Is it worth Bothering to Switch Utility Suppliers?

If we own or rent our own home then we will be paying for utilities. These days there are lots of different utility suppliers and it is possible to switch between them. However, it can seem like a lot of hassle to do this and so many of us do not bother. It is worth understanding why it could be worth doing it.

Advantages of switching

There are big differences between utility suppliers. This is not just in price, but in the service that they provide as well. Of course, you will still get the same electricity and/or gas delivered to you in the same way. Therefore, the main service will essentially be exactly the same. However, you will find that the cost will be different between different companies and the customer service will be as well. These can be important.

If you look at a comparison website for utility companies you will find that the costs differ quite a lot between them. However, it is important to make sure that you are comparing the costs carefully. For example, you need to think hard about what you are actually paying. You will find that most providers will have a standard charge each day and then they will charge you for each unit that you use. These prices will vary a lot and if you use a lot of power, then one that has a largest fixed rate and cheaper unit rate could be cheaper compared to one that has a lower standard rate compared with the usage charge. Luckily you will not normally have to work this out. You should be able to get a quote based on your current usage and this will allow you to compare each supplier to work out which one will be the cheapest for you. Of course, if we have a cold winter will spend more or a warm winter we will spend less, but as long as we compare them all like for like it should give us a good idea of what we will be likely to have to pay and which will be the best deal for us.

You will probably find that you will be able to save some money by switching. There is so much competition that there are lots of small suppliers which tend to be cheaper than the larger more well-known ones. Of course, you may feel more confident in using companies that you know, but it is a good idea to be open minded and to read reviews because you might find that if you do go with a company you do not know, that you will save a significant amount of money. You could always contact your customer service department to ask questions and find out what they are like. You may even find that they provide a better service than your current provider.

Ease of switching

It might seem like a hassle, but it is normally very simple. You will never have a break in supply and all you will normally need to do is to read your meter(s) so that you can have a settlement bill from the supplier you are leaving and your new supplier knows when to start charging you. This should be straight forward as most of us are used to reading out meters anyway. You will also need to submit those readings to both suppliers which could mean two phone calls or just sending the details online. That will be all you need to do on top of initially applying to the new provider with some basic information which is usually done online or over the telephone.

Is it Worth Trying to Improve my Credit Record?

We often hear things about credit records and how important they can be for us. However, not everyone has an understanding of what they are and whether it is worth improving them. It is well worth understanding more about them and then you can make a decision as to whether you feel that you should improve yours.

What is a credit record?

A credit record is information about each of us and our finances. It is something which is produced by several companies and that we can look at for free and that other people can also check. It will have information on any loans that you have, any regular payments you are making (such as rent, contracts, direct debits to utility companies) and any CCJ (county court judgements) or late or missed payments for any bills. It will also have information about any companies that have looked at the record lately, such as lenders, insurers etc.

The point of the credit record is that a company, such as a lender, landlord or insurer, will take a look at it to decide whether they are willing to take you on as a customer. They want to see whether you can be trusted with regards to committing to making payments.

What are the advantages in having a good one?

This means that if you have a good credit record, then you are more likely to be accepted for a loan, rental agreement or direct debit. This is something that can be really important. You might think that you will not need a loan but if you decide you want to buy a house then you will need a mortgage or otherwise you will need to rent somewhere and landlords also do a credit check so it could mean you have difficulty finding somewhere to live. You will need to think about the fact that if you want to pay direct debit for utility bills you will need a good credit record to, without this you may have to have a pre-payment meter which is more expensive to run. You may find that if you want to borrow money, if you do not have a good credit record it may be very hard to find a lender and you may have to pay more because of the risks.

Should I improve mine?

Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure that your credit record is as good as it can be. This will then open up future opportunities for borrowing money and things like that. It is something which has an impact on a lot of things and therefore it is important. However, if your credit report is already good, then there will be no need to do anything but you will need to take a look and check it. You can do this for free online, so it is simple. Once you have it, it is wise to make sure that everything on it is correct. If there are things on it that are wrong then you need to get these changed because otherwise you might be unfairly judged due to this. You should also look to see if there are things on there which are correct but work against you. Perhaps having lots of loans, not having very high earnings or things like this which you might be able to do something about. It may not be easy to change these things, to pay off loans or find a better paid or more secure job but they can help you on a personal level as well as on your credit record. This is because you will have more money to spend on things, less loan repayments to have to cover and just generally find it easier to pay for everything that you need and want. Doing things that will specifically improve your credit record will also improve your own financial situation so it is well worth doing them.