It can feel like you’re going round in circles when you can’t get the credit you need to build your score. Break the cycle with these top tips.
We’re here to show you that using a credit card isn’t the only way you can boost your rating.
If your applications for credit are getting you nowhere, then stop! It’s time to take a step back and look at how you can improve your credit score before making any more applications.
Here’s how you can turn things around…
Lay low for a while
It’s really frustrating when you get a ‘no’ after applying for credit. It can be tempting to apply again, and again… someone’s bound to accept you eventually, right?
Actually, each time you apply for credit, lenders search through your credit history which may leave a footprint on your report. Lenders looking at your report could see these footprints and think the high amount of applications might mean you’re strapped for cash, and that you’re getting rejected due to an adverse credit history – which can be a bit of a red flag.
By using eligibility checkers, you can see if you’ll be accepted without it affecting your credit rating, which could make your report look more appealing to lenders.
Sign up to vote
This is a really simple way of giving your credit score a boost. What’s more, it only takes a matter of minutes.
Being on the electoral roll is an easy way of proving to lenders that you are who you say you are. Many people only register to vote in an election, but having your name on the register is a great way of telling lenders that you’re a real person with a steady address – which is always a good thing!
Yes, you heard correctly – making rent payments can increase your credit score! Up until recently, you might as well have been throwing your rent down a black hole… but with the arrival of these apps, you can make your rent payments count.
If you’re a council or social housing tenant (or if your rental management owns over 100 properties), you could ask your landlord to report your rental payments into Experian’s Rental Exchange.
Or, if you’re a private renter you could sign up to Credit Ladder (for free) and pay your landlord through this platform. If you’re making rent payments in full and on time each month, it’s about time you got the credit you deserve! So, what are you waiting for?
Give your report a once-over
You might assume that everything on your credit report is automatically correct and up-to-date. However, this isn’t always the case.
You should keep an eye out for mistakes, such as having your old address listed or being financially linked to someone you’re no longer in contact with. Even if you think it’s a harmless mistake, it could result in lenders rejecting you if the details on your application don’t match up with those on your credit report.
If it’s a missed payment or an account you don’t recognize, you can either contact the lender directly or use the correction service on the credit reference agency to see if it can be removed. Getting rid of mistakes could be a sure-fire way of boosting your credit score!
Cut up your unused store cards
Having too much available credit at your disposal can give your credit score a knock - including any old store cards you might have forgotten about.
If you have a card which you often use, and regularly pay off in full, keep it open. However, it’s worth getting rid of those old, unused accounts. Lenders might think your access to a high amount of credit will result in excessive spending, meaning you may struggle to pay it all back.