Having a good credit score or credit rating as it’s also known, is essential for any finance or mortgage applications if you want access to most of the high street lenders. That being said, if your rating is low then you can still get access to mortgage schemes so don’t despair.
Checking your credit score is free online and with most companies offering a free trial of some sort there’s no excuse for not knowing what your personal credit score is. Always remember though if you take up a free trial offer to cancel it before any membership payments are deducted from your bank account.
Always remember also there will be a delayed period where any work to improve your score will take effect. It won’t happen overnight and can take up to 3 months sometimes to be reflected in your new score.
Lenders use the information on your credit report to decide 3 things:
- If to lend you.
- How much to lend you.
- What interest rates to charge you.
Building up your credit score takes time, so if you are planning on applying for a mortgage in the future it’s a good idea to start now if you need to improve your score. Negative marks tend to stay on your file for 6 years. After that everything is deleted from your files. Even CCJ’s are deleted from your file too.
There are a number of things you can do to help improve your credit rating, below we have outlined the main ones.
If your names not on the Electoral role it can be much harder top get credit. You should make sure you do this every year, it’s free and simple too. The GOV.UK website will tell you all you need to know or you should get a reminder from your local council.
Check for Mistakes:
Once you have your report always make sure you go through it to ensure there are no errors such as incorrect address or wrong names. If you do find something always make sure you contact the relevant people to correct this asap.
Pay Bills on Time:
Showing you pay on time and each month is a great way to install confidence in lenders. Things like mobile bills, gas bills, car finance and mortgage payments being paid on time show you can manage your finances accordingly.
Check If Other People on Your File:
Sometimes a spouse, friend or family member might still be on your report even if they don’t live there, if they have adverse credit it could affect yours. You can remove these if they do not apply to you. It could even be someone who lived at your address before you if you have just moved in.
Check for Fraud:
Maybe your cards have bene cloned or someone used your details to apply for something, always check exactly every application. Somebody could have applied for credit in your name. This can be resolved easily if so.
One of the main reasons for being declined credit is having CCJ’s on your file. Always try avoid getting to this stage in the first place and receiving the CCJ, that should always be your first priority. If you do get to this stage then they stay on your file for 6 years and will severely hamper your ability to obtain finance or credit.
Any outstanding debts on your file will always be a concern for potential lenders. Always try pay off or reduce these debts as best you can. Even having a repayment plan will help your credit score so contact the companies you owe and agree an affordable repayment plan if you can.
Stay in One Place:
Moving around a lot in terms of living accommodation does not help your credit score. The longer you have stayed in the same place the better this looks on your credit score. Having one address for several years will improve your credit rating.
Avoid Repeated Credit Applications:
The more credit report searches you have on your file the more lenders frown upon this. This goes for when you yourself search for your credit rating, so always carry out one search and then us that to improve matters. Avoid applying for credit on multiple occasions too. If you have applied for finance somewhere and been declined chances are you could be declined elsewhere also and the more you apply the more damage you are doing to your credit rating.