Are all Banks Basically the Same?

It can be easy to think that all banks are basically the same and therefore it does not really matter who you bank with because it will make no difference at all. However, this is something which you should investigate first as you may find that it is not the case. There could be quite a few differences between them.

Cost

It is good to think about the cost of the banks as these will differ. When you are looking for a specific product, then comparing what the different banks are charging or offering can be very worthwhile. For example, if you are looking for a savings accounts then it is good to compare the interest rates to see which will pay you the most. If you are looking to borrow money then you will need to look at what they will charge for the loan so that you can decide which you think will be the cheapest. Obviously, cost is not everything, but it is a big factor. You do not want to pay more than necessary for things. Obviously, if you choose a cheap item it could mean that you will not be getting good service, but you might be prepared to have a worse service and pay less. You may even find that you can pay less for some items and have a better service anyway.

Terms

You will find that the terms and conditions of the products will vary quite a bit and this is something worth looking in to as well. You want to make sure that you are getting what you want out of the product that you are taking on and that you are sure about how it will work. You will find that they will vary. Things as simple as whether the interest rate is fixed or whether it is variable and change can be very important and is something that will vary between different banks. You may also find that if you take out a loan, the way it has to be repaid may vary with perhaps a different amount of repayments at a different value and you will need to find one that you can manage.

Customer Service

The way customers get treated is very important to some people but perhaps not so important to others. It is good to think about how you feel about this as it will change depending on the bank that you use. Many will have a branch and you can judge by how the staff are there. Some will have a call centre and you can call them up or contact them online to see how well they respond. It is good to find out before you use them as that will give you some idea as to what they will be like to deal with and whether you think that you will like dealing with them or not.

Location

The location of the bank could be important to you. If you like to visit a branch then you will need to find one that has a branch local to you. You will find that there are some banks that do not have any branches and that deal solely online. You will need to think about which is important to you. It might be that you will prefer to deal online anyway but it may be that you want to find a bank that will be there nearby in case you need to go in.

These are just a few possible differences that you will need to consider when you are thinking about which bank to choose and you will find that they vary a lot in what they offer. 

Should I Have all my Finance with the Same Bank?

It can often be the case that some people will always shave all of their finances with the same bank They may have a current account, mortgage, savings account, credit card and loans always form the same bank. Other people though, might have them with lots of different banks. It is a good idea to think about the pros and cons of each so that you can decide which might be the best approach for you.

Advantages of Sticking with the Same Bank

If you take out a new product, say a savings account, with a bank that you are already with, then it will be easier. They will not need to carry out a credit check and so you will be able to get the product more quickly. As you are already a customer, they will have all of the information that they need already. They will also know your credit history and things like that and so if you want a loan, for example, it is possible that they may be more likely to give you one. However, this may still depend on your credit record and borrowing history.

If you like to go in to the local branch, then you will only need to go to one place if all of your items are with the same place. You will not need to visit lots of different buildings, which might even be in different towns. You may prefer to bank online and this will also be more convenient if you have everything with the same place. You will be able to set up one login and then use it to access all of the information about all of your accounts. This will be more convenient than having lots of accounts with different websites to go to and different passwords and having to check all of them.

You will also know what the bank is like. It is likely that you like them or else you would not still be sticking with them and therefore you will be happy to use them and know that you will be getting a good service from them.

Advantages of Having More than One

By sticking with the same bank, it is very likely that you are missing out. It is likely that there will be accounts that offer better value for money than the ones that you have. You will find that there are probably places that offer cheaper loans, savings accounts with more interest and things like this. This means that you could be spending less and getting more money back than you are at the moment.

Just because you are happy with the service that you bank provides, it does not mean that there is not a bank that will offer even better. Without trying anyone else you have nothing to compare your experience with and so you could find that you are actually missing out and there are much better options available for you.

There is also some protection for your savings, but only up to a certain level. If you are with a bank that goes bankrupt, then you will get some money repaid form any savings that you have with them. However, this is only up to a certain level and so if your spread your savings across different banks then this will lower the risk that you will lose so much of it. The level is quite high at £85,000 but if you have a lot of money saved, then this could impact you and so it is worth bearing in mind as you may want to spread it out.

What has the Biggest Impact on Credit Scoring?

If you want to make sure that your credit score is as good as possible, then you may wonder what might have the biggest impact on it. Obviously, you will want to then make any changes to that specific part and that will enable you to change your credit score to s abetter one. It all sounds very simple but there is a flaw. Unfortunately, different companies will judge you on different things and this means that you will not easily be able to make one simple change that will impress everyone. However, there are several different things that you could try which could have a big impact.

Make Sure Details are Correct

The first thing to do is to check to make sure that all of the details are correct. It is really important to check this carefully as a mistake could lead to you being turned down for something unfairly. You can easily check your credit record for free and then you will have the opportunity to look through the details. If there is something on there which is incorrect, then let the lender know or whoever it is that the incorrect information is regarding and ask them to change it. You can also get in touch with the company that is providing the credit report and ask them to change it too.

Register to Vote

This may sound odd, but it can be important. As part of a credit check, many lenders and others, may use the information provided to do an ID check. This is a legal requirement and they will have to check if you are who you say you are and if you live at the address you are providing. A check of the electoral register is an easy check for them to do to find out this information and if you are not on it, they may just reject your application without any other reason. Soe people do not want to register to vote because they are worried that their details will be sold, however, you can opt out of this so your details will be kept private and you will not have to vote, if you do not want to, even if you are registered to.

