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

The brightest fashion trends for spring 2010

The style industry hasn't had a good recession so far – and yet the demand for fresh design remains as intense as ever. Introducing 15 new trends for spring 2010, Susannah Frankel explains why the fashion fightback starts here

Beginner's guide to...Improving your credit score

Unless you have been living in a cave, you'll know it has become much harder to borrow money, whether it is a loan, a credit card or mortgage. Lenders look at your credit score when deciding whether or not to lend you cash, and that's based on your borrowing history. So how can you polish up your rating in order to qualify for the best possible deals?

Greece's debt rating cut by Moody's

Moody's Investors Service cut Greece's debt rating yesterday but partially reassured financial markets by saying that the country remained far from a crisis, igniting a rally in Greek bonds and bank stocks.

Moody's lifts UK's credit rating gloom – for now

Britain's credit rating is secure for now but could be cut if the Government fails to show it can rebuild the public finances by 2013, Moody's said yesterday, in the first public statement from a major credit rating agency since Wednesday's pre-Budget report.

Julian Knight: Penalised for checking your credit? That's not fair

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.

Spotlight: Nationwide Exclusive Personal Loan

Lenders are increasingly only offering their best rates to existing customers – and Nationwide Building Society has followed the trend. It is offering the market-leading unsecured personal loan rate at 7.7 per cent, but you can only apply if you have a FlexAccount – Nationwide's current account.

The 90% loan is back, but that doesn't mean first timers can get one

The good news is prices are down. The bad is that finance is still tough to get. Alessia Horwich and Julian Knight advise on what options are available

Small businesses find credit scarce and dear

Businesses are finally finding it easier to get credit, though they are having to pay more for it, the Confederation of British Industry has said.

Don't get footprints all over your credit rating – select the right lender before you apply

Credit has never been so difficult to obtain and tight conditions have meant that many lenders are only willing to deal with an elite group of people who have almost perfect credit histories and an easily provable income stream.

02 targets teens to open up cash card market

The mobile phone giant is entering the world of personal finance with its new prepaid cash cards. Simon Read asks if they will shake up the market

Lenders report rise in mortgage application fraud

Lenders are reporting a rise in mortgage application fraud as consumers try to get around their tight lending criteria, a trade body said today.

What credit card 'tarts' should do next

Lenders seem increasingly reluctant to give customers with imperfect credit ratings their best balance transfer cards. But what if you’ve come to rely on shifting debt between 0% deals?

Cautious lenders put balance transfers on ice

Lenders are still being cautious after research from price comparison service uSwitch.com shows that at least one in 10 consumers have had a credit card application rejected in the past year.

Drax raises £108m in new shares to fight debt

By Sarah Arnott

Sam Dunn: 'Should our credit rating haunt us?'

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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album