Columnists

Why check your credit report?

Your credit report provides you with a credit score. When you want to borrow  money (eg for a car, furniture, a mortgage or even a credit card) your credit report is how the potential provider will check if you are creditworthy. Keep an eye on your score It is important to keep an eye on your credit score and to review your report on a regular basis to ensure your name and details are not being used fraudulently. If you are thinking of taking out a loan, check your report well in advance. If there are activities there  you do not recognise, you can start working on rectifying this immediately: it can take months to prove it was not you and have them removed. You can request a copy of your credit report from Experian, Transunion or Equifax You have the right to request a free report and do not need to sign up to any monthly subscriptions in order to do this. The FCA has stated that 17% of people who check their credit report noticed some kind of mistake. The actual number of people with an incorrect credit score may well be higher, as it does not take into account those who have not checked. If there is a default debt on your credit report, this can stay on your file for six years.  If you have a bad credit report, you may be offered a higher interest rate on your facility, or even have your application declined. Raising a dispute If you find an error you can contact the organisation who provided the report. You should raise a dispute with them, which can usually be done through their website. It is advisable to provide evidence to confirm the inaccuracy (where possible). Alternatively, you can contact the supposed lender to whom you […]
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Bringing Christmas sparkle to your interiors

I am excited to be the Tandridge Independent’s first interiors columnist! Not only because I believe beautiful interiors should accessible to everyone, but I also love to champion local businesses and retailers who I come across when sourcing for my clients. We are lucky to have a wealth of creative talent on our Tandridge doorstep, as well as all the high street and online retailers and suppliers. As well as sharing insights, tips, and advice I’ll also be keeping you up to date on these. This month I’m all about adding Christmas sparkle to your homes! We all love a bit of glitz but the challenge is to create a festive look your family and friends will admire, without turning your home into Santa’s Grotto (unless that’s your intention!). Keep to a selection of colours or similar decorations for a consistently stylish look throughout. Here are my top tips, along with some of the big decoration trends this year. Keep it natural There’s something special about Christmas decor that brings the winter outdoors in. So, get foraging (but never on private land!). Collect pine cones, fallen fir branches and holly, and create candle decorations, front door wreathes and table settings. Slice oranges, air dry them and hang them on tree/fireplace garlands, or tie them onto presents as wrapping decorations. (Don’t forget to use paper wrapping tape this year!) The natural colour palette is also very on trend so whether natural materials or man-made decorations, keep to a green, brown and white palette with a little sprinkle of gold. Alternative trees I’m a fan of real Christmas trees, mostly because of the aroma it brings to our homes. But if you don’t want to be constantly hoovering up needles and/or you’re on a budget, why not invest in a reusable tree […]
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Green Tips: Christmas trees

There’s nothing quite like putting up the Christmas tree…unless you have a couple of hundred of them, of course!  We have taken delivery of our shipment from Hole Park in Cranbrook (along with some of our home-grown trees) and are currently putting 200 of them out along the Christmas Trail and in the Grotto, as well as a further 50 in the castle, the restaurant and the offices.  Our trees are all cut specimens and come without root balls but, as they have to last until after Christmas itself, we make sure there’s a reservoir of water for them all.  We are lucky in the main that most of our trees will be displayed outdoors, so they look fantastic for a long period of time.   Leave it outside If you’re going for a cut tree this year then the best tip I can give you is to leave it outside for as long as you possibly can. If you are buying a tree with a root ball then the same rule applies: I know of people who leave them outside in their pot until Christmas Eve and only bring them in hours before Santa is due to arrive!  If you want to buy a pot-grown tree then make sure you choose one with a really healthy root ball that’s been wrapped in burlap. It’s even more important to keep your tree well-watered while it’s indoors, so it doesn’t dry out.  Keep it cool Find the tree somewhere cool indoors – beside your patio door is a better spot than beside the fire! Make sure you get the tree outside as soon after Christmas as possible. The shorter its stay indoors, the shorter its odds are of surviving outdoors. You might want to gently acclimatise your tree if it’s coming straight out of your […]
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