How to improve your credit score

When it comes to applying for a loan, credit card or mortgage, your credit score and rating matters. Lenders will generate a credit rating or score based on the information in your credit file, and will use it to help decide whether to accept your application. The higher your credit rating or score, the higher your chances of success.

No credit rating or score is set in stone and while you can’t wipe your credit rating clean straight away, there are ways to improve your credit score over time.

Read on to find out how to increase your credit score and rating.

  1. Keep up with credit repayments

    It goes without saying that if you want to improve your credit rating, you should keep up with your credit repayments – and pay on time.

    Missed repayments suggest that you’ve struggled to manage your credit and pose a risk to the lender. Missed and late repayments remain on your record for 6 years, and so affect your credit applications for a long period of time.

  2. Register to vote

    Did you know that registering to vote can help improve your credit rating or score?

    Lenders use the electoral register to check that you live where you say you do – helping to prevent fraud.

    So by registering to vote at your current address, you could be boosting your chances of being accepted for credit.

  3. Close unused accounts

    Quality over quantity is what counts when you’re trying to improve your credit rating or score. So aim to have fewer, well-managed credit accounts.

    This means closing any accounts you’re not using.

  4. Build a credit history

    If you have no credit history you won’t be able to prove to lenders that you can maintain your payments and can be trusted to manage your finances sensibly. Having a limited amount of credit and keeping your accounts up to date can help you build up a credit profile. However you shouldn’t simply apply for credit you don’t need, or take out any credit if you will not be able to repay it. 

  5. Check your credit report regularly

    As lenders use the information in your credit file to help them generate your credit score, even simple mistakes can jeopardise your application, so make sure you check your credit file regularly – even if you’re not currently applying for credit.

    If you’re looking to find more information about your credit profile, click the link below:

    Statutory Credit Report – For a basic credit report and to make sure fraudulent activity is not happening in your name, you have the statutory right to access your personal credit information.

Make sure all your personal details are correct and that you’re still financially linked to all the people your report says you are. For example, if you’ve broken up with your spouse and no longer have any financial ties to them, make sure that your credit report no longer lists them as a financial associate. This means your credit rating will no longer be influenced by their credit history.