Use this step-by-step plan to give your score a quick boost now, with a complete makeover in the long term.
Don’t wait around – you can take action to improve your credit score today.
Register to vote
Registering to vote will boost your credit score and provide credit reference agencies with proof of your address so they can verify your identity.
If you’re not eligible to vote in the UK, any credit applications you make could take longer to process. However, you can add a notice of correction to your credit report explaining why you can’t register, and that you have documents to prove your address.
Get your name on your bills
Even if you live in a shared house, you should make sure you get your name on some of your household bills. Bills in your name get logged on your credit report, so it's important to make sure these bills are paid in full and on time. Doing this will prove to credit reference agencies that you’re reliable.
Check your credit report
You can check your credit score for free with CredAbility.
Checking your credit report will help you better understand your financial position and make positive changes. It can also help you identify any mistakes that could be affecting your credit score, such as an incorrect address.
Disassociate from financial ties
If you’ve lived with somebody in the past and have shared the bills, you might still have financial ties with them without even knowing. If this is the case, you can contact the credit reference agencies and ask them to remove it.
If you’re financially tied to someone with bad credit history, it can affect your credit score and stop you from getting credit.
In the first month
Set up direct debits
Set up direct debits for any regular payments you need to make. Include your utility bills, phone bills and any debts you need to pay off.
If you set up direct debits, you’re less likely to miss payments, which means there’s less chance of defaults on your credit report. Any default payments will affect your credit score.
Set up a budget
Following a budget is an essential part of having healthy finances. You need to be aware of your income and expenditure.
For one method of budgeting, you could try following the popular 50/20/30 rule. With this rule, you spend 50% of your income on needs, 20% on savings and 30% on wants.
There are plenty of ways to budget – you just need to find the right method to suit you.
Become a savvy shopper
Whenever you head out for a food shop, always remember to make a list in advance. Using a list will keep you focused and stop you from buying things you don't need it. Next time you shop, implement some smart supermarket tactics to stop yourself from overspending.
If your local supermarket offers a free loyalty card, you should consider signing up for one.
For example, at Tesco, you can sign up for a free Clubcard which allows you to save points every time you buy something. Once you've collected enough points, you can cash them in for vouchers. You can get money off certain items in-store as well!
Try and find vouchers or discounts whenever you shop online. You could also consider using cashback sites when you shop to collect money off.
In the second month
Join the Rental Exchange Initiative
If you rent, see if you can join the Rental Exchange Initiative. This initiative helps tenants improve their credit score when they make their rent payments – if they make them on time every month.
Experian Boost might be able to help you improve your credit score just by sharing how you manage your money. It’ll take into account payments made into savings accounts, Council Tax payments, Netflix and Spotify payments.
If you prove that you make these payments regularly without spending more than you earn, you may be entitled to an instant boost to your credit score.
In the third month
Pay off more debt
If you’ve been budgeting well and shopping sensibly, you might have found yourself with some extra money at the end of each month. If this is the case, put it towards paying off any debt you have.
Paying off your debts will help to boost your credit score and shows that you’re a reliable borrower. It’ll also help you reduce money stress, open you up to more credit opportunities and reduce the amount you spend on interest.
If you want to learn about what's involved when you cancel your credit card, read on here.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.