Applying for credit is a little bit like applying for a new job.
You need to get yourself prepped before you apply to make sure you make the best impression you can with your prospective new employer. And it’s no different when it comes to applying for credit. You need to make yourself look as good as possible so lenders are happy to take you on.
To help, we’ve put together five steps you should follow to boost your chances of being accepted.
Step 1 - Check everything is up-to-date and accurate
If you were applying for a job, the first thing you’d do is make sure your CV is up to scratch and that is makes you attractive to potential employers.
The same goes when applying for credit. You need to check everything is up to date and accurate on your credit report. This includes all of your personal details, like your name and address, as well as the accounts and payments that are shown on it.
If you spot anything on there that’s wrong, get in touch with the credit reference agencies and let them know – they can fix the mistakes for you. Read more about it here.
Step 2 – Don’t be late
So, you’ve bagged yourself an interview. Brilliant! But what would your prospective new employers think if you rocked up 20 minutes late? They wouldn’t be very impressed.
Well, lenders are just the same. If they see any late payments on your credit report, they may think twice about lending to you. If you’ve missed payments in the past, what’s to say you won’t miss them again in the future?
Always make your payments on time and help increase your chances of being accepted.
Step 3 – Mistakes do happen
Mistakes can happen in an interview – whether you can’t think of an answer to a tricky question or you accidentally call the interviewee by the wrong name. The best thing to do is correct yourself and move on.
The same applies to mistakes on your credit report. Whether it’s a missed payment that you definitely paid, or an incorrect address – make sure you correct it before you go on to apply for any credit.
Find out how to fix mistakes here.
Step 4 – Don’t look desperate
So, you’ve had your interview and you want to know whether you’ve been successful or not. Play it cool – if you’re on the phone every 5 minutes, you could come across as desperate. Acting interested is fine, begging is not!
The same applies when it comes to applying for credit. If you constantly apply, lenders will think you’re desperate for cash – you don’t care where it comes from.
And each application leaves a mark on your credit report, so if lenders check your report and see lots of marks, they can see you’re applying to lots of different lenders and they may say no.
Step 5 – Choose wisely
Congrats, you got the job! The next step is to provide references. And you need to pick these carefully to make sure they give a good reflection of you so you can secure the job. If you walked out of your old job in a fit of anger, it’s probably best not to ask for a reference from that employer!
Similarly, when it comes to your credit report, you need to make sure you’re only linked to people who will help you secure the credit.
What do we mean? Well, if you have or have had any joint financial connections in the past (a joint bank account, loan, mortgage or any other type of financial contract with someone), that person will appear on your credit report. And lenders may take their credit report into account too. So, if they have bad credit, they could be stopping you getting accepted.
Make sure you’re only connected to people who help make you look good to lenders. So, if you’re no longer financially linked, close the account down and request a notice of disassociation from the credit reference agencies to remove them from your credit report.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.