Ask Andy #26: Your money questions answered

My regular round-up of your personal finance questions.

I love hearing from you, whether it’s on the blog, social media, YouTube or email. Often you’re asking me questions about your finances, and I’m always glad to help if I have the time.

But I realised that my answers could also be useful to other followers. So I’ll be putting my responses to the best questions into regular articles here on the blog.

Keep reading for some of the questions I’ve been asked, plus the video live from this week with even more!

Watch the latest Q&A

Watch my answers to questions in the weekly Q&A on YouTube, including

  • the best places for sinking funds
  • which bank accounts don’t credit check
  • and much more.

Can I use a savings account to switch?

Hi Andy, I’m looking at opening a separate bank account, just for selling on eBay and Vinted etc. I do have an unused savings account with Lloyd’s but for Nationwide’s switching bonus would that have to be a current account or is there a better deal you could point me to? Thanks for the content, I have been listening for around 18 months now.

Richard, via Instagram

Hi Richard, Thanks for listening to the pod! So you can’t switch a savings account for these offers. You’re spot on when you ask if it needs to be a current account.

I’d say take a look at Monzo or Starling for online selling, but if you think you’ll have cash then a high street bank might be a better option (though Starling does let you use Post Offices to do this).

Once you’ve got one of these, you can always use it for switching to get future bonuses

Here’s more on the new Nationwide switching bonus.

Is the travel insurance with Amex any good?

Hi Andy, I wonder what your thoughts are on the Amex insurance that comes with the gold card not sure if it comes with others but it seems to be a plus during the fee first year.

Miguel, via Instagram

Hey Miguel, really good question. Insurance with credit cards isn’t the same as full travel insurance. So while the policy with the Amex Preferred Rewards Gold sounds decent, it’ll actually miss out a few essentials. Including general medical care and cover for lost possessions.

This means you need to get other travel insurance on top, and that will likely duplicate most of what’s provided by Amex. But it’s well worth keeping it in mind if you have the card and need to make a claim.

Why don’t I have a credit score?

Hi Andy I’m 19 and recently checked my credit score/ report and it stated that they couldn’t find my file any advice and why this has happened

Cameron, via YouTube

Hi Cameron. So there’s a good chance that this is because you are only 19 so there’s no history of you using credit to go on a file.

This could mean you’ve never had a bill in your name such as a mobile phone, opened a bank account since you turned 18 or that you’re not registered to vote.

Start with those things and hopefully you’ll begin to appear on the different reports, and from there you can take steps to build up your score.

Why is Amazon charging me £7.99 a month?

Andy , I am getting £7.99 monthly deductions but I am not a member of Prime. I cant cancel something I am not a member of!

Alan, via YouTube

This could be something extra like Audible, Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Music. Try this section in your Amazon account.

I’d get on to a live chat with Amazon from your account to work out what it is, stop it, and find out why you’ve been paying it. If you haven’t used this service I’d certainly make the case that you didn’t know about it and that you’d like a refund.

Are mortgage comparison sites worth using?

Hi Andy, missed this week but I would ask for next week, is it worth using a mortgage comparison site to renew mortgages, or just go it alone so you know it’s your own fault if it goes up the swanny.

MiniMad, via YouTube

I’d definitely look at some comparison sites to see what deals are out there. You don’t have to arrange the mortgage via them if you don’t want to – just go direct to the lender. But they’ll give you the headlines of what rates and fees are out there.

Of course, if things are a little complicated, or you want help deciding which deal is best, then it can be worth going to a mortgage broker.

Here’s my guide to remortgaging that might help you find an even better deal.

What difference does my overdraft make to my credit score?

Does having an overdraft affect your credit utilisation ratio?

Darren, via YouTube

This was something I wasn’t sure about, so I asked Experian’s James Jones what the situation was. As it happened he’d recently got an update on this from one of their analysts:

“Experian does not include overdrafts in these calculations as we do not class current accounts as revolving credit. Of course, the balance is still taken into consideration when calculating a credit score, just not its relationship to the limit.”

Hope this helps!

How to ask me questions

The best ways to get in touch is in the Andy Clever Cash Facebook community

Just post your question any time, or ask me live in my weekly Q&A each Wednesday (which is on Instagram and YouTube).

You can also comment on individual blogposts and videos or ask me questions via these channels:

I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer all questions but I’ll do my best.

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