While credit may seem like a good idea, it is debt and will cost you more in the long run. If you need to use credit, shop around carefully for the best deal and make sure you read the small print before signing anything. Credit agreements are legally binding and generally more expensive than overdrafts.

Payday loans may look appealing but you have to be aware of the often huge amount of interest you will be paying back. These loans can also affect your future credit rating which will be taken into account should you apply for a bank loan or mortgage.

If you use a credit card, you must keep up your monthly payments. Missed or late payments will mean paying a lot of interest and may affect your future credit rating. Credit information about you is kept on file. Other companies and banks can see it when you apply to them for cards, mortgages, loans and so on.

Credit explained - A useful independent website providing information on all types of credit

If you are having problems making monthly payments, it is important that you try to solve the problem as soon as possible. You can contact the lender and explain - they may reduce your payments for a while - or you can contact one of our Student Funding Advisers for advice. The problem won't go away if you ignore it. Asking for advice is the first step to managing the situation.

Nobody has to give you credit or a reason for refusing you, however, many lenders get information about your from credit reference agencies (CRAs). You have a right to ask a CRA for a copy of any information they have about you although there may be a small charge for this. You can get it by writing to each agency direct, or by downloading an application form from their website. If there are any mistakes on your entry you can have them corrected.

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