How to improve your credit score
Here's what you need to know about credit checks and how to boost your credit score.
Your credit score is made up of information held in your credit report or credit file. It is used by companies to access how much of a credit risk you are.
It’s not just about whether you can get credit cards and loans, it can also affect mobile phone contracts, monthly car insurance, bank accounts and more.
Check your credit score online by visiting one of the three main credit reporting agencies in the UK:
10 tips to improve your credit score
- Register on the electoral roll
If your name’s not on there, you’ll find it much harder to get credit. You can register to vote online or by post.
- Check for mistakes on your file
Even having just a slightly wrong address can have an impact on your score. So, make sure you check all the details and report any incorrect information immediately. You can find out more on correcting personal information on your file on the Information Commissioner’s Office website
- Pay your bills on time
Paying on time is a great way to prove to lenders that you’re capable of managing finances effectively.
- Don't let your partner or flatmate's score wreck yours
If you are financially linked to someone on any product, that means their files can be accessed and looked at as part of assessing whether to accept you.
- Check for fraudulent activity
If something on your credit report is incorrect like if someone applied for credit in your name without your knowledge, contact the credit reference agency immediately to have your file updated.
- County Court Judgements (CCJs)
Receiving any court judgements for debt will have a serious impact on your credit score. If you’re having problems keeping up with payments, we offer free debt advice through our partners.
- Manage existing debt
Banks, building societies and credit card companies might be hesitant about lending you more if you already have a lot of existing debt. We offer free debt advice through our partners.
- Moving home
Evidence that you have lived at one address for a period of time will help your score. Check your file and go through every active account to make sure your address information is up to date.
- Don’t use expensive credit repair companies
Most advise you on how to obtain your credit file and improve your rating but you don’t need to pay for that, you can do it yourself. Some claim that they can do things that legally they can’t
- Keep your credit utilisation low
This is how much of your available credit you use, so if you have a credit limit of £500 and you’ve used £250 of that, your credit utilisation is 50%. If possible, try and keep your credit utilisation at 25% or lower.