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How to Improve your Credit Rating

Posted November 27, 2012 by Ben Inder to Financial Advice 1 0
This post was written by a EasyFinance.com Community member. The views expressed below may not reflect the views of EasyFinance.com.

If you are thinking of applying for any type of borrowing, whether it be credit card, store card or something larger like a loan or a mortgage, then your credit rating is something that you should be taking good care of. The first thing to do before applying for credit is to find out what your credit rating is, as you may not need to do anything at all. If, however, you have a bad credit rating or no credit rating at all, then there are few things you can do to help improve it.

1.) Borrow and pay it back
It’s a common misconception that if you have never been in debt, that you are an excellent customer for lending to. The only way that lenders will know what type of borrower you are is to find out how you have behaved with borrowing in your financial history. Simply never having borrowed does not mean that you will act responsibly and pay back what you owe on time, and so never having borrowed can actually show up as a negative on your credit history. One way to remedy this, is to borrow…even in small amounts such as a hundred pounds on a credit or store card, and then pay back diligently. This will build up a good credit rating for you.

2.) Close down any “dead” accounts
If you have bank accounts, credit cards, store cards or similar that you don’t use: close them down. Empty and inactive financial agreements look badly on your finance history as they demonstrate neglect. Unused financial arrangements in the form of cards, and accounts show up as dormant in credit searches, and dormant is not a good sign for any lender.

3.) Be stable

Stable home, job, utility bills, even phone lines! Every indication of stability that you can give in the form of all of your financial commitments, living arrangements, and even being on the electoral register shows up as a positive on your credit rating as it all reflects stability for the lender.  

4.) Statutory Credit File
Your statutory credit file is an account of your bill paying habits, particularly home bills such as council tax, gas, electricity and water. Not paying these bills on time, regularly, or being in debt with them, being cut off or being taken to court in order to pay any of these bills will show up as a credit red flag to lenders. Your statutory bills are considered the most essential bills for daily living and so any irresponsibility relating to what is considered the essentials of life, will look bad to people who are thinking of lending you extra. If you cant take care of your home, how are you going to take care of your debt?

5.) Consolidate or pay back any existing debts
Although you will still get credit if you have existing debts that you are managing, if you can pay off any existing debts, then it is a good idea to do so. Paying back debt is good for your credit rating, but paying it off completely is even better.

About Ben Inder: Ben is a financial advisor at Loans.gg. He is always happy to give advice on all kinds of financial products.

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