Have Evidence of Regular Payments

It can be really helpful to have some evidence that you are capable of making regular payments. This will reassure potential landlords and lenders that you will be capable of making the payments that they will require you to do. Therefore, it can be good to have some evidence that you are able to do this. This can be as simple as regularly paying an electricity bill. If you are in a household where someone else is named on all of the bills then have your name added or put some into just your name, but make sure that they get paid. Then even if you are just paying the TV licence or some insurance, there will be some evidence that this is something that you will be able to cope with. This will prove that you will also be self disciplined enough to be able to cope with repayments on a loan or regular rent payments or whatever it is that you are applying for.

Never Miss a Payment

One of the most important things is probably to never miss a payment on anything. This will show that you will be capable of always doing this and paying for the things that you are committed to paying for. It is a good idea to therefore be very careful with your budgeting to make sure that you prioritise your spending so that you always pay for those things that you have to buy before you buy luxury items.

Will Paying off my Credit Card Help my Credit Score?

There are lots of things that we can potentially do that will help us to improve out credit score. It is good to have a think about the different things and what might help yours. You may wonder whether paying off your credit card will help, for example.

Will Paying the Card Help?

Most people that look at your credit score will be looking to see if they can trust you. They will be thinking about whether they will be able to trust you to repay the loan, pay your rent, pay your utility bills or whatever on time and in full. Therefore, it is up to you to provide evidence by way of your credit score, so that they can decide on this. If you are paying your utility bills on time, making loan repayments etc then this could be a good help for them. However, having outstanding credit card debt could put them off. If you are not even making the minimum payments then this will look really bad and you will need to do what you can to change this as soon as you can. Make sure that you set up a direct debit and start making those payments. However, paying back more than the minimum will look better. You will be able to show that you are responsible and are trying to clear your debt.

How Can I Repay?

It can be easier said than done though – trying to find the money that you need to repay the credit card. It is therefore a good idea to think about things that you can change which could help you. The first thing to do is to stop using the card. It will be a lot easier to repay it if the balance does not keep going up all of the time. You will also find that it will be easier to feel motivated if you can see that the balance is reducing. You will have to make some changes though, to make sure that you have enough money to repay it. You might need to think about whether you can spend less money, for example. It could be the case that you might be able to compare prices on various items and make sure that you are buying ones that are not too expensive. You may also need to cut down on the amount of things that you are buying. This can be hard but always thing about whether you really need the items that you are buying and if you think that you are getting good value for money from them. By doing both of these, you could reduce your spending quite significantly and you can use the money that you have saved to pay off some of the credit card. However, you may not feel that this will be fast enough for you or you might feel that you cannot cut back as you are already only spending a bare minimum. If this is the case then you will need to earn more money instead. There are options for this and hopefully you will be able to find something that will work for you. You might be able to sell things that you own and no longer need or want, perhaps at a car book sale or auction either online or offline. You might be able to find some freelance work, either online or offline and you may even be able to work form home. There might be ways that you can make money from your hobby. You might be able to find a second job, perhaps some temp work. It might be possible to work extra hours in the job that you currently do.

Are Cash Loans Good Value for Money?

There are lots of things that we buy because they offer good value for money and loans are perhaps something that we do not think about in these terms. However, it is a good idea to do this because you will find that you will be able to work out whether having the loan is a good idea or not. There are different things that you will need to think about when you are considering this.

How Much do the Loans Cost?

It is good to start with working out how much the loan will cost. With cash loans, you will often find that you will be able to work out the cost by using a calculator on their website. These tend to be easy to find and you enter the amount of money that you want to borrow and how long you want to borrow it for and this will allow you to be able to find out how much you will have to repay in full and this will allow you to calculate the cost. If you cannot find the calculator or find it tricky to use then contact the lender directly through their customer services department and you will be able to get the help that you need. It is worth bearing in mind, that lenders will vary in price, so it could be worth doing a few and then you will be able to get an idea of the average sort of cost of a cash loan when you need money now.

What Features do They Offer?

Then you will need to think about what they offer in return for the money that you are paying out. Think about what you are getting in terms of the features of the loan so things like, how long you can borrow the money for, how easy it will be to repay, what the customer service is like, what the lender is like generally and anything else that is important to you. You might feel that there are some features that are worth paying more money for. For example, some people are happy to pay more for certain brands and with loans, they might want to pay more for a lender that they have heard of or feel will give them a much better service. This might not always be the case and it will be very much a personal decision. However, it is good to know a little bit about the lender and the details of the loan so that you can decide carefully. Just going for the cheapest might seem like the most sensible thing to do, but you may regret it if you do not have a good borrowing experience. So, take a little time to find out a few things about the lender and then you will be sure that you will be able to pick one that will suit your needs really well.

How to Decide

It can be tricky to decide which might be good value for money. This is because you will find that there are lots of different lenders and loans and you will need to compare all of them which will take a long time. However, if you can start by thinking about what you want from a loan, this will help you to make a start. You will need to think about how much you are willing to pay for a loan, what features you want form a lender, how you want to repay and things like this. Consider any previous loans that you have had and what was good and bad about it and this will help you. Of you have not had loans before then think about other financial products you have had or ask people about their loan experiences and whether they can give you any help with regards to what to look out for in a good loan and they may be able to give you some ideas about what to avoid as well.