Deal of the week
- Mastercard and Android customers get free coffee and tube travel on Monday - On Monday (24 October), Mastercard customers with an Android phone that has Android Pay loaded onto it will be able to get a free coffee in a Café Nero throughout Great Britain, and if you’re in London you’ll also get your travel for free too.
- The mobile-based current account from Monzo - Plenty of current accounts offer a mobile service, but in most cases banks have simply tacked an app onto their existing, creaking infrastructure.
- Get the best pan-European savings rates with Raisin - If you’re fed up with low rates on your savings, you might be able to boost your returns by casting your net further afield.
- Get a mortgage in principle via Zoopla - If you’re looking to take your first step onto the property ladder, you’ll need a mortgage agreement in principle before sellers will take your offer seriously.
- Get your credit score for free - Thanks to a new free service from Experian, everyone in the UK can now check their credit scores with the three main credit agencies without paying a penny.
- Buy and sell unwanted gift cards using Zeek - Zeek is an app-based exchange where you can offload unwanted gift vouchers for retailers you don’t use, or boost your spending power by snapping up other people’s vouchers at a discount.
- Billhub - a hassle-free household bill management tool - Every week Moneywise’s product researcher, Tom Wilson, picks out his favourite deal. This week it’s Billhub – a hassle-free way to avoid squabbles about bills in shared accommodation at university and beyond.
- Fed up with overdraft fees? This could be the account for you - Every week Moneywise’s product researcher Tom Wilson picks out his favourite deal. This week – Virgin Money’s genuinely fee-free current account.
An overdraft is an agreement with your bank that authorises you to withdraw more funds from your account than you have deposited in it. Many banks charge for this privilege either as a fixed fee or charge interest on the money overdrawn at a special high rate. Some banks charge a fee and interest. And other banks offer a free overdraft but impose very high charges for exceeding the agreed limit of your overdraft.
Mortgage in principle
A conditional offer made by a mortgage lender to verify that it will ‘in principle’ give you the mortgage loan you have discussed with it. This helps speed up the house-buying process as it demonstrates to sellers you’re a serious buyer. However, it’s not a guarantee the lender will lend you the money, as this will still depend on a survey of the property and the outcome of credit checks. The offer in principle will be valid for a limited time, usually up to three months.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.
Your credit score is a three-digit number (ranging from a low of 300 to a high of 850) calculated from the information in your credit report. Your credit score enables lenders to determine how much of a credit risk you are. Basically, a low credit score indicates you present a higher risk of defaulting on your debt obligations than someone with a high score. If you have a low credit score, any products you successfully apply for will carry a higher rate of interest commensurate with this risk.