Take a look at our 5 step plan for how to build your credit score and increase your credit options.
1. Try not to make any more applications, as this can damage your credit score further
If you've been rejected to credit, try and resist the temptation to immediately make another application.
Whenever you apply for credit, a credit check (also known as a ‘hard’ search) is carried out on your credit report. Each time this happens, a mark will be left on your report which can be seen the next time a lender carries out a credit check. If you make several applications for credit in a short space of time, this could harm your credit score. This is because lenders might think you are desperate for credit, and may be less likely to want to lend to you.
2. Ask your lender why you were rejected, and check your credit report for the reasons given
If you've been rejected, you can ask the lender why. You might not get a full answer, but they should tell you whether it was because of something on your credit report.
Your credit report contains your borrowing history for the last 6 years, and negative factors such as defaults or incorrect information can affect your chances of being accepted for credit.
On your ClearScore account we list your 'negative factors' (they appear on the report section of your account). These factors are a little general (because we don't know exactly what the lenders are thinking) but they show you areas you could change to improve your credit worthiness. For example, whether or not you are on the electoral roll. If you're not on the electoral roll, you can register fairly easily, and this should help boost your credit worthiness.
3. Start making small changes to improve your credit score — they can make all the difference
If you were rejected due to something on your credit report, it's worth working to improve your score before you apply again.
Simple things like fixing any mistakes, and keeping your credit utilisation within an optimum range (under 50%) could help boost your score. You can also start to use any credit you currently have to help build your credit score. For example, using a credit card regularly, making small payments and paying them back on time and in full can prove to lenders you can manage credit responsibly.
4. Check your eligibility before applying again
An eligibility check (also known as a 'soft search') shows you the products you're most likely to be accepted for without having to make a full credit application. Eligibility checks won't leave a mark on your credit report (though you can see them on the 'searches' section of your ClearScore account) so they don't affect your credit score.
Your ClearScore account shows you an eligibility score (e.g. 90% ) alongside credit cards and loans on the 'Offers' section of your account.
Eligibility checks are based on some basic information about your credit report. If this information isn’t accurate, your eligibility score won’t be either so make sure you double check your report before you start looking at eligibility scores.
5. You might want to make a notice of correction on your account
If you have a negative factor on your report, such as a defaulted debt, but there are extenuating circumstances (such as being made redundant) you can add a notice of correction to your account.
A lender will see this when considering your application, and it could help boost your chances of being accepted. You can read more about this in our FAQ