What affects your credit rating or score?

There are many factors that affect how financially attractive you are to lenders. So if you want to improve you credit rating and score, learning what factors affect it is a good place to start.

From learning how to control your financial behaviour to regularly checking the information contained on your credit report, let’s take a look at what affects your credit score and rating.

Your credit history

What affects your credit rating and score the most is your credit history.

By ensuring that you maintain your payments on any credit you take you out, you can start to build up a good credit history. This will prove to lenders that you can responsibly borrow money and afford to pay it back.

Past debts and bankruptcies

Records of unpaid debts and bankruptcies stay on your credit file for a minimum of six years.

This will affect your credit rating because lenders will consider you a higher risk if you have missed payments before. If you have been unable to repay your debts once, you may be unable to repay them again.

Even forgetting to make a few repayments can land you in hot water as lenders do not know that you simply forgot. They may think that you’re not reliable enough to lend money to.

People you are financially linked to

People who you have a financial connection with can affect your credit rating as their financial circumstances could affect your ability to make repayments.

Just living with someone doesn’t create a financial connection – you need to have a joint loan, mortgage and bank account to create financial links. If you’re a guarantor for someone else’s loan, their credit rating or score will also affect yours as you are promising to pay their debt if they are unable to.

Make sure you regularly check your credit report to ensure all your financial associates/ connections are correct.

Registering to vote

This is important because it gives the lender proof of your address.

It has nothing to do with who you vote for but simply being on the electoral register can boost your chances of being accepted for credit. Visit www.yourvotematters.co.uk to register to vote today.

How often you move house

Although it isn’t something you can always control, it’s worth being aware that moving house regularly can make you appear untrustworthy to lenders. Staying at one address shows stability which lenders like to see.

Credit applications will normally ask you to provide your current and previous addresses for the last 3 years, which are also recorded on your credit report. Make sure you check the personal information recorded on your credit report regularly as an incorrect address or inconsistency could jeopardise your application.

Keeping an eye on your credit rating or score

The best way to keep tabs on your credit rating and score is to regularly check your credit report. At TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) you can access this on the link below: