A healthy credit score can make all the difference. From being accepted for a credit card or mobile phone contract, to even the type of broadband deal you're offered.
The good news is that you can do something to improve it.
These 7 simple steps are a great place to start.
Don’t guess. Check your score.
Sometimes people assume they have a bad credit rating without knowing for sure. The only way to know your credit rating is by checking your credit report. You can check your credit report by visiting the three main credit reference agencies;
Equifax opens in a new window ,
Experian opens in a new window
Call Credit opens in a new window .
Make sure you're registered to vote
Lenders use the electoral roll to confirm your identity. If you’re not on it, it’s harder for them to do so. Registering is free and takes less than 5 minutes. Register online now at gov.uk/register-to-vote opens in a new window
Pay more than the minimum
If you can afford to pay more than the minimum payment on a loan or credit card, it’s worth it. You’ll pay off your debt more quickly and save money on interest in the long run.
Pay your bills on time with Direct Debit
Missing a payment can affect your credit score for up to 6 years. Setting up a Direct Debit is a simple way to make sure you pay on time, every time.
Don't apply for too many credit cards
Each time you apply for a credit card a mark is left on your credit report. Too many marks in a short space of time can make you look risky to lenders, which could reduce your chances of being accepted.
Always use eligibility checkers before you apply
Eligibility checkers let you know if you'll be accepted for a card before you apply and protects your credit score.
Capital One's QuickCheck gives you a definite yes or no in 60 seconds. So you can be 100% certain if you'll be accepted before you apply, without affecting your credit score.
Don't go over your limit
If you have a credit card, always try to stay within your credit limit. Lenders typically see this as a sign that you are able to manage your finances responsibly. You'll also avoid any extra fees.