News

Up to 40 per cent have not made key checks on their credit rating or electoral roll entry

Questions Of Cash: 'My disabled parents have lost out on scooter refund'

Q. My parents are both disabled and retired. They ordered two mobility scooters from Virgo Healthcare for £4,600 last March. They quickly discovered they were unable to use them, so they contacted Virgo Healthcare, which agree to a full refund and collected the scooters on 27 April. Since then, no refund has been supplied. KB, Hertfordshire.

David Prosser: Do the credit rating agencies dare hold the US to account?

Outlook It wasn't all that long ago that the economic debate in the UK was paralysed by the fear that the credit ratings agencies were about to remove our cherished AAA rating. This was the nub of the row between Labour and the Conservatives during last year's election campaign: just how much deficit reduction was needed to save our credit rating and how quickly?

Need cash? Bypass the banks entirely and find your lender on a social website

Peer-to-peer lending is growing in popularity and offers competitive rates. Chiara Cavaglieri and Julian Knight report

Pension troubles remain for UK firms

British businesses are failing to reap any benefits from plugging their pension black holes, reveals a new report by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers.

Sssh, say it quietly...but sub-prime lending might be coming back

High-street giants now cherry pick borrowers, leaving their respectable rejects to new, smaller lenders

Errors in switching accounts put off customers

Fears over missed direct debit payments and administrative errors are stopping bank customers from switching current account providers according to Consumer Focus.

New loan scheme targets low-income customers

Getting a loan has long been a challenge for those on low incomes. Shunned by the mainstream banks they often have to rely on doorstep and payday loan firms charging extortionate rates of interest.

Five Questions About: Credit cards

Experian

On 11 August we ran an item about one person's experience obtaining a credit report ("How I became an innocent victim of the credit agency"). The credit reference agency concerned was wrongly identified as Experian: a mistake for which we apologise.

House Doctor: 'I'm struggling to remortgage though I have lots of equity. How can this be?'

Question: I can't seem to remortgage to move house for love nor money, having tried two lenders – with a third midway through application. It's very surprising as I've £48,000 in equity and £12,000 savings to put into the next property which should give me a healthy loan-to-value of roughly 75 per cent. The only downside that I can think of is a £2,000 overdraft that I don't often climb out of – and three unauthorised overdraft penalties in 12 months. But that's the only debt I have and I earn £30,000 a year. What am I doing wrong?

David Prosser: China plots a move into credit ratings

Outlook Given the kicking the three big American credit-ratings agencies have taken for their failures during the financial crisis, they can hardly be surprised to see would-be rivals emerging. There is already talk of the launch of a new European agency, but the greater threat to Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch might come from China.

Poll result puts Japan's credit rating at risk

The ratings agency Standard & Poor's warned yesterday that it might cut Japan's sovereign grade as the ruling party's mauling in a weekend election created new hurdles for the plans of the new Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, to cut huge public debt.

Insurance may not be the best way to protect against identity theft

While this type of fraud is on the increase, most banks and credit card companies have services that can help. Chiara Cavaglieri reports
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness