Your credit score is really important. Not only does it affect your ability to take out loans such as mortgages, it affects pretty much anything you want to pay for monthly, too.
Yet many of us are not clear on how our credit score is calculated and how we can improve it.
Firstly, what is a credit score?
According to ClearScore, a “credit score is a 3 digit number that shows you how likely you are to be accepted for credit”. It looks at how well you’ve managed money in the past, to understand how reliable you are when it comes to paying money back. You will then be ‘scored’ on your trustworthiness.
Companies use your score to decide whether they will give you a loan, credit card or other finance deal. If your score is less than perfect, you are more likely to be rejected or be forced to pay the highest interest rates.
If you’re conscious that you need to give your credit rating a boost, here are some simple ways to do so.
Register to vote
If you’re not currently on the electoral register, then sign up. It’s much harder to be accepted for any type of credit if you’re not on it. You can do this quickly and easily on the government website.
Pay bills on time
To improve your credit score, make sure you pay all your bills on time. Even missing a payment once could have a big impact on your rating. If you think you’re likely to forget or slip up, set up direct debits. That way, the money will automatically go out, so your payments will always be on time.
Use a credit card
Credit cards can be a great tool for boosting your credit score, but only if you use them wisely. If you purchase with your credit card and pay it off regularly, this will improve your credit score, as it shows you can be trusted to pay the money back.
Don’t buy more than you can realistically afford and not pay it off — this will negatively impact your rating.
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Don’t apply for multiple cards at the same time — lots of hard credit checks will negatively impact your rating.
Don’t link to someone with poor credit
Avoid setting up a joint bank account, joint mortgage or any other joint financial product with someone who has a poor credit score. If you do, their poor credit rating can be assessed alongside yours, even if it’s only you that’s taking out the loan or product. Keep your finances separate.
Following these simple tips may help you to boost your credit score, take control of your finances and overall help you make more informed financial decisions. Why not start today?