How to boost your credit score quickly
In the UK, having bad credit can impact how many lenders are willing to give you a credit card, mortgage or bank loan. Your credit history contains the number of open accounts you have, your total number of debt, and repayment history. Lenders and banks use credit scores to judge how likely it is that you can repay loans on time.
More serious issues like bankruptcy, IVAs or CCJs can’t be fixed or removed unless they’re a mistake or more than six years old. But If you're looking to get your credit score a little healthier, there's a few quick things you can do to help.
1. Check your credit score across all agencies
Once you know where you’re at, you can then make a plan to improve. It might not even be as bad as you think, but you’ll need to face it head-on.
Your credit report is put together by independent companies known as credit reference agencies. In the UK, there's three main ones: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies have access to your financial and credit history, and that’s how they put together your report.
You can use any of these to get a copy of your credit report, but they all do things slightly differently, so your score will differ depending on which one you check. checkmyfile* is a platform that shows your entire report from across all three agencies, and it's free with a 30 day trial (usually £14.99 a month). Here's how to get your credit file.
*Heads up, when you click through to our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend sites we truly trust and believe in.
2. Put right any errors straight away
Have a look at your report in detail and check if everything looks right. It’s possible for errors and mistakes to be made, so if something seems off then it’s worth investigating. If you spot a mistake, like a late or missed payment that you’re sure you made on time, contact the company that’s billed you incorrectly to put it right.
3. Remove any joint accounts you don't need
It’s easy to forget that financial links to other people stay on our credit file unless we remove them. If you’ve struggled to get credit in the past, check if you still have any accounts with other people. Things such as a joint credit card with an ex or a utility bill with an old flatmate will all stay on your file unless you close the account.
If you're still linked to someone and they have bad credit, it could be hurting your score too. And even if they have good credit now, you still risk your score if they miss payments in the future. So remove any accounts you no longer need.
4. Register to vote
Sounds odd, but not registering to vote can affect your credit score. Being registered makes it easier for lenders to prove your identity and your current address. So double check you’re registered under the correct info, and it’ll work quickly to give your score a bit of a lift.
5. Get your name on the bills
If you’re paying any household bills but your name isn’t on the account, it won’t be counting towards your credit score. So if you’re paying on time, this good behaviour will be going unnoticed!
Even if you live with multiple people, you can all be named on the bills. It's fairly easy to do, just talk to whoever’s named on the bills at the moment and ask them to get you included.
6. Don’t apply to borrow too much at once
Avoid making lots of credit applications in a short space of time. When you apply for credit, lenders will carry out what is known as a ‘hard search’ on your credit history which is then noted in your report. A hard search is when a lender looks in detail at your credit score and file. A hard search stays on your credit file for 12 months, so if you have a number of these hard searches in a short space of time, it can appear to lenders that you’re trying to borrow lots of money, and suggests you might struggle to manage your finances. So if you need to take out credit of any kind, just consider how many applications you’re making.
Remember, it’s not game over if you have poor credit
Credit scores aren’t fixed. They change over time. And these tips are just a few ways to increase your score. As long as you continue to make steps to manage your credit and make all your payments on time, your score will eventually improve. Most credit issues stay on your file for six years before they’re deleted, so nothing's forever.
You can get bad credit for any number of reasons. Whether it’s job loss, a long term illness, or just a rough couple of months. There’s still a lot of stigma around bad credit, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and judged.
Luckily, we're a judgement-free zone at Haysto, and if you're thinking about getting a mortgage in the future, having bad credit won't stop your application in its tracks. We're bad credit mortgage brokers - the tricky stuff is what we do, and we know all the right lenders for bad credit. Everyone's situation is unique, but don't let anyone tell you getting a mortgage with poor credit isn't possible. Want to chat through your options? Fill out our quick enquiry form and one of our friendly bad credit Mortgage Experts will call you back.
WE MAKE MORTGAGES POSSIBLE
Our Mortgage Experts are fully-qualified with experience in bad credit, self-employed and complex mortgages. They have a proven track record of getting mortgages for people who’ve been rejected elsewhere.