How to reduce credit card debt and ‘pay off money faster’ according to an expert | Personal Finance | Finance

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“Before making any application for a credit card it’s important to first check your eligibility for the product of your choice. You can do this on comparison sites including Experian, where soft searches are recorded that won’t affect your credit score.

“If you find yourself in a position in which you’re unlikely to be approved, then you can take steps to improve your credit score or review other options.”

Check and engage with your credit score to avoid fraud

According to figures released by Experian, identity fraud rose by 21 percent in the last 12 months, with the trend predicted to be at its most severe over the festive period.

Card ID theft, in which a criminal uses a person’s details to apply for credit in their name, rose 16 percent in 202 according to UK Finance’s 2022 report, while UK Finance found £600 million was stolen through fraud and scams in the first half of this year.

People are being encouraged to be increasingly vigilant, as criminals seek to take advantage of people’s circumstances during the festive shopping period and with rising prices continuing to bite.

Mr Jones said: “If someone has stolen your identity and applied for a loan or credit card, the first warning sign is your credit score changing, so check it regularly – it’s free and easy to do so. You can also review your credit report free of charge, and if you notice any issues, it’s important to let your financial provider know so that these can be corrected.

“While it’s being investigated the credit reference agencies can note this on your credit report and can also advise on measures to help secure your credit report and your identity. You can request a free copy of your statutory credit report by visiting”

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