So it’s the start of 2017 and you want to end the year with a better credit score right?
Well, it generally takes a little time and effort but here are 6 things that can help you move in the right direction.
1. Check your file for errors
Credit files can have errors and those errors could be negatively impacting your score and impacting any applications for credit you make. Request a copy of your credit report from each of the Credit Reporting Bodies (CRBs). You can do this for free, once a year. With Credit Savvy you get free online access to your Experian credit file as often as you like.
2. Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) is coming
It is widely expected that in 2017 some of the big banks will start contributing what is called comprehensive credit reporting information to the Credit Reporting Bodies.
This means your credit file could contain information about active credit accounts and your repayment history for them. This means it has never been more important to get on top of your finances.
3. Pay on time and consider direct debits
With CCR, paying a bill just 14 days late can now damage your credit score. On the other hand, making all those repayments on time should see your score increase. Consider setting up direct debits for your repayments so you can take it easy knowing your credit score will be better off for it.
4. Don’t apply for credit until you have done your research
With a bit of research you can find the product that is right for you. Make sure you read through all the product terms and conditions, check the eligibility criteria and make sure your credit score and report is in good shape before applying. All of this can improve your chances of a successful application.
Comparison sites are a good place to start to see what rates are out there, that’s why we’ve created a comparison platform on our website where you can compare hundreds of credit cards, personal loans and home loans and even make shortlists to more closely compare the ones you’re interested in, all in one place.
5. Limit the number of enquiries
When you apply for credit it means an enquiry will appear on your credit file. Enquiries will have an impact on your score based on a variety of factors. Bottom line is that too many could negatively impact your score so only apply when you need to and once you have done the research.
6. Monitor your file
Checked your file? Great! But make sure you keep an eye on it. Identity fraud is a serious business. Monitoring your file can help you spot if someone is using your details to try and fraudulently obtain credit. Credit Savvy provides free credit alerts so if there are any changes to your Experian credit file we can email you to let you know so you can then log in to check.
This article first appeared on Credit Savvy and has been republished with permission.