Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance

Credit, Credit Scores and Credit Reports

Which comes first, your credit or your first credit card? That’s not much easier to answer than, “Which came first the chicken or the egg?”

The reality is that your credit comes after your first credit card or loan. No loans, no credit cards means no credit.

There’s credit—an advance to buy something—and then there’s your credit—aka your credit file.

Credit

Credit is essentially a loan from a bank or other financial institution, including a credit card issuer. These entities are collectively known as creditors or lenders and extend credit to you in the form of:

  • Installment loans —aka installment credit—such as a mortgage or car loan
  • Lines of credit or credit cardswith a maximum usable credit limit—known as revolving credit
  • Credit arrangements are utilities, memberships (think gym) and service agreements (think cellphone)
  • Charge cards that are like credit cards, but have to
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Student finance guide for parents and partners

You might need to give Student Finance England information about your income if your child or partner has applied for student finance that’s based on your household income.

You’ll be asked for financial details for the last full tax year previous to the start of the academic year. For example, if the student is applying for the 2019/20 academic year, the tax year will be 2017/18. Student Finance England will ask for details of the previous tax year because this is the most recent full tax year at the time applications open.

Your information will be used to work out if your child or partner can get extra Maintenance Loan on top of the Tuition Fee Loan and basic Maintenance Loan.

If your income in the current tax year is likely to be at least 15% lower than the previous tax year, Student Finance England can assess your household income

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