Many companies, and especially banks, will check your credit rating when processing a loan or any other form of financing. That said, it is essential to keep/maintain a good credit score to be able to access these services, among others.
Even those with bad credit can improve it over time, hence be able to access most of the said services. You, however, need to be sure your credit score needs improving before taking on measures to improve it.
You could have a credit reference agency help retrieve your information and advise you on where/how you could get a better score.
If the credit information provided doesn’t seem to be correct, you can then contact the respective credit reference agency or lender to correct/update it. TotallyMoney is an excellent example of agencies you can call to check your credit score, and even get your credit report free.
The agency can also help you find lenders you can borrow from, even those that offer payday loans for very bad credit. Discussed below are, however, a few tips and tricks on how to improve your credit rating.
1. De-Link Your Financial Accounts with An Ex-Partner
While it is perfectly normal to have a joint bank account or mortgage with your partner, you might want to disassociate yourself with him/her should you split up. Contact credit reference agencies as soon as the divorce is processed to have your accounts disassociated with his/hers.
One of the reasons is that, should his/her credit rating dip, yours will undoubtedly be affected as well. De-linking yourself from their financial accounts, however, protects you from such. This thus means you can work to build your credit score without anyone dragging you back.
2. Get on The Electoral Register
Credit agencies and lenders will want to know who you are and where you live. The electoral register provides a definite answer to this, which is why credit companies trust the information provided for in the register.
It would also help to have a back account with the same name, have the same address, and retain your job for longer. These show how trustworthy you are, hence increase faith with lenders.
3. Close All Unused Store Cards, Credit Cards, Mobile Contracts, and Direct Debits
Many people will simply stop using credit cards or store cards they no longer need. Although you might not use the cards anymore, the linked accounts are still active and reflect when a lender enters your information.
Left unchecked, these unused cards and accounts could hurt your credit score, one of the reasons you should contact the provider and close the accounts altogether. Most stores/providers will try to persuade you not to close the accounts, and even offer incentives just to keep you as a customer. Be sure to stand your ground and close all unnecessary accounts down.
4. Make Timely Bill Payments
Late or missed payments can have a significant impact on your credit score. Making timely payments for all your bills, including electricity and gas, however, works in your favor. You could create alerts on your phone to remind you to make the payments on time.
If you, however, miss a payment for one reason or another, contact the credit provider immediately to see if the ‘black mark’ can be removed from your records. Some providers will be kind enough to let it slide for as long as you don’t miss another payment.
5. Settle Your Debts
Paying your debts on time can save you lots of trouble and, even better, improve your credit rating. Paying more than the minimum repayment amount also improves trust with your lender too.
6. Use A Credit Card to Build Your Credit History
It’s hard to build a credit history if you don’t have credit in the first place. Unless you wish to live off-the-grid for the rest of your life, take a credit card and start using it.
You could use it to buy essentials or even pay for gas, then repay the balance on time. The simple act of using the credit card and repaying on time will help build your credit score/history, thus increasing your chances of borrowing larger sums in the future.
7. Space Out Credit Applications
Just because we said you should apply for a credit card doesn’t mean making multiple applications all at the same period. Making numerous applications will only hurt your rating even farther.
Spacing the applications out would be a much better approach. Just be sure to apply for the products you need.