Money Mensch: Free credit reports
It's time to check your credit files. The impact of credit scoring has grown massively since the global crisis and one small error can kibosh applications for mortgages, cards, loans, mobiles, or even paid monthly home insurance.
You can get your basic credit report at the three credit reference agencies: CallCredit, Equifax and Experian, online for £2. Yet with the latter two - the bigger agencies - you can get a more detailed and better one for free. This is because both Equifax and Experian try to sell you slightly overblown 'credit monitoring services' which cost around £70 a year, yet these include a 'free month's trial'.
So sign up for the trial, download your souped-up credit report, then ensure you cancel the trial straight away and you get it for no cost. And as it is a New Year, it is the perfect time to use this as a starting point if you need to tidy up your finances.