It is really important that everyone should take time to manage and boost their credit score. It’s no longer just about whether you can get mortgages, credit cards and loans, the crazy / scary thing is that it can now also affect mobile phone contracts, monthly car insurance payments and bank accounts, to name a few.
Here are a few little tips, that I have implemented, that should help you improve yours:
- Register to Vote – first and foremost, the most important thing. It is very unlikely that you will get any credit if you aren’t on the electoral register. Something that I do is opt out of the edited electoral register so that councils don’t sell on your data for marketing purposes (not something that would affect your credit profile but just a side note, not everyone knows about it).
- Read Up About How Credit Scoring Works – It wasn’t something that I really understood at first but after reading up on how credit scores work, and what affects it, you will naturally boost your credit score as you’re more aware of what is going on. For example, you might apply for a new credit card but if you get declined, that will affect the score, so if you had the possibility of being declined, it would be best to not even apply.
- Check Your Profile Anually – or at least before a major application. There might be errors so good to check your profile fairly regularly, line by line. It might be really long winded but it shouldn’t be too bad if it is done regularly. Check out the CreditExpert site to check your profile.
- Check Addresses on Accounts – this may sound a little bit bizarre, but a wrong address can have an impact of your score. If you had an old mobile phone contract that you don’t use any more, but is technically still listed as active on your credit reference files, then you need to check the address is your current one. If the account is still open and it lists you as being at a different address, this can be detrimental to your profile. See the previous point.
- Cancel Unused Store or Credit Cards – this was a big lesson to me. I know that when I was 18 I got several store cards just ‘because I could’. I went through a phase of using them, paying them off and then haven’t used them since. I cut up the cards but that was all I did with them. It still meant the account was active. Having access to too much credit can be damaging. If you have a range of unused credit or store cards, even if they’re empty it shows lots of available credit to you, so it could be a good idea to cancel some of them. This lowers your available credit and should help your profile.