Are You Prepared For The New FCA Credit Rules?

Monday, 24. February 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

As we get closer to the time when the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) takes over control of the Consumer Credit Act it is important to make sure that you and your business, if you are an SME that isn’t a limited company, are in good shape for credit. In future lenders will want to carry out an ‘affordability test’ to ensure that you can afford your repayments.

Thinking of a change but unsure as to the best way to finance your car? Then you need a copy of my car finance book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide by Graham Hill. Click on the link below to buy the best car finance book on the market, available as a Kindle Book and Paper Back.

Whilst some lenders claim that their own affordability tests are already working well and therefore won’t change I personally think that you should assume that lending will tighten up, certainly in the short term. This strengthened affordability test may be in the form of an income and expenditure account or it may be copies of your last three months bank statements.

Whilst your income and expenditure report may show that you can afford repayments the one thing that will kill an application is a returned item shown on your bank statement, if asked for, because you have exceeded your overdraft limit or dropped into an unauthorised overdraft and the bank has not paid an item.

Having an overdraft that is being used isn’t a bad thing although it will probably knock a few points off your credit score but nowhere near as bad as having a returned item. So make sure that your last three months are clean. If not wait until any adverse drops off the last 3 months statements.

You can avoid a returned item if you cancel a direct debit before the money is applied for from your account but beware, this shouldn’t be a direct debit for finance, especially car finance, as a missed payment will show up as arrears. This is another situation that would cause finance to be refused.

You will also be asked for a copy of, or the original of, a current driving licence so make sure that you have both parts available, the paper and the plastic parts. Also make sure that if you have the newer licence that it hasn’t run out of date (has to be renewed every 10 years) and that it is showing your current address.

If you only have an old style licence then make sure that you have a current passport for photo ID to be provided at the same time. One of the issues I regularly address is the need by some funders to see a utility bill dated within the last 3 months. So if you are about to apply for credit make sure that you haven’t thrown away all of your bills as soon as you have paid them.

Mobile phone bills are never accepted and we are finding that fewer funders are now accepting credit card statements and council tax bills as proof of address. Landline telephone bills, water, gas and electric bills are all acceptable along with bank statements as long as they are paper statements not printed off the Internet.

In my book, Car Finance – A Simple Guide, I dedicated the first section to preparing for finance. Essential reading. Final piece of advice on the subject – if you are thinking of changing your car, do it now before the new rules kick in. By Graham Hill

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