Nearly everyone has a credit score. If you have a mobile phone, you have a credit score. If you have a loan, you have a credit score. These are all ways to begin building a credit score.
The information on your credit score is added over the course of time and it reflects on whether or not you’re considered to be a safe risk for new loans and lines of credit. Potential lenders can access this information and determine if they feel that you’re a worthy credit risk.
You too can access this credit score and follow along and see what it’s at any given time. This is the same exact information that potential lenders are checking before they agree to give you any credit. You can even find out if the information is accurate or inaccurate. There are times that you’re refused credit due to an inaccurate credit report. Here are some examples of what you might find on your credit report.
- Debts that have been paid off may show that you haven’t paid them.
- Debts that aren’t yours.
- Debts due to an identity theft.
If you’ve had problems in the past in paying your debt you may struggle to get a line of credit until you raise your credit score. You’ll have to work to improve this.
There are also lenders that specialise in bad credit.
Your credit score fluctuates and if you do have bad credit, you can raise your credit score.
How do you raise your credit score?
Start by going over your credit profile and ensure that it’s accurate.
Make sure that your address is correct. You can see if you’re on the registered electoral roll at your current address via Gov.uk.
Ensure that all of your financial obligations are also showing the correct address. Check your mobile phone and bank accounts as well as your personal loans.
Close accounts not in use.
Don’t apply for credit at more than one lender at a time, this can reflect badly on your credit. This is a frequent mistake and can result in a red flag. They may consider you to be desperate if you’re doing this. Each application is kept on file and becomes a part of your score.
If you are getting turned down, quit applying for credit This way, you’re not putting yourself in a hole. Improve your score before you try again. If you’re struggling to manage debt ask for help with Citizen’s Advice or see MoneySavingAdvice.
Brokers are your best bet. They will help by carrying the loan for you. They will find a lender that will match your needs and match you up. That way, you don’t have to submit more than one application to get a decent loan.
How to improve your credit score long-term
Following the above-mentioned tips will help you to raise your credit score so that you can have a decent loan.
- Consider using pre-paid credit cards for those with low credit scores. The rates are higher, but if you’re cautious you can use it to your advantage and improve your credit score over the course of time.
- If you don’t have a credit card, you may also have a lower credit score. Consider having one credit card and using it wisely. Pay it off each month and your score will rise quickly.
- If you’ve never had any credit, try a mobile phone for your way to improve your score. As long as you pay your bill in a timely fashion you’ll raise your score.
- If you have problems missing payments consider repaying things via direct debit or auto pay. This way, you won’t miss your payments.
- Be reliable when borrowing money and consider how you’re using your credit. Only borrow money that you can manage to repay. Don’t let your credit get out of hand.
Protect yourself from identity theft
Identity theft is on the rise and a huge issue. Many don’t even know that their identity has been stolen until they attempt to apply for credit.
Find out by keeping an eye on your credit. Identity thieves don’t plan to pay it back.
- Keep an eye on that score and watch for transactions that you know you didn’t make.
- Be mindful of the personal information that you share. Don’t give out your birth date on social media. Don’t keep the same password on all of your accounts.
- If you didn’t open an account, contact the company right away and let them know. Ask for the details and ask them to close the account.
- Keep an eye on your bank account and if you do see transactions that you didn’t make, call your bank. The bank needs to know this and you can stop these transactions. Sometimes you have to get a completely new bank account but it will work to deter identity theft if you are the victim of it.