How to improve your credit score

Having a poor credit history can make getting access to credit tricky. We work with lenders who may be able to help.

A poor credit score can become a catch 22 situation. Having poor credit means you’re a higher risk, and if lenders give you credit, it will be at a higher rate to reflect the increased risk. However, those that have a poor credit score because of money difficulties are the ones most in need of lower prices.

To access the lower rates, you must have a good credit score. Below we’ll provide some tips to help you improve your credit rating and save money when borrowing. The main healer to improve your credit score is time, however, there are a few things that you can focus on to boost your credit score.

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Your credit score is a number all lenders use to work out the risk of lending you money. Lenders usually view your credit score through an agency. There are different credit agencies, and your rating can vary slightly from one to another. It’s not the only consideration, and some lenders will also take other things into account that will raise or lower your credit score.

Your credit score will usually be considered when applying for a mortgage, loan, credit card, store credit, and car finance, amongst others. Unless you pay for everything in full, then your credit score is an integral part of most peoples’ financial wellbeing.

Using Direct Debits to pay your bills on time removes the possibility of you forgetting to make a payment. Paying all your bills on time shows lenders you settle your debts in a timely fashion. Every month you stick to a repayment schedule helps to demonstrate this and reduce the level of a risk you pose.

Being registered to vote at your current address adds legitimacy to any applications you make. Being on the electoral register demonstrates to the lender that you’re a real person, reducing the likelihood that fraud is being committed and increasing your legitimacy. It will also speed up the process if any lender performs an ID check.

A joint bank account with someone with a poor credit score can negatively affect your credit score. While it’s nice to share everything with a partner, joint accounts and finances can create a knock-on effect. While it can make your bills a little harder to share, having a separate account can help to increase your chances of being approved for credit. You can apply to disassociate yourself from a person as long as you have no joint accounts.

Having a small debt, such as a credit card with a £200 limit, or a small loan, helps to create a small credit account. If you pay more off than is required, it will increase your credit score even further. Don’t take on massive debts to improve your score. Keep it small and manageable to prove you can handle it, then when you require more substantial borrowing, you’ll get better rates.

Even mobile phone contracts and utility providers will report to credit reference agencies, so make sure these bills are also paid on time and you will see gradual increases to your score.

Credit reports are sometimes wrong. There can be mistakes in your details, whether you’re on the electoral register or past debts. If you find an error on your credit report, you can contact the credit agency and get the mistake corrected.

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