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.



8 ways that your postcode will change shape in 2020

Posted by Richard Catlin in Neighbourhood on 11 June 2020 - Richard is Marketing Director at checkmyfile.

The humble postcode has existed in the UK for over 60 years, spreading from its roots in 1950’s Norwich to cover around 1.7m variations today. But with coronavirus having such a profound impact on the areas we live, even postcodes aren't immune to change.

The use of postcodes has evolved from simply making postal deliveries quicker and easier to being used in a much wider set of areas – everything from determining the sort of junk mail that drops through your door to town planning.

A huge amount of data is collected and shared about the ‘average’ person that lives in any given postcode and covers things like age, credit card usage, social classification and education levels. Other statistics such as the air quality and crime levels are also collated.

Here are 8 ways that your postcode classification and rating are likely to have changed the next time information is updated, with 2020 promising to be one of the most fundamental periods of social and economic change in living memory.

1. Average house prices

Property prices rose 2.1% in the year building up to the start of the coronavirus crisis, but that gain is set to be eroded and move in the other direction. Predictions vary, but the Bank of England has warned of a potential 16% drop. Either way, expect to see the first fall in average prices in your area for quite some time.

2. The factors that affect house prices

For the foreseeable future at least, the things that influence what a house is worth are changing. Whereas in 2019, things like proximity to transport links and local restaurants were key, in the era of working, schooling and to a much greater extent than before, living, at home, those needs are changing. It’s likely that broadband speed, a home office and outdoor space are much higher on the list of ‘must haves’ than they were 6 months ago.

The age old yardstick of commuting time is also likely to become less important in calculating property values, especially in city centres.

Expect to see those changes reflected in the way that properties and local services are priced and promoted within your postcode area.

3. The number of property transactions

The lockdown restriction implemented to control the spread of the virus saw the property market grind to a halt in March 2020, very few new sales going through and a large proportion of existing deals being cancelled. Indeed, April saw residential property sales fall to their lowest levels since records comparable records began in 2005 and less than 50% of the same month in 2019.

While there is likely to be at least a short-term kick caused by the market re-opening, it’s unlikely that levels will return to what they were for some time.

You can see a massive amount of information about house prices and volume of house sales for free on checkmyfile, well as being able to compare them to other areas of the UK.

4. Air quality

One welcome benefit of the enforced lockdown has been a significant reduction in pollution levels across the UK as people use their cars less often for both commuting and socialising. Just before the easing of lockdown measures in mid-May, car usage was running at less than 50% of what it was in early March.

As a direct result, air pollution in cities has fallen dramatically, with London in particular seeing some of its cleanest air for decades.

The phased return to work and lifting of lockdown measures has seen traffic increase, which is likely to have a corresponding impact on air quality, but for now at least, air quality is as good as it’s been in a long time.

5. Crime levels

Another rare piece of good news to emerge in the past couple of months has been a significant fall in the number of crimes being reported across the country. It seems that even criminals have been obeying lockdown rules.

That should be reflected in stats relating to the area in and around your postcode, which are also broken down by category on checkmyfile. You can check back on previous months too, allowing you to compare recent figures with previous years.

How long crime levels remain suppressed remains to be seen, but the drop is welcome anyway.

6. Identity Fraud

While overall crime levels have fallen and the majority of people have tried to make a positive difference, there is apparently still a minority without any conscience at all. Fraudsters, we’re talking to you. New, callous scams are emerging all the time, seeking to exploit the increased anxiety and confusion. That could see reported levels of attempted identity Fraud in certain postcodes actually increase.

You can check how exposed to Identity Fraud you are, and get expert tips on how best to protect against it, using the free Identity Fraud Risk Estimator on checkmyfile.

7. Social Classification and geodemographics

The range of information that is collected about the residents in each postcode is surprisingly far reaching. Geodemographic database providers such as Cameo and Censation use a variety of collection methods including consumer surveys to try and build a picture of who lives in a certain area and what their habits are.

That includes things like how many foreign holidays residents typically take, what newspaper they read, the most common employment types and qualifications. All of those things stand to be impacted for some time to come.

The changes in the way we live, consume media, holiday and learn are all changing and expect this to be reflected in future classifications.

8. Average Credit Ratings

The average Credit Score within a postcode area isn’t an exact science, with wide variations as you would expect., At the same time, clusters of people with similar creditworthiness do occur, often as a result of the wider socio-economic factors within a region.

Even with measures being put in place by the FCA and lenders to try and protect consumers’ Credit Ratings, it is almost a certainty that there will be a knock-on effect on a significant number of people’s creditworthiness as a result of the pandemic.

How the people that live in your street are rated won’t affect your own Credit Rating, but you can see how your own Credit Rating compares to the average in your local area for free with checkmyfile.

Should you want to see what’s actually held about you, you can also see your Multi Agency Credit Report on checkmyfile, including data from all four Credit Reference Agencies in one place. It’s the most detailed service there is.

You can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, and then for £14.99 a month which you cancel online at an time.

Why You Should Check Your Postcode Before Buying a House

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.

Published on 3 Jan 2018 by Katherine Cornell

Full Article

UK unemployment falls to its lowest in more than a decade

The three months to September saw UK unemployment figures hit an 11-year low of just 4.8%, based on statistics provided by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). This is down from 5.3% in the same period of 2015, and dropped 37,000 from the previous three months of the year.

Published on 16 Nov 2016 by Ben Tumilty

Full Article

Could driveway length impact your insurance premiums

Are home and car insurance providers plotting to use even more of our personal information to set insurance premiums? Well it seems insurers are and anything from your hobbies to social media records and even the length of your driveway could soon be used by insurers.

Published on 6 Sep 2016 by Ben Ryland

Full Article

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

Full Article

£50bn needed to fund Osborne’s northern powerhouse vision

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

Full Article

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

Full Article

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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