Renfrewshire Council

Credit and bank cards

Money hack: how you can improve your credit rating

Follow these tips to getting a better credit rating that can mean no more high-cost loans.

Building a good credit score, also known as a credit rating, is crucial because it can affect your ability to borrow money or access products such as credit cards or loans.

Here's how you can improve a low credit rating.


1 Register on the electoral roll

If your name's not on there, you'll find it much harder to get credit. You can register to vote online - see 'related links'.


2 Check for mistakes on your file

Even one small mistake on your address can have an impact on your score. So, make sure you check all the details and report any incorrect information immediately.


3 Pay your bills on time

Paying a phone landline or internet contract on time is a great way to prove to lenders that you're capable of managing your finances effectively.


4 Check if you're linked to another person

Having a spouse, friend or family member's credit rating linked to yours through a joint account could affect your personal rating if they have a poor score.


5 Check for fraudulent activity

If something on your credit report is incorrect or doesn't apply to you, i.e. if someone applied for credit in your name without your knowledge, contact the credit reference agency immediately to have your file updated.


6 Keep up with your payments

Receiving any court actions for debt will have a serious impact on your credit score. If you're having problems keeping up with payments, you can find free, confidential and impartial advice with Advice Renfrewshire - see 'related links'.


7 Pay off your debt

Ideally, you should pay off any outstanding debt before applying for new credit. This is because banks, building societies and credit card companies might be hesitant about lending you more if you already have a lot of existing debt.


8 Don't change address too often

Although everyone changes address at some point, lenders feel more comfortable if they see evidence that you have lived at one address for a considerable period. Be sure to bear this in mind.


If you're struggling to improve your score, it might be worth considering signing up to a one-month free trial membership offered by the main credit agencies or getting a credit union account - see 'related links'.

If you are a tenant, you may also consider signing up to the Rental Exchange initiative. This will allow your rent payments to go towards building your credit score - to visit the Experian website, see 'related links'

Published: Saturday 10 November 2018