Loan Tips: How To Improve Your Credit Score
How your credit score is calculated
At 118 118 Money, we know how frustrating it can be when you’re turned down for a loan as soon as your lender does a credit check. That’s why we specialise in providing loans for people with a less than perfect credit history. But did you know there are some very simple ways to improve your credit score and get a better loan deal?
Read on to find out how your credit score is calculated, as well as our top ten tips to help you improve it. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be accepted by lenders and even making small changes can make a bit of a difference.
To calculate your score, we gather information from a number of sources:
- On our easy, four-step application form (LINK) we will ask questions about your employment, your income and your reasons for wanting to borrow money.
- We’ll look at your credit report to see if you’ve been given credit before and how well you’ve managed your repayments. Your credit report is also used to confirm your identity.
- Of course, if you’ve borrowed from a company before and paid back your loan successfully, that will be taken into account too.
It’s important to remember that different lenders may calculate your score in different ways so even if you’ve been rejected for credit before, it won’t necessarily mean you’ll be rejected again.
10 tips to improve your credit score
Tip 1: Check your credit report regularly
You can get access to your credit report from any of these top-three credit-referencing agencies:
On your credit report it will list all of your credit agreements, including utility bills, mobile phones contracts, credit cards, loans etc. It will also show whether you have missed any payments. Check that the list is accurate and report any errors to the agency as quickly as possible.
Tip 2: Cancel old credit agreements
If you have a lot of credit agreements it can affect your credit score. Cancel those agreements you no longer need by contacting the companies concerned – for example, if you’ve got a mobile phone or credit card you no longer use. Make sure that there are no payments outstanding before you cancel your agreement.
Tip 3: Avoid making lots of loan applications
If you make lots of loan applications in a short space of time, this could send a signal to lenders that you’re having financial difficulties. If you want to shop around for the best loan deal, ask companies to provide you with a loan quote before you apply. Loan quotes won’t be listed on your credit file whereas loan applications are. Applying to two lenders at the same time where we are one of the lenders isn’t necessarily a problem because we look beyond your credit report to understand your current financial situation. Our aim is to lend you the money you need.
Tip 4: Pay your bills on time
Failing to pay a bill on time may simply be down to forgetfulness. However, lenders are more likely to see it as poor money management and might be less willing to give you credit. If you know you’re likely to go over your credit limit or you can’t pay a bill on time, talk to your lender immediately so they can help you make other arrangements. For example, if you need a bank overdraft contact your bank to get it pre-approved.
Tip 5: Don’t let someone else ruin your credit score
If you have a financial link to someone who has a poor credit history, it can affect your credit score too. Having separate rather than joint accounts will help to keep your credit record clean.
Tip 6: Register to vote on your local electoral roll
One of the ways that lenders guard against identity fraud is to check the electoral roll to make sure you live where you say you do. If you move house, visit www.gov.uk/get-on-electoral-register to find out how to contact your local Electoral Registration Office and request a ‘register to vote’ form.
Tip 7: Let companies know if you’ve changed address
If you’ve moved house, tell your creditors your new address so they know where to send your bills. That way, you won’t forget a repayment. When you move, it’s worth asking the Post Office to re-direct your mail in case there’s a company that you’ve forgotten to inform of your change of address. Visit www.postoffice.co.uk/redirection.
Tip 8: Consider getting a landline phone
Having a landline phone is still seen as a sign of stability and could influence your credit score, depending on the lender. However, as the number of people who rely entirely on mobile phones increases, having a landline is likely to have less influence on credit scoring in the future.
Tip 9: Keep the same address
Not moving house too often is also a sign of stability, as is being married, keeping the same bank or working for the same employer. These all help lenders to see you as a reliable and dependable customer.
Tip 10: Be honest on your application form
It’s better to tell the truth and nothing but the truth when you fill out a loan application form or speak to a creditor. Even small inconsistencies could affect your credit score or may be considered fraudulent. It’s also in your own interest to be honest because, when lenders conduct a credit check, they are trying to protect you as well as themselves. The last thing you want is to take out credit or loans that you will struggle to pay back.
How 118 118 Money can help you
Here at 118 118 Money, we aim to lend you the money you need which is why we see you as more than your credit score. We’re different from other lenders because we look at your current situation and will work with you. All of our applications can be completed online, meaning you get an answer faster and without having to head to the bank for an interview.
Speak to our team today or use our online calculator to see how much you could borrow, what the APR would be, what your monthly repayments could be and over how many months. Once you’ve decided, you can complete the form via your desktop, mobile, or tablet and receive the loan you need.
There’s no need to pay back more than you have to; with us you could actually pay back less than you would in comparison to other instalment loan lenders such as short-term lenders. Try us when you are applying elsewhere for a loan – you might be surprised at our response and potentially save you hundreds of pounds.
Apply today and see how 118 118 Money can help.