Frequently Asked Questions


What is a credit score?

A credit score is a tool used by lenders to help determine whether you qualify for a particular credit card, loan, mortgage or service. Using the information on your credit report and any additional information you supplied as part of your application, lenders use a mathematical model to calculate a score that represents your credit history. This helps to indicate what kind of borrower you are, and how likely it is that you will manage your repayments.

Higher score = lower risk.

Throughout your life, your credit score will play a key role in the financial products you take out. For example, when applying for a credit card or mortgage, it will determine whether your application is accepted and what interest rate you end up paying.

People with a higher score are often seen as lower risk, which means lenders are more likely to give them credit.

It’s worth remembering that every lender follows a different policy for credit scoring. So, if you don’t meet the criteria of one lender, you may still be able to get credit from someone else. However it’s important if you are refused credit to find out why you were turned down before making another application. You should also be aware that too many credit searches in a short time period may be viewed negatively by lenders.

What factors affect your credit score?

Your credit score is based on your credit report. Various different factors on your credit report can cause your credit score to change, including:

  • Information on your credit report such as how much of your available credit you’re using and your total debts
  • Your history of credit account payments Credit searches (when a credit application is made)
  • Public records (electoral roll and county court judgments (CCJs))

Simple steps to help manage your credit score

  • Review your credit report and score regularly to ensure the information is correct
  • Ensure you don’t miss any payments
  • Close any unused credit accounts, as having a large overall credit limit may be viewed negatively by lenders
  • Register on the electoral roll

What is Hire Purchase?

Hire Purchase (HP) allows for the motorist to have a greater degree of flexibility regarding payment, and the terms can be easily discussed and arranged with your dealership.

After an initial deposit, monthly payments will be required. The amount to be paid monthly is both flexible and fluid - a high deposit to begin with can reduce overall monthly costs, for example. Similarly, if you wish to pay more over the course of a particular month, this is allowed and will incur no penalties.

If you wish to end the HP process with one lump sum, this is also permitted and can be arranged. Interest is at a fixed rate, and will be worked out between you and your dealership before payments begin.

At the end of the HP process, ownership of the car will be transferred fully to you, and you can do with it as you wish. The payments can take place over a number of months, or a number of years; the time-frame is entirely up to you.

What is PCP?

PCP allows motorists to pursue their desired vehicle safe in the knowledge that, should another vehicle suit their needs better, it too becomes available through the PCP process.

PCP begins with a deposit, the amount of which will be arranged between you and your dealership. The monthly deposits that follow can also be adjusted depending on your personal circumstances, and the agreement culminates in a final 'balloon' payment.

This final payment is decided upon at the beginning of the process, and makes use of industry data to make a prediction on the future value of your vehicle.

At the end of the PCP process the motorist is given three options. Once the balloon payment is made, the motorist takes full ownership of the car. Alternatively, the car can be given back to the dealership, marking an end to the process. The third option is that the car can be returned to the dealership, but as part-exchange for a new vehicle in a new PCP cycle.