Top Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of you guys who read my blog who have applied for credit at some point in your life, only to be turned down because you didn’t have a good enough credit score. I know it’s happened to me on several occasions, and it doesn’t feel very good at all when it happens. So for today’s post, I thought I’d share my top tips to help improve your credit score. I hope you find it useful!

Top Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

01. Check your credit report

Before applying for any sort of credit, it’s always a good idea to check out your credit report. I recommend using Noddle for this, as they allow you to access your credit report free for life, whereas other companies, such as Experian, offer a free trial and then charge monthly for you to continue looking at it.

Once you’ve accessed your credit report, make sure that all the information on it is accurate. If not, you can contact the lender to get it removed. If you request your report on a free trial then find you don’t need to access it after the trial period ends, remember to cancel it by setting a reminder on your phone.

02. Disassociate yourself from your financial partner

Did you know that when you take out a joint bank account or mortgage with someone, you automatically become ‘linked’ to them financially? This means that if they have a bad credit rating, it could have an impact on yours too (and vice versa).

If you’ve split up with someone that you had any joint accounts with, or the joint financial product you have taken out is no longer between you both, make sure you inform the credit reference agencies of your disassociation. If you don’t, the other person’s financial dealings could still have a massive impact on your credit score. And you don’t want that to happen when you’re trying hard to improve it!

03. Get yourself on the Electoral Roll

Getting yourself on the Electoral Roll can significantly increase the chances of being accepted for credit. This is because prospective lenders and credit reference agencies use this to check you are who you say you are, and that you live where you say you live.

I have to be honest here and say that I didn’t update my details when we moved house 4 years ago, and I still managed to obtain credit for various things. But I’ve also been turned down for credit because I wasn’t on the Electoral Roll. It’s very much a case of swings and roundabouts with this one!

04. Close any unused credit cards, store cards and mobile phone contracts

Lenders often take into consideration how much credit you already have access too, as well as the amount of debt you owe. If you have any credit cards, store cards, or mobile phone contracts that you no longer use then it’s a good idea to close them.

To do this, you need to contact the provider and close the account. Simply cutting up the cards and forgetting all about them isn’t enough. Be prepared for the Spanish Inquisition when you ring up though! Lenders will keep asking why you’re wanting to close the accounts because they don’t want you to leave. Don’t let them talk you into staying with them if you really don’t need the accounts – stick to your guns and close them down!

05. Don’t miss or make late repayments

Believe it or not, missed or late repayments can stay on your credit file for up to six years. That’s a long time! However, if a late payment was made because of a circumstance that was out of your control, such as a direct debit not being set up on time, then it is possible to get the black mark removed (as long as you made the payment as soon as you noticed, of course). All you need to do is call up your provider and have a chat with them.

06. Make sure you’re paying off any debts you already have

If you already have debts in your name, make sure you’re paying them off. It’s good practice to pay off more than just the minimum payment each month too, as this shows prospective lenders that you’re managing your debts well, which will go a long way to increase your chances of being accepted for credit with them.

07. Build your credit history with a credit card or loan

If you’ve never had credit before, it can often be difficult for a lender to assess you. Why not consider taking out a credit building credit card? The idea is that you make a couple of small purchases on it each month, then repay the balance in full at the end of the month via direct debit. This will show that you can responsibly manage credit and build a good credit history.

If you’ve had credit in the past, but have damaged your score for whatever reason, then why not consider taking out a loan for bad credit? These are small, short term loans designed to help customers overcome unexpected financial emergencies and need to be paid back as soon as possible (usually on your next payday). These sorts of loans will go some way to helping rebuild a damaged credit score, as well as helping you out financially.

08. Take out a prepaid card to repair your credit

Another way to help improve your credit score is to take out a prepaid credit builder card. You’ll be charged a monthly fee of around £5 for a service like this, which you’ll need to keep paying for a 12 month period. At the end of the 12 months, they will add an entry to your credit file to say that you’ve successfully repaid a debt. The good thing about a prepaid credit builder card is that it doesn’t require a credit check as you don’t actually borrow on it. I did this last year and it was well worth the monthly fee to help repair my credit history.

09. Space out your credit applications  

And last but not least, try not to apply for credit too often. Credit reference agencies don’t get told if you are rejected for credit, but a note is made every time a credit search is made by a lender, and the more credit searches carried out in a short space of time, the less likely you are to actually be accepted for credit.

