Know if you're accepted before you apply with QuickCheck

  • Get credit - up to £1,500
  • QuickCheck won’t affect your credit rating
  • Get a fast response in 60 seconds
Check Now 34.9% APR Representative (variable)
Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender

Where to start

You might have discovered your credit history is less than perfect after checking it with a credit reference agency, or you may have applied for credit and been rejected. If this is the case, you can ask the lender why your application was unsuccessful, but keep in mind the reason they give will usually be very general, (“You didn’t meet our internal criteria” or “Your credit rating wasn’t high enough,” for example) and so of limited use to you. They may also ask for a nominal fee in return for the information.

To get a more detailed idea of why your credit rating is working against you, the first place to start is to take a look at your credit history. There are three main credit reference agencies used by UK lenders: Experian, Callcredit (Noddle) and Equifax. Start by checking what information each holds on you, as different lenders use different credit reference agencies. There’s no need to sign up to expensive credit reports, you can get your credit history from each for a fee of just £2. These should give you a good insight into why your credit rating is what it is, as well as letting you see what your lenders see.

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How are credit scores calculated?

Lenders use their own unique formulas to create your credit score, using information contained within both your credit history and what you put on your application form. They do this to form an idea of what type of borrower you are, and to help them predict whether you will maintain your borrowing agreement with them and, of course, whether you can afford the credit you’ve applied for.

As well as different lenders using different formulas to assess applicants, they often have different criteria for different products as well. You may find that the same lender could accept you for a credit card but not for a personal loan, for instance. This is because your lender thinks a credit card is a more suitable product for you based on your personal circumstances and borrowing history. Bear in mind as well the lenders often “price for risk”. This means that they may offer you the product you’ve applied for, but at a higher APR, if their assessment of you is that you are higher risk.

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Improving your credit history

Whether or not you’re thinking of applying for more (or a different type of) credit, it’s important you manage the accounts you already have well, as every payment you make is recorded on your credit history. If you miss a payment or pay it late, a lender will see this when they check your report, and may be reluctant to lend to you as a result and the information stays on file for six years. Don’t forget your credit history doesn’t just include loans and credit cards: mobile phone contracts and pay monthly insurance will also show up, so it is important to keep up with those too.

If you have credit accounts that you no longer use it makes sense to close them before applying for a new one, as lenders will check how much available credit you have before approving any application. They may decide that adding further borrowing to what you already have available – even if you’re not using it – has the potential to make your overall repayments too expensive to manage.

There’s a chance that it’s not only your own history that’s had an effect on how lenders are assessing you, but also another person’s. If you’ve shared a financial product with someone else in the past, a joint mortgage with an ex-partner for example, you can apply for a notice of disassociation. This means that their credit history won’t be taken into account when you are individually applying for credit. You don’t want your application to be turned down just because an ex-partner is bad at managing their money.

Another thing that could have an impact on your credit history is a simple error you may not have even noticed. Perhaps one of your accounts has the wrong address or you’re not listed as being on the Electoral Roll. Contact the lender involved and/or the credit reference agency to get this error fixed. And if you notice a credit account you don’t remember opening, or that the amount that’s been spent is larger than you thought, there’s a chance you’ve fallen victim to fraud, in which case contact your lender immediately.

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Before you apply

Try to avoid making multiple applications for credit within a short period of time as this might reduce your chances of being accepted - it could give lenders the impression that you’re desperate to borrow money. If you plan to apply for a mortgage within the next few months for example, you may want to hold off applying for a credit card or loan in the meantime.

For more information on checking your credit history click here.

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Know if you're accepted before you apply with QuickCheck

  • Get credit - up to £1,500
  • QuickCheck won’t affect your credit rating
  • Get a fast response in 60 seconds
Check Now 34.9% APR Representative (variable)
Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender