How to Boost Your Credit Score ǀ Finance

Jess McGlynnFebruary 16, 2017

There are many reasons why you might need to build or boost your credit score.  You might have made some poor financial decisions in the past or, as a friend of mine recently discovered (having never had a line of credit until she was in her 30s) she had no real credit imprint to speak of and therefore no credit score!

Most lenders will check your credit score if you are making an application for credit so it’s worth knowing whether yours is healthy, not to mention the fact that if you were to try and apply for credit, the better your score, the better the deal you would be able to secure be it a mortgage application or finance for a new car.  If you need help to improve your credit score then here are just a few things you could try:-

Close inactive or unused accounts
If you’ve transferred current accounts or have an old store card you haven’t used in the last 5 years then it is going to appear on your credit score as though you aren’t financially active.  Make sure you close any accounts you no longer use and ensure they only accounts showing on your score are those you currently use.

Pay your bills on time
It seems obvious but even a late payment on your mobile phone bill will show on your credit score and this could have a negative impact.  It is good practice to pay your bills on time in general to avoid late fees but it also will help to boost your credit score.

Take out a small loan or credit card with a low limit
If things are pretty bad and you are serious about improving your credit rating then you could use a small payday loan or credit card to try to improve your credit score.  I think that this is a solution only for those who are really having trouble finding ways to boost their score and I would certainly only suggest using a loan company who have a respectable reputation, such as Cash Lady; who try to be clear and upfront about the process of their quick loans and what it means to commit to a short-term loan.  Alternatively you could use a credit card (there are a number available for people with low or poor credit history) and ensure that you clear it each month to slowly rebuild your credit score.  The risk here however is that you could just make the minimum payment and so it would take a lot longer to build up your credit score.  You would have to be extremely disciplined about it.

Keep your details up to date
If you have moved around a lot or recently changed address then make sure that you go back and update all the details for any accounts you have open.  It might seem silly but you can be turned down for a line of credit if addresses and names don’t match on all the accounts linked to your credit report.

Get on the electoral register
It surprised me but for the longest time after we had moved up to Southport, we weren’t on the electoral register.  It wasn’t until a guy turned up at my front door with a clipboard and a slip of paper that I even remembered we needed to register!  Not only is it vital if you want to be able to vote but it can also help you if you decide to apply for credit.

Obviously I am not a financial expert but these are just tips and tricks I have picked up over the last few years.  I would always recommend regularly reviewing your finances and your financial situation and seeking professional advice if you are in any doubt.

*This is a collaborative post

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