ClearScore’s 10 steps to a great credit score
Introducing 10 steps to get you closer to your credit score goal
The New Year is an opportunity for fresh starts and good intentions. It’s also a great time to get your credit score into shape. A higher credit score could help improve your chances of being approved for the best mortgages, credit cards and loans (as well as those coveted 0% interest offers). That’s why we’ve put together 10 simple steps you can follow to boost your credit score.
1. Keep your credit utilisation low
For a better credit score, try not to use too much of your available credit. Keeping your credit card utilisation low, preferably under 50%, shows lenders that you can manage your credit sensibly. You can see how much of your credit you’ve used by logging in to your ClearScore account.
2. Get organised
Forgetting to pay bills can damage your credit score. Setting up direct debits to pay your utility bills, phone and credit card payments means you can relax, and your credit score will be all the better for it.
3. Fix mistakes on your report
Incorrect information on your report can affect your credit score and credit applications. By checking your credit report, you can fix any mistakes. To do so, visit the help section of our website, and tell Equifax what’s wrong by raising a dispute. Read more information on our FAQ.
4. Get on the Electoral Roll
Getting on the Electoral Roll is one of the easiest ways of boosting your credit score. Being on the list helps credit reference agencies verify who you are, and makes you appear more stable to lenders. You can register to vote at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
5. Look out for fraud
By regularly monitoring your credit report, you can check for signs of financial fraud. If you have been a victim of identity theft, there will be evidence of it on your report, such as new credit accounts you didn’t set up or searches on your report you don’t recognise. You should report any fraudulent activity to Action Fraud.
6. Remove false associations
Bad financial associations can affect your credit score. If there is an incorrect or out-of-date financial association on your report, such as a joint account that has now been closed, get this changed by raising a dispute.
7. Actively manage your score
Lenders share all sorts of information about you with credit reference agencies, who store this data so it can be used to assess your credit risk. ClearScore partners with Equifax, which is one of three major credit reference agencies in the UK. The other two are called CallCredit and Experian. It’s worth checking in with all three companies to get a good overall view of your finances. CallCredit’s data can be accessed with a free service called Noddle, and Experian’s data can be accessed with free trial (but remember to cancel your subscription before the free trial ends!).
8. Plan ahead when you need credit
Credit applications result in hard searches on your credit report, and too many could negatively impact your score. By planning in advance, you can research thoroughly and get your credit report in shape before making an important credit application. This will improve your chances of being accepted, which will help keep your credit score intact.
9. Use an eligibility checker
Being rejected for credit could lower your credit score. Using an eligibility checker enables you to check the likelihood of acceptance before you apply for credit. ClearScore’s ‘Offers’ section shows you financial products selected as the most relevant for you, alongside your eligibility percentage (e.g. 90%). Many credit card providers also offer eligibility checks, which use a soft search to check your likelihood of acceptance. You’re the only one who can see your soft searches, and they don’t affect your score.
10. Build your score – use a credit card little and often
Using credit responsibly is a key element to building your score. Keeping your credit card active, by spending small amounts and paying them off each month, makes you appear more attractive to lenders. This is because it shows you can reliably pay back the money you borrow.