Like many people in the UK, your credit score might not be perfect — but that doesn’t mean you’re an irresponsible borrower. Your less-than-perfect credit score may be due to a few missed payments in the past, or perhaps you’ve accumulated debt. In addition, applying for credit time and again can also impact your credit profile.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to improve your credit score — and many of them are surprisingly straightforward to do.
There’s a lot you can do to help fix your credit score. An expansive list of tips can be found here, but here are a few to get you on your way:
- Check your credit report regularly
You can get access to your credit report from these three credit-referencing agencies:
The information compiled and held by credit reference agencies gives a summary of your credit history and financial behaviour. It includes personal details such as address and date of birth, information on your borrowing and payment histories, the length of your credit history, information on the total credit you have available to you and how much of that you’ve used.
Some of the things that are not included in your credit report are your salary and details of savings accounts you hold. Under the Consumer Credit Act, you have the right to see the data held on you by credit reference agencies for a small fee.
Some companies — like Experian for example — offer you a free account forever which allows you to access your free credit report by entering in a few details.
Read your credit report carefully! If you spot a mistake, you can contact the credit reference agency and challenge any outstanding issues that may be impacting your ability to borrow.
Credit bureaus can help you to clean up your credit file, although you may have to pay a fee for their help and advice.
- Avoid making lots of loan applications
Making lots of applications in a short space of time could send a signal to lenders that you’re having financial difficulties. If you’re looking for loans for bad credit from a direct lender, try shopping around and asking companies to provide you with a quote before you apply. Unlike a formal application, a quote request (like our Eligibility Check) won’t be visible for other lenders to see.
If you’ve already applied to multiple lenders, we may still be able to offer you a bad credit loan. We know that you’re more than just your credit score. Looking beyond credit reports to understand the full financial situation allows us to offer loans for people with bad credit.
- Register to vote on your local electoral roll
One of the ways that lenders guard against identity fraud is by verifying where you live. One of the ways they do this by checking the electoral roll to make sure the address you’ve given is accurate. If you move house, visit www.gov.uk/get-on-electoral-register to find out how to register with your local Electoral Registration Office.
Using these methods and taking action to improve your credit score not only increases your chances of getting a loan, it could also reduce the amount of interest you have to pay in future — making loans and credit cheaper for you in the long run.