Hands up if you’re considering taking out a store or credit card this New Year or have done in the past in order to get your finances in order after all the Christmas spending. Callcredit Information Group, one of the UK’s leading credit reference agencies (who also provide your Noddle credit report) predicts that the number of new store and credit cards issued in January 2017 will reach two-thirds of a million.
Based on the trend of new store and credit card accounts opened over the last few years, January has always been the peak month for new cards to be issued*, with savvy shoppers often opting for 0% balance transfer cards to lower the cost of their festive spends.
Typically some 550,000 to 600,000 new credit and store cards are issued in a month, however, this increases significantly in January.
Bank of England data** shows that overall credit card lending has been increasing at a pace in recent months, growing at a rate last seen pre the 2008 financial crisis. This, coupled with the post-Christmas spike seen in previous years, could lead to the number of new cards issued approaching two-thirds of a million. At the end of 2015 the total number of credit cards in the UK was almost 60 million***.
“The cost of credit generally is still at historically low rates and many consumers are making the most of this. In order to secure the best possible product they need to do everything they can to ensure their credit file is in good shape.’ advises Eamonn Tierney, Managing Director, Credit Solutions, Callcredit Information Group.
Ensure you spend time going through every little detail of your Noddle credit report checking that everything is correct and there are no errors, making sure everything remains as expected with no nasty surprises such as a new account you are unaware of (this could be a sign of identity theft).
For consumers looking to apply for a new credit card, Callcredit suggest it’s important to observe some simple rules:
- Before applying check your credit file – make sure the information is correct as this is what will be used by lenders when assessing your credit card application. Noddle allows you to check your report and score for free, it also features lots of handy tips on how to improve your credit score
- Research which card is right for you – you need to ensure you choose the right kind and get the best deal for you. Different cards have different features and not all will be suitable. It is also worth understanding which cards you are likely to get approved for, services like Noddle’s Card Matcher can help you with this as it is calculated using the information in your credit report
- If you are applying online make sure the websites you are using is secure and that your own security software is up-to-date – look out for the https:// at the start of the web address and the closed padlock icon in your browser. Also check any security software you have and that any updates for it have been applied
If you plan to make the most of the current low interest rates and are considering a store or credit card follow the above tips to ensure you’re in the best possible position to be approved and are choosing the right card for you and your circumstances.
* Based on data for the entire eligible UK population for the 39 months from July 2013 to September 2016 inclusive. Taken from Callcredit Information Group’s SHARE proprietary database, where contributing members have provided new account details and categorised the new account as a credit card
***The UK Cards Association http://www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk/2015-facts-figures/summary_figures_2015.asp