant you, but one that you might have been asked at some point in time.

Published on 7 Jun 2018 by Richard Catlin

Full Article

Why Don’t Millennials Take Out Credit?

As a millennial, it can feel like my generation is besieged with criticisms on a daily basis, and not all of them are entirely fair (though lots are). We are frequently told that as a generation we are entitled, we have it so much easier than our elders and arguably, worst of all: we buy too many avocados. While I don’t buy avocados, I do have access to credit, which makes me a minority among my age group.

Published on 16 May 2018 by Beth Jennings

Full Article

Why Is My Loan Balance Wrong On My Credit Report?

One of the single most important pieces of information to appear on your credit file is the information relating to your credit agreements and how you repay them - with this information lenders can see your borrowing history across the last six years and use it to help them decide whether or not to offer you finance.

Published on 7 May 2018 by George Coburn

Full Article

How long do closed accounts appear on my credit report?

Some people believe that as soon as a credit agreement is settled and closed, it will no longer be reported to the UK’s Credit Reference Agencies and therefore will no longer have an influence on future credit applications. However, this is a popular misconception, one that could affect your ability to get credit if not correctly understood.

Published on 2 May 2018 by Tom Magor

Full Article

Should I Buy or Finance an Aston Martin Valkyrie?

We’ve all been there. £3 million burning a hole in your pocket and a track-going version of Aston Martin’s latest hypercar sat in front of you. But as a shrewd, savvy business-type, you know that dropping £3m in one go on a 1,100bhp car could be considered a questionable, perhaps even ‘baller’ move. But what about putting it on finance?

Published on 13 Apr 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

How to Build Credit History Without a Credit Card

When it comes to the best way to build up a credit history, conventional wisdom is to take out a credit card and use it for everyday purchases, while paying it off (on time) at the end of every month. There’s plenty to support this advice too, as a credit card allows you to spend as much or as little as your limit will allow, while building a history in a reasonably short amount of time.

Published on 26 Mar 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

Which Credit Report Information Can Landlords See

Whenever you rent a property, you will be required to pass some checks set by the landlord or letting agent to prove that you will be a good tenant and that you’ll be able to afford to rent the property.

Published on 19 Mar 2018 by Kevin Pearce

Full Article


We have loads of great customer reviews