I recently applied for a car loan but was refused. I was surprised as I have a permanent job and have begun to build up a savings record with my bank. The only thing I can think of is that when I was a student I would have had a less-than-perfect record with repaying my student loan, but that was three years ago. Could this be the reason I was refused the car loan? Cathal, Rathmines, Dublin 6
If you apply for a loan and your application is refused, it may be because the lender believes that you cannot afford the repayments or that you have too many other financial commitments. If you don't have a history of saving, this could also count against your application. If you are refused, you can ask your lender the reasons why.
You may be refused a loan because of low credit scoring or a poor credit history. Your credit history includes any loans you currently have or any that have been closed within the last five years. It also contains a history of the repayments made or missed on each loan, including any loans or credit cards that you did not pay off completely. In your case, if you missed repayments on your student loan this will have impacted on your credit history.
Your lender has to tell you the name of any credit reference agencies they used, for example, the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB), as information about you held by the agency affects your credit score. It is the lender, not the credit reference agency, who makes the decision about giving you a loan. You can check your credit history with the ICB on www.icb.ie for a small fee. Remember, you might be refused a loan with one lender but not necessarily with another, so you could try applying for a loan with another lender.
My local shop regularly doesn't display the price of items on the shelves. When I asked the shopkeeper he said he is not obliged to display the prices for everything and it would take up too much of his time. Is there any requirement on shops to display prices?
Emma, Ayrfield, Dublin 13
Shops and service providers must display their prices, and there are rules on how they must do this. As a consumer, you have the right to clear and accurate information on the prices of goods and services so that you can compare them and make informed choices.
In Ireland, all prices must be in euro but it is not against the law for traders to also display prices in other currencies (for example, sterling) or to charge a higher price in one country than another. Traders are required to ensure that prices displayed are accurate and not misleading. Put simply, the price displayed must be the same as the price charged at the till. This also applies to special offers.
If you find goods on sale with no price displayed or with the wrong price displayed, you should tell the seller and let the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission know. You can contact us through our website (www.consumerhelp.ie).
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While we will endeavour to place your questions with the most appropriate expert to answer your query, this column is a reader service and is not intended to replace professional advice.
Sunday Indo Business