Space out your credit applications and, if possible, try to find out whether you’re likely to be accepted before applying. My top tip here would be to only ever apply for credit if you really need it so as not to do any more damage to your credit score.

And there you have it, my top tips to help improve your credit score. I really hope it’s helped if you were feeling a little lost on how to start going about it. And good luck with getting that score up!

Do you have any other tips on improving your credit score?
I’d love to hear them, so let me know in the comments below!
With love from Lou SignatureTwitter | Facebook | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest

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  1. 05/08/2017 / 2:29 am

    I’ve been looking to improve my credit score and appreciate your tips! I had no idea a prepaid card can help repair credit.

  2. 05/08/2017 / 3:36 am

    These are great tips. I don’t really have anything to add except that, similar to the prepaid cards, some credit unions have what they call “credit builder loans” that is a savings account you pay a specified amount into each month but it is set up like a loan so they report to credit agencies and it helps build your credit. As a bonus, when the term is up, you have the money you paid into it saved up
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  3. Rebecca
    05/08/2017 / 1:19 pm

    Great tips. We are working on rebuilding our credit. It has been a long process.

  4. 06/08/2017 / 7:44 am

    Great tips. I had no idea that being on The electoral roll made such a big difference.

  5. Lynne Harper
    06/08/2017 / 2:26 pm

    Some fabulous tips here, mine was horrendous a few years ago but I have worked hard to get it up to very good. I’m super pleased that making a few changes can alter it for the better x

  6. 06/08/2017 / 3:31 pm

    This is a really handy article for me, as I’m just in the process of trying to buy a second property and need to go through a credit check for the mortgage company 🙂 I’ve checked my credit score and everything appears in order, so fingers crossed! x

  7. 06/08/2017 / 4:30 pm

    My credit rating isn’t the best – mainly due to loans that I have and I’m forever trying to make it better! I’ve kinda come to terms with the fact that until I’ve paid off all my debts (which I have for whatever reasons!) my credit rating is always going to be on the poor side. Lots of great tips that I definitely need to look into though!

    Maj xoxo

  8. 06/08/2017 / 10:25 pm

    I have literally been going through my credit score this evening with the other half to see how we can improve it . Great tips Hun 🙂

  9. 07/08/2017 / 9:39 am

    i love my noddle account! it’s so handy to keep up with everything going on .

  10. 28/08/2017 / 10:03 pm

    These are great tips for improving your credit score! Your credit score can have a major impact in your life! Thanks for sharing this!

  11. 30/08/2017 / 9:33 pm

    Boy Howdy! After my divorce from my ex, my credit to heck. I ended up having to file bankruptcy, but that didn’t remove the house from my name. There is nothing they can really do to remove your name from a mortgage till it’s paid off – other than refinance. A judge cannot force a bank to refinance a loan. He can only make the other person attempt to refinance. I am no longer responsible for the payments on the house, but every time he’s late (which is frequently) it hits my credit. Due to this, my current husband and I keep all of our finances separate. We do have a joint mortgage on a house, but everything else remains separate until my ex either loses the house or pays it off.
    Your advice to keep financial entanglements separate is one that I wish I had thought of before I bought a house with someone when we were already on the rocks.
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  12. 11/09/2017 / 7:39 pm

    Ooh I didn’t know that about financial partners too! I know my ex husband and I still have bank accounts together even though they are empty, I never thought to close them! Oops!!
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  13. 25/09/2017 / 10:09 am

    all of these are such good tips!! its been a battle improving my score – did not know joint accounts could have that much of an effect though!

  14. 25/09/2017 / 10:22 am

    Last time I checked my credit score it was fine. I know getting a credit card can help improve scores but I don’t know if that’s something I would want to have! My husband and myself are looking into a joint account.
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  15. 25/09/2017 / 10:27 am

    Some really good and helpful tips here and I really do wish we learnt more about it at school x

  16. 25/09/2017 / 1:19 pm

    This is so useful, some really great tips here! I didn’t even think to close unused/old cards, literally doing this now!

  17. 28/09/2017 / 1:59 pm

    This is an ideal post. Superb! I often checked my past payment history, Monitor potential negative marks and manage my debt status accordingly.

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