Julian Knight: Penalised for checking your credit? That's not fair
Sunday 13 September 2009
I have always found it an injustice that those who look to shop around for a loan, credit card or mortgage actually risk damaging their credit rating in the process. It goes like this – each time a potential lender checks out your credit file it leaves a trace. If the consumer is turned down – for whatever reason – the trace turns into a great big muddy mark and, in these straitened lending times, this can be enough to bar the individual from accessing credit elsewhere.
The idea of the present system is that lenders are able to see if someone is trying to access lots of different lines of credit – a potential sign of financial distress – but in the blunt-weapon world of the credit score it hits those who are simply exercising their consumer choice and seeing what's what.
Over the past few weeks, Barclaycard has been quietly running a pre-application checking process, where customers can see if they can get credit or not without a rejection damaging their credit score. In short, customers no longer have to fear the impact on their ratings of lenders' often arbitrary decisions. (And did you know that, last year, some brokers were telling customers to get their mortgage application in at the start of the month because it is more likely to be accepted than those at the end of the month? Then, there is generally less money to lend out and, as a result, criteria are tightened so only people with pristine credit ratings get the deal.)
All in all, Barclays is to be applauded for its move, and let's hope that other lenders follow suit and we can end the injustice of potential borrowers having their credit scores beggared – just because they have asked the question.
Budget-flight operators have long been accused of scamming the public over pricing. You know the drill, rock bottom fares get multiplied if you want to take a bag on board, check in at the airport or pay with anything other than the most obscure of debit-card types. But at least you have the option of going hand-luggage only and of booking online or getting your hands on the no-fee card. In short, ultra-low fares can be had if you're willing to work for them.
But for many people going to sporting, music, theatrical or comedy events, the price on the ticket is only the start. For example, a colleague of mine has just bought two tickets for the, in my opinion, serially unfunny Michael McIntyre show at the O2. As well as £30 per ticket that goes to the artist, the agency charges a £4.25 per ticket administration fee (what for?); £2 postage (are they going to deliver it on a silver salver?); and then, bizarrely, £5.26 "missed event insurance" in case he is ill, is called up for jury service, or takes the final bad career move of dying. This cover is a US innovation and, like most financial products from the States, it's a load of marketing rubbish ("third way" annuities anyone?). Anyway, the total for my colleague's two tickets, instead of being £60, came out at £75.
And there are worse examples. Useless insurance can be cancelled and tickets collected at venues, but the whole admin-fee deal for anything from cinema tickets to music festivals is totally unacceptable. Buy anything else and admin is included. Anyway, shouldn't promoters and cinema firms be happier with people booking early? It means they get a steady income and they don't have to employ as many staff on the door. If easyJet or Ryanair pulled the same stunts they would have the Advertising Standards Authority down on them. It's time the whole administration-fee ploy was investigated.
Derek Pain: I'm cautious, but remain one of the few bulls in the market
Donald MacInnes: Who would want to be a Barbie girl in a non-Barbie world?
Mark Dampier: How to get an income now that savings are past the 'use by' date
Thousands of UK investors could lose out following collapse of Secured Energy Bonds
Bargain Hunter: Fly off for a winter break in France or Portugal for well under £100
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
Day In a Page
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion