Following on from our post Your Credit Score Explained. This week we give you all the information you need to improve your credit score.
Before we crack on, we need to ask you one question. Are you registered to vote? Well if not go to gov.uk and register today!! This is because if you are not on the register you are unlikely to receive any credit at all. As lenders use this to data to check your identification and address.
Now you’re on the electoral roll what do you need to do next, well…
Check Your Credit Report
If you have never checked your credit report before or have not done this in over a year. Go check it today!! You can view this report online with Callcredit, Experian or Equifax. But, on what other occasions should you check your credit report?
Before applying for credit. It may seem really simple, but checking your report before will almost guarantee you are never rejected again. As if there is a problem, you can fix this before making an application.
You suspect your identity has been stolen. Research by Experian has shown that it takes on average 500 days for an individual to discover their identity has been stolen. Checking your report regularly will enable you to notice any suspicious activity quickly and take action. Don’t worry about checking your report too much. As creditors cannot see if you have accessed this.
When you have just been declined for credit. Don’t apply elsewhere!! Why? They have declined you for a reason and that reason is very likely in your credit report. If you continue to apply, more searches will appear on your report. The more searches you have the less likely you are to receive credit. This is called the rejection spiral.
Don’t Apply for Credit too often
The rejection spiral exists because each time you apply for any sort of credit this leaves a mark on your report for 1 year. Applying to often will make you look desperate for finance and will likely result in your application being declined.
For this reason it is extremely important to ask yourself. Do I really need this loan, credit card, etc or will I need another financial product more later in the year?? For example if you would like a new contract phone, but will be applying for finance for a car later in the year. Wait and focus on the car loan. After that has been successful you can then think about a new phone contract.
Save your applications for the bigger things or when you really need it!!
Don’t let Others Ruin your Credit Score
We mentioned earlier the affect that identity theft can have on your credit report, but what about people that you live with?
Let’s start by busting a myth. Simply living with a flatmate or partner with a bad credit history will not have a negative impact on your credit report. But what does:
-Having a Joint Mortgage/Loan
-A Joint Bank Account
The key word to focus on here is “Joint”. When you are linked financially with another person their credit report can also be accessed. Therefore if they have a bad credit history, this can have a negative impact on yours.
Should you live with someone with poor credit history keep your finances separate!
We all know that homeowners who are employed are the most likely to approved for credit. But what do they do differently from the rest of us?
They don’t move. For any of you who have ever owned your own place, you know moving can be a nightmare. Finding a buyer, searching for a new home, switching your children’s school, remortgaging… The list goes on. Simply put it’s much harder to move if you are the homeowner. So you are less likely too.
Steady Income. If you have a mortgage to pay you are much more likely to find a solution to a work problem than leave. Solving differences with colleagues and improving company results with your own skills is also likely to lead to a promotion. This point is normally the biggest hurdle for the self employed.
Same Details. If you don’t move home or employer. It’s likely your other details will stay the same too, such as your telephone number and bank details.
What this all comes down to is that each time they apply for credit the details in their applications are the same. So what can you do to emulate this? First of all stay at your current address and with your employer for a while. Try to resist using different contact numbers and bank details in applications too. These changing details may flag your application as potential fraud.
Today we have gone through a number of great ways to improve your credit report and therefore your credit score. However we have missed out probably the most crucial and obvious one of these. As it doesn’t matter how:
- Regularly you check your credit report
- How consistent you are
- Who you are financially linked with.
If you simply don’t pay your credit obligations on time!!! As paying your bills on time is the best way to improve your credit score.
In this and our last post Your Credit Score Explained. We have given you all the information you need to start improving your credit report. So don’t hesitate, go visit Callcredit, Experian or Equifax and get started today!!