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.

How interest rates are calculated

If you’ve ever applied for a form of credit, you may well have discovered to your cost that the advertised APR and the interest rate you’re offered if you are accepted can be very different things.

Published on 14 Jun 2019 by Richard Catlin

Full Article

The Importance of Proving Stability to Lenders

In addition to the key roles that your Credit History and Affordability play in determining whether or not you will be accepted for credit, we regularly talk about the importance of being able to demonstrate your ‘stability’ to potential lenders.

Published on 15 Mar 2019 by Sophie Regester

Full Article

If I Change My Name Can I Still Get Credit?

Legally changing your name is an increasingly popular thing to do in the UK: while getting married or divorced still makes up a large proportion of this, there is a growing trend towards people changing their name following civil partnerships, a change in gender, living in blended families, or simply because they’re seeking a change – the list is long.

Published on 22 Feb 2019 by Tom Magor

Full Article

Which Credit Report Information Can Landlords See

These days whenever you rent a property you may be required to pass checks set by the landlord or letting agent to prove that you will be a good tenant and that you’ll be able to reliably make rent payments to the property on time.

Published on 7 Feb 2019 by Kevin Pearce

Full Article

What Credit Checks Look For When You Switch Energy

As we get deeper into Winter, it’s inevitable that millions of consumers across the UK will end up using more energy and spending more on bills due to the colder weather and long stretches of darkness.

Published on 9 Jan 2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

Pros and cons of going paperless

Whether you are environmentally motivated or simply to get a discount for moving your billing online, you might find it makes sense to abandon paper for your business, if you haven’t already.

Published on 7 Dec 2018 by Kevin Pearce

Full Article

How To Get The Best Car Finance Deals

New car sales may have slowed in recent years, with the economy, emissions scandals and Millennials all being cited as the root cause at one point or another. But the number of people choosing to use credit as a means of driving away in a new car continues to rise, according to figures from the Finance & Leasing Association which shows that the new car finance market grew by 15% in July 2018 when compared to the previous year.

Published on 8 Oct 2018 by Kiah Phillips

Full Article

We're Now More Likely To Be Borrowers Than Savers

UK Households are now more likely to be borrowers than savers, with savings at their lowest since 1963, according to a study by the Office for National Statistics. Households are increasingly borrowing more – by taking out loans, car finance, and mortgages – than they are collectively depositing into savings accounts.

Published on 5 Oct 2018 by Sam Griffin

Full Article

The Credit Crunch 10 Years On: What’s Changed?

For many people, especially the those lucky enough to not have been old enough to be directly affected, the economic downturn of 2007-2009 seems like a distant memory. The first iPhone had launched a mere two months before the recession hit, and since then they’ve rebooted the Spiderman film franchise not once, but twice. But more importantly, has enough time passed for the borrowing/lending market to revert to its old tricks?

Published on 26 Sep 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

The Limitation Act 1980 and Debt Time limits

The majority of credit consumers believe that once a debt has been acquired, that debt will remain until the full balance has been cleared regardless of the length of time passed. This may not be the case though, thanks to a little-known piece of legislation known as the Limitation Act 1980.

Published on 19 Sep 2018 by Erika Bone

Full Article


We are rated number 1 for customer service on