1. Check for mistakes on your credit report
If there’s one habit you need to adopt, it’s checking your credit report. And that means checking all the details. Even the smallest mistake could make a big difference to your overall score. Spot a mistake in your address or a missed payment you don’t remember making? Get in touch with the credit reference agency ASAP.
2. Pay your bills on time
One of the best ways to maintain and improve your credit score is to keep on top of your bills. Missing just one payment can impact your score. If you often forget a payment or find your bills stacking up at the end of the month, you could try setting up direct debits or moving your payment date to the same day each month (perhaps the day after payday?) to see if that helps you stay on track.
3. Don’t use all your available credit
Maxing out your credit cards every month won’t do anything for your score. Of course, some months it’s unavoidable, but if you can, using a smaller percentage of the total credit available to you lets lenders know you might be a responsible borrower. That’s also why closing credit cards doesn’t necessarily improve your credit score.
4. Keep your debt in check
Just like using up all your available credit, using a lot of credit from different lenders can impact your score. If possible, try to leave a gap between your credit applications. This is especially important if you’re applying for larger loans. If you’re rejected by a lender after making an application, making another application shortly after may impact your credit score. Try to reserve using credit for the times when you really need it – like getting a new car – rather than credit becoming something you rely on every day.
5. Register on the electoral roll
If you’re registered to vote, then you’ll be on the electoral roll. If not, you can register online for free. The whole process takes minutes – it’s one of the easiest steps you can take to improve your credit. Make sure you register at your new address every time you move too.
6. Check your financial links
Your finances aren’t automatically linked just because you’re married or live with someone. It’s only when you take out a form of finance with someone else – a joint credit card or mortgage, for example – or act as a guarantor that your finances become linked. Anyone you’re financially linked to can impact your credit score. Double-check the people you’re linked to on your credit score and make sure to keep your credit score in mind when considering taking out any joint credit in the future.
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