If you’re an adult in the UK who’s ever applied for a credit card, bought a car on finance or applied for a mortgage, you’ll have a credit score. This rating is designed to give lenders an idea of how reliable you are when it comes to borrowing and repaying money.
A high credit score will usually allow you to borrow money at better interest rates, whereas a low score could make borrowing more expensive or even impossible. So if you do plan to buy a house or car or get a loan in the future, it’s logical to try and make your credit score as high as possible.
Whether your score is currently poor, average or even non-existent, here are five proven ways to increase it.
1. Register on the electoral roll
Getting on the electoral register in your local area can make you more appealing to lenders. Being registered makes it easier to confirm that you are who you say you are, as well as making you appear more stable and settled.
If you haven’t done it already, you can register in your local area through the government website.
2. Check your credit score report for mistakes
The UK’s three major credit reference agencies will all have records of your credit usage on file. They’re legally required to provide you with a copy of this report for free, and it’s worth checking yours from time to time to make sure it’s up to date and correct.
If you do spot any mistakes that could be falsely impacting your score, make sure to report them to the relevant credit reference agency as soon as possible.
3. Pay your bills on time
It’s easy to forget to pay a bill from time to time – but repeatedly paying late sends a message to lenders that you can’t be relied upon to manage credit.
Setting up direct debits to pay essential bills automatically every month will eliminate this concern. Making loan repayments on time can also help to build your score, whether you’re dealing with payday loan lenders, long-term loan lenders or otherwise.
4. Limit new credit applications
From credit cards to loans, applying for too many lines of credit in a short space of time can suggest that you’re struggling financially and make you appear desperate.
Most credit applications come with a ‘hard search’ which is noted on your credit report. If you’re rejected, it’s best to wait a little while before applying again and leaving another mark on your report.
5. Use a credit card little and often
While it’s not smart to rely on credit too much, using a credit card regularly and paying it off consistently is a simple way to build your credit score over time.
It’s another way to show lenders that you’re capable of paying back money that you owe, increasing your chances of borrowing more of it in the future.
Getting a handle on your credit score can increase the opportunities available to you in life. Follow these five tips to give yours a boost.