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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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