The speed at which you can improve your credit score varies from one person to the next. We walk you through some fast-acting and hassle-free ways to improve your credit score and credit history.
Here are some quick and easy things you can do to get the ball rolling today.
1. Fix any mistakes on your credit report
Ensuring that all the details on your credit report are up to date and accurate is one of the easiest ways to make fast changes to your score - and improve your creditworthiness in the eyes of lenders.
Be sure to check your:
- address is correct
- name and date of birth are right
- finances are accurate (including income, outgoings and the repayment history for all accounts)
Any incorrect or outdated information could be impacting your credit score. Checking your report on a regular basis can help to ensure your score is as accurate as possible, and if you do find any mismatches, you can contact the relevant credit reference agency to get these fixed.
2. Add your name to household bills
Having your name on household bills is a great (and very easy) way to show lenders that you are reliable and pay your bills on time. All paid (or missed) payments that your creditor receives will be reported to the credit reference agencies who generate your credit report. This will help you to build up a credit history. Of course, for this to have a positive impact on your score it’s crucial that you don’t miss any bill payments.
If your bills are split between you and others within your household, don’t worry – your name doesn’t need to be on every bill. Just make sure you have some accounts in your name and always pay on time. This will show that you are trustworthy and responsible with your money.
3. Remove old financial ties
If you have ever shared a credit account, then you’ve also shared credit report information. Known as a financial association, these types of ties can include anything from a shared bank account to a mortgage. Unfortunately, any financial tie could have a negative impact on your credit score if you have had financial difficulties in the past.
It’s important that you update your report as soon as a change in circumstances has occurred. This could be a break-up, a divorce, or a friend moving out and no longer sharing bills with you. You can easily do this by requesting a notice of disassociation from the credit reference agencies.
Just remember that the account will need to be paid in full before you can remove an old financial tie.
4. Set up direct debits
The benefits of having direct debits set up for all your monthly outgoings are plentiful. From helping you to avoid late payments to encouraging a healthy credit history.
And the best bit? Getting set up can take minutes.
5. Reduce your debts with existing savings
If you’ve got a nice little savings pot that you’ve been building up for a rainy day, consider putting it towards your debts instead. One of the most common causes of a low credit score is too much debt, so by reducing or removing as much of it as you can, you’re giving yourself the best chance of a lower credit score in the future.
For example, keeping your credit score under 30% of your credit limit can boost your score by 90 points.
6. Register on the Rental Exchange Initiative
If you’re renting a property, it can feel like a real challenge to build up a good credit score – even if you always pay on time. That’s where the Rental Exchange Initiative comes in.
This initiative is designed to give tenants the same opportunities to build up a positive credit history as homeowners. A glaring discrepancy was identified between how regular rent payments and regular mortgage repayments were recorded. As a result, the Rental Exchange Initiative includes a tenant’s rent payments on their credit report, giving them a chance to receive the same types of good-credit benefits that homeowners get – as long as they always pay their rent on time.
It’s worth noting that any late or missed payments will have a negative impact on your credit history.
7. Join the electoral roll
As well as showing your credit history, your credit report also works as a form of identification, proving that you are who you say you are.
A quick and easy way to confirm your identity is to get signed up to the electoral roll. Not only will this increase your credit score by around 50 points, but it will also allow you to vote on any upcoming elections if you so wish.
And most importantly. . .
Remember that the best way to boost your credit score is often just by giving it time. Whilst all the above are easy “quick fixes” there is no one way to transform your credit score overnight.
Not all lenders or credit reference agencies will update your records at the same time, or within the same timeframe. And some lenders only report to one agency and not another, so the agencies don’t necessarily hold the same information about you. If your credit score isn’t doing what you expect it to do straight away, give it time to catch up with the positive steps you’re taking.
Read on for more ideas on how to increase your credit score.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.