Most people think that a credit rating is a fixed score that can’t be changed. After all, it’s based on your historical record with various forms of credit, and many of these credit lines will have been finished or cancelled. Learn more about credit score.
However, you can always affect your credit score, and all it really takes is a few hours in front of a computer, the help of the free credit report and a little bit of knowledge. You’ll have to provide the computer, but read on for the know-how. There are very simple steps to increase your credit rating.
How Credit Rating Works
A credit score is a collection of all the times you’ve ever used a service and paid for it later, this is then calculated into a rating which banks and other groups use to work out whether you’re ‘creditworthy’ or not. Every time you make an application for credit, a ‘search’ is logged on your record, too many searches in a short period can damage your chances of getting credit, so the first thing to do is be careful with how many things you apply for. Read how credit scoring may affect your finances.
A Little Management
“Every time you’ve ever used a service and paid for it later” makes up a surprisingly large number of instances. Phone contracts, gas bills, credit cards, everything is included and a lot of stuff you might not have realised. The first thing to do is go through your credit report with a fine tooth comb and cancel everything that is no longer relevant or being used.
Along with this, make sure that all the address details are up to date and fully correct. One of the reasons for doing a credit check is to make sure that you are who you say you are, and having incorrect addresses on still active credit lines can confuse the engines. It’s easy enough to fix, and can make a significant difference. Along similar lines, signing up to the electoral roll can improve your credit rating, so it’s worth doing.
Settle Old Debts
If you forgot to pay a bill, or you’re a bit late on a credit card but not actually struggling with repayments, talk to the provider and get clear up any problems (reminding them to iron out any kinks in your credit rating whilst you’re talking to them). Most companies are quite understanding, and the credit agencies definitely are if you can provide proof that you’ve been a good customer, so they should be accommodating to any requests for change.
Everyone has made mistakes, so if you’ve got a few negative points on your credit rating don’t be too concerned, if there are mitigating circumstances, write a note and send it to the credit agency to put on the file. That way, any search will at least reveal your side of the story as well as the fact that you may have been a little tardy paying one or twice.