How to Improve Your Credit Score

Improve Your Credit Score

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a rating that represents a summary of your credit history. Credit scores are used by lenders to gauge your eligibility for a loan and how much a viable amount is for you to borrow. Your score may differ between credit agencies depending on the criteria they use – there’s no universal credit score.

Your score is based on a number of factors, including; money owed to lenders, missed/late payments, financial links to other people (e.g. shared accounts), any County Court Judgements against you, whether you’re on the electoral role and if you’ve ever been declared bankrupt.


Benefits of a Good Credit Score

A good credit score can increase your likelihood of getting the mortgage, loan, credit card, store card, insurance or contract mobile phone you’ve applied for. It could also mean that you’ll be charged a lower interest rate by lenders. Regularly monitoring and analysing your credit report can help you understand your financial situation better. It will also give you the opportunity to rectify any mistakes on it and improve your score before applying for credit.


How to Check Your Credit Score

The three main credit scoring agencies within the UK are Experian, Equifax and Call Credit. Each of these agencies charge to use their full services. However, Experian currently offer a 30 day free trial and Equifax will let you see your credit score (not your full report) for free.

It is possible to access a full credit report for free via their partner sites MSEs Credit Club, Clear Score and Noddle. There can however, be up to a two month delay in credit information being updated.


Our Top 5 Tips on How to Improve Your Credit Score

1. Register on the Electoral Role

If you’re not on the electoral roll, you will find it almost impossible to get credit. Lenders use it to verify who you are and where you live. You can get on the electoral role by registering to vote online at:
If you’re not eligible to vote in the UK, you will not be on the electoral role. You will therefore need to send the three main credit agencies proof of residency.
Lenders favour stability, so if you’ve lived at the same address, had the same job and the same bank account for some time, it will reflect positively.

2. Pay Bills on Time & Pay Off Debt

Lenders need to feel reassured that you can pay bills on time, so ensure every internet contract and mobile phone bill is paid by the due date. Any late or missed payments can stay on your file for up to six years. So, you can ensure your bills are paid on time by setting up direct debits.
Reduce, or if you can, pay off any outstanding debts before applying for more credit. Lenders will feel more reassured about lending to you if you don’t already have large repayments to make.

3. Disassociate Yourself with Financial Partners

Joint bank accounts, joint mortgages, joint loans or shared energy bills can financially link you to someone else. A financial partner’s bad credit rating can affect yours. So, if you no longer share a financial product with them, inform the credit reference agencies of your disassociation.

4. Cancel Unused Credit & Store Cards

Even if you never use these cards, having too much access to available credit can have detrimental affect on your credit score. Therefore, you should close down all unused credit accounts that you no longer need.

5. Spread Out Credit Applications

Each time you make a credit application a lender will conduct a credit search on you. These searches leave a footprint on your file. Although other lenders aren’t told if you were rejected for credit, they’ll be able to see that these searches have been made. Too many within a short space of time will make it look as if you’re desperate for credit and ring alarm bells.
If you get rejected, take the time to check your credit file and see if there is anything you could do to improve it.


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
The value of investments and pensions and the income they produce can fall as well as rise.
You may get back less than you invested.

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