What is a credit score?
When it comes to borrowing money from lenders such as credit cards, loans or mortgages, your credit score is extremely important. Your credit score is how the lenders decide if they will lend money to you, how much they will lend, and in some cases how much interest they will charge on the loan. In order to make the process of applying for credit easier you must register your name on the electoral list – which you can do online or via post – as this is the method of identity verification that lenders use.
If you’re credit score isn’t as good as it could be (to put it nicely) there are ways for you to build it back up and sort out any problems you may have. One of the first things you need to do when your credit score is bad is to stop using credit, so do not use a credit card to pay off another credit card as this will be the beginning of a vicious circle; and do not take out any more loans. You shouldn’t be applying for more credit until you have sorted out any existing problems with your credit file or improved your credit score.
Another way of sorting out existing credit problems is by cancelling any unused credit cards you have as this will mean less credit is available to you, and it can also reduce any risks of theft and/or fraud which are hard to remove from your credit history.
If you normally pay all your credit on time and miss a payment for any reason, it can improve your credit score when you pay the missed payment as soon as possible and then continue to pay your credit on time after that. Early payments are also a good way of proving that you are a responsible and reliable borrower.
Your credit score can be affected by a number of things, and the best way to avoid any negative impacts is by steering clear of them in the first place and nipping them in the bud immediately if they do happen to you! These negative impacts can range from any existing debt, to missing and making late payments, and unused open credit card accounts (lenders look at how much credit is available to you, not just how much of it you use).
You can find a complete list of negative credit impacts and how to put a stop to them on https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.
I have only mentioned a few of the easiest and basic explanations of what your credit score is and how to improve it. If you continue to encounter issues after trying a few of these tips there are many websites like the one I’ve linked that will instruct you further on how to deal with specific problems!
However, I hope that the tips I have given will sort any problems and help you on your way to a perfect credit score!
Written by Robyn Evans