21st June 2016
A recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling has revealed that people are more embarrassed to reveal their credit score than their weight. Luckily, just as you can improve your health, you can improve your credit score. So if you are sheepish about your score, check out a few of our tips.
Not only should you check your credit report for fraudulent activity, you also need to look out for genuine errors. Lenders are not perfect, you may find that you have been flagged for a missed or late payment incorrectly. Always keep track of your payments for proof and if you do find an error on your credit report, dispute it.
Not being on the electoral register can really hurt your credit as lenders use the register to verify your identity. You can apply to vote at any time at UK.
This one is quite obvious. Late payments can stick with you for years and are most damaging to your score if they occurred within the last twelve months.
This cannot be stressed enough. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been friends with someone or how long you and your partner have been dating. If the relationship goes south, your financial wellbeing is at risk. If you are financially linked to someone, whether it is a phone bill, co-signing a car loan, etc., both parties must be current on payments so as not to affect the other’s score. If you partner defaults, you are punished as well. If you have held any type of joint account with someone in the past, make sure that you are removed from that account immediately.
Having too many credit cards, even if you don’t use them can negatively affect your credit. Credit bureaus consider access to too much credit problematic. Ideally, you should stick to maybe one or two cards.
Do you have a credit card debt so old that it has now become a family pet? Large sums of debt that are several years old are incredibly detrimental to your credit score. Try negotiating with the lender to pay off the debt. For instance, if you owe £10,000 on a credit card, contact the credit card company and offer £5,000 (if you have it) to be paid immediately. If you have carried the debt for a long time, the lender will be more inclined to take the offer to settle the debt. If the lender does agree, however, get the agreement in writing before payment is made. This type of settlement is considered a default and can stay on your credit file for six years. Although you can request the default be removed from your credit report as a condition of the settlement.
Credit builder cards are exactly what they sound like, cards that can help build your credit. Beware of the interest rate on credit-building cards, as they can be over 30%. You will also be given a smaller credit limit. You can find options for credit-building credit cards here.