• Use a credit card and pay it off in full each month.
• Don’t go over 25% of your credit limit.
• Use eligibility checkers.
• Make sure that there are no mistakes on your credit report.
• Ensure you are on the electoral roll.
• Only make one application for credit every 3 months.
• Keep up to date with your bills.
• Get your name on some bills.
• Keep an eye out for fraud.
• Always check and try to improve your finances.
Keeping a good credit score
Make sure that you do not frequently apply for credit. This can have a negative effect on your credit score especially if you have been rejected. If you apply too many lenders may think you are overly reliant on credit and higher risk. If you do need to make multiple application ensure to space them out, one every 3 months is a good indication of how often to apply for credit.
Close unused accounts
Having an unused account such as a credit card can make lenders think you have access to more credit and can have a negative impact. This is why it is good to close any dormant accounts.
Avoid delinquent / defaulted accounts
Having delinquent (late payments) and defaulted accounts (relationship broke down) will affect a credit score so try to avoid these situations.
Only borrow what you can afford
Getting into debt which can lead to CCJs, IVAs or bankruptcy can stay on your credit card up to 6 years and can have a big effect on your credit score.
Keep an eye on fraudsters
Always make sure to check your credit score an keep an eye out for anything suspicious. If you notice any unknown applications or your debt rising and it wasn’t you contact your banks and lenders.
Improving your credit score
Having a credit history helps improve your credit score. You can build a credit history by methods such as using a credit card, paying bills, having a bank account or being on the electoral roll. Additionally having direct debits will help build your credit history.
Make sure to pay your bills on time and in full each month. This will show lenders you can handle credit and show that you are a reliable borrower.
Making sure that your address is up to date with any accounts you have and register on the electoral roll at your current address. You can do this even if you live at home or in shared accommodation.
Make sure that when using a credit card you keep well below the credit limit. The lower percentage of the credit limit you use the better. If possible try to keep this under 25%.
It is important to improve your credit score to as when you apply for credit the lender will look at your credit score before they decide to lend. They look at your personal details, details they hold on you and information on your credit report.
Benefits of a better score.
You can gain access to better financial products with a better credit score such as lower interest rates, higher credit limits and access to more offers.
Time to improve
There is no set time on how long it will take to improve a credit score. It is unlikely to change overnight. Information that improves your credit rating often takes months to come into effect so it can often take this long.