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Consumer Credit

The importance of consumer credit bureaus has become even more crucial to our daily economy, since there are billions of credit consumers all over the world. With the credit card consumer industry catching up with technology and the demand for access to their own credit history, consumers now have the chance to see their own credit scores and get educated in where they rank amongst others with money lenders and financial establishments. Everything from how your credit scores are being calculated to the secret formula on how they predict how likely you are to repay your debts, are now widely available on the internet, some even free of charge or at a very low fee. This is of course a key factor in determining if a consumer is granted credit or not by other establishments or banks. The first thing a bank or credit facilitator does if you apply for credit, is to check your credit consumption history at the credit bureau to determine if you qualify for credit, due to responsible management of your credit. 

Consumer credit levels go hand in hand with the economy, which rises during expansion and drops during recessions. The growth in this industry means consumers have higher spending ability, which in turn allows the economy to grow. But, too much of a good thing is also bad! Too much consumer debt can cause a slower economy in the long term, with consumers juggling debt from one financier to another, possibly ending in bankruptcy. This is surely not a good outcome for you or the economy. 

It is important to know that some credit agreements can however be cancelled under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, provided there was a personal, face to face, meeting prior to the agreement, also that you didn’t sign the agreement on the trade premises of the creditor. You must remember to cancel in writing and do so before the five days after the second copy of the agreement reaches you.  

Most debt recovery agencies are a member of the trade association, Credit Services Association. The agencies are required under a formal code of practice for them to respond with sympathy to consumers who suffer with financial difficulty and have trouble in repaying their accumulating debt. The code also prohibits these agencies to disclose any private information about your credit history or current financial status to anyone like your neighbours, your current or future employers and even your family. If you feel the agency didn’t live up to this code, you can lodge a complaint and a disciplinary hearing will follow.  

As with all things in business, there is a code of practice with debt collection and the services of an ombudsman is available in the credit industry. If you feel you have been treated badly or unfairly, you can contact the Credit Services Association at [email protected] for general enquires or should you have any complaints, mail them at [email protected]. You can also contact them at 0191 286 5656.

Credit in Minutes Tip #1

Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets reported.

Credit in Minutes Tip #2

Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?

Credit in Minutes Tip #3

The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time will keep your score up where it should be.

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