8 tips to improve your credit score

Have you recently applied for a financial product and been turned down?

Did you know that a recent survey showed that people would be more embarrassed to let people know their credit score than stating what they weigh?  Fixing your credit score is like losing weight it takes time and effort but the rewards can be fantastic (and eating loads of chocolates will not affect your credit!)

Below are 8 tips to help improve your credit score

 

1. Check your credit files – There may be an error on your files which you are not aware of. This could be from a previous tenant at your address. incorrect spelling of your name or even you may have been a victim of fraud ID.

A few credit reference agencies are below (there may be a small fee to pay)

Callcredit

http://www.callcredit.co.uk/

Experian

https://www.experian.co.uk/

Equifax

https://www.equifax.co.uk/

2. Make sure you are on the electorial roll If you are not registered you will find it difficult to obtain credit, Most lenders will need to verify your ID and likewise your address. If you are not on the electorial roll lenders may think you are not trustworthy as your address cannot be verified.

Contact your local council or you can register on-line (link below)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/voter-registration-forms-paper-versions

When you apply on-line just follow the instructions. You will be asked a set of questions which will identify you and also will confirm which local council you need to register at.

Further information on registering is also on the following link

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

3. Do not miss any payments on credit you already have –  If you are worried you may miss a payment then make sure that all your regular payments (including all bills) are paid by direct debit. If you have missed any payments in the last 12 months this could have a negative effect on future credit. Always set up the direct debit for at least the minimum payments each month. If you have any spare cash at the end of the month then you can always pay extra. Why not make sure all direct debit payments go out on the day you are paid.

4. Cancel any unused credit cards, store cards, direct debits or any mobile contracts you do not use – Any lenders will take into account the credit limits available to you and not just the balance you have outstanding. It makes sense to have few well-managed accounts with good history.

5. Do not apply for a lot of credit in a short space of time – If you apply for a lot of credit in a short space of time this may appear to the Lender that you are dependent on credit to supplement your income. It is best to only apply for one credit application in a three-month period. this includes credit cards, any debit cards, a car loan or even a mortgage.

6. Keep your credit balances low – If you have low available credit leaders may think you cannot manage your finances as well as you should. Always try to have at least 50% of your credit balance below your agreed limit, Also never draw out cash on a credit card if you can avoid it.

7. Do not exceed your overdraft – As with the credit cards do not exceed or even get close to your agreed overdraft with your bank. This may look as if again you are unable to manage your finances and therefore looking for more credit rather than managing your current borrowing.

8. What lenders like to see:-

  • A fixed land line phone rather than a mobile phone
  • Good stable long-term employment history. Ideally not a lot of job hopping.
  • Not moving home on a regular basis. Ideally it is best to be a home owner rather than living in a rented place.
  • Long term with the same bank

I hope these tips are useful.  If you are worried about debt then do make sure you contact a debt management company to assist. One that is excellent is Step Change. https://www.stepchange.org/

 

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