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Page last updated at 00:04 GMT, Saturday, 16 January 2010

Credit Ratings

Paul Lewis and his credit rating
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 16 January 2010 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

We asked listeners what stories they would like us to look at in 2010. And so far, credit reference agencies have been one of the hot topics.

Lenders go to these companies to find out about a borrower's background before agreeing to give them credit.

The information stored is crucial to our financial well-being.

Two problems with this system have frustrated listeners.

Firstly, it costs too much to check your credit file. And second if you find a mistake it is too difficult to get it corrected.

Presenter Paul Lewis goes through his credit rating with James Jones from Experian.

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ISA interest rates- good enough?

Last week we heard the view of one financial advisor who thought ISAs were a better way to save than personal pensions.

He was talking about investment ISAs, but many of you responded with your own concerns about cash ISAs.

Interest rates are so terrible, you said, people are better off putting money into a normal savings account.

On the programme, Money Box Listener Margaret Weston says the banks are taking the benefit of her tax relief. Paul Lewis quizzes Moneynet's Andrew Hagger on the ups and downs of ISA deals.

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Scottish Widows payout

There is £50 million waiting to be given to thousands of the company's policy holders - and they have barely two months to put in a claim.

The money dates back nearly ten years to when the mutual insurance company was turned into a plc.

At the time its customers were given a payment for this demutualisation. But 24,000 of them have still not got the money as Scottish Widows - now owned by Lloyds - has not been able to track them down.

Recently one policy holder was traced who was entitled to more than £100,000. There is another policy holder entitled to £85,000, yet to be claimed.

Money Box's Charlotte McDonald explains who is eligible.

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Misplaced outrage- care home fees

A care finance expert for Age Concern and Help the Aged has criticised newspaper articles this week that told the tale of a couple who felt they were forced to sell their house to pay for care home fees.

Pauline Thomson tells Money Box that the story which appeared in the Express on January 15 was misleading. The couple should not have to sell their property.

Money Box hears from the policy advisor about options for elderly people in this situation.

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Charitable donations flagged by banks

After seeing the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti, many people have been scrambling to give donations to various aid organisations.

But people trying to donate online or over the phone may find their cards are flagged by their banks fraud department and the donations blocked.

A colleague in the Money Box office had just that problem earlier in the week when trying to give money to Red Cross.

We speak to Andrew Goodwill from Third Man, a leading expert on credit card fraud.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday at 1204 GMT and repeated on Sunday at 2102 GMT.



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