By improving your credit score, you’re more likely to be:
Make sure you’re on the electoral register as lenders will use this to check your name, address and where you've lived before.
Lenders need to confirm these details to validate who you are before offering credit. So, if you're not registered, it could cause a delay, or result in your application being turned down.
If you haven’t borrowed money before, it’s difficult for a lender to judge how likely you are to meet your repayments. This impacts your credit score.
Taking a small amount of credit can help you borrow larger amounts in the future – as long as you manage it well. An arranged overdraft, or credit building credit card with a low limit could be an option for you.
Lenders want to know they can rely on you to make regular repayments. A missed payment is likely to negatively impact your credit score.
Your payment history in the last 12 months will be most important to lenders. If you've missed payments in the past, but have since become more reliable, your credit score might not be affected as much as you think.
And spending near, or over, your credit limit every month is going to give the impression you're struggling to manage your finances. So, try to keep within your limits.
Too many applications could indicate to lenders you're struggling for money. If you just want to compare rates, ask your lender to do a 'quotation search' instead of a 'credit application search'. This means it won’t show up on your credit profile.
Check your credit report to make sure there are no mistakes and any amounts showing as owed on your accounts are correct.
When you apply for joint credit with someone, such as an overdraft, joint loan or mortgage – your credit history will be linked to theirs.
If you’re looking to improve your score, you may want to ask your partner, for example, to try to do the same, especially if they have a poor credit report.
Improving your credit score can take time. For example, it can take several weeks for updated information to appear on your credit report, and a few months before any new accounts start to help build your credit score.
Information, such as late payments, can also stay on your credit report for 6 years. However, their impact will likely reduce as the record ages.
It may not happen overnight, but managing your money more effectively can make a big difference to your credit score and overall financial health. This will help you if, or when, you’re ready to apply for credit.
Explore: Improve your financial fitness