3 min read

Turned down for credit? Don’t panic — here are 5 easy steps to get back on track

Lucy Burgess
6 February 2017

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

Every time you apply for credit, a ‘credit search application’ or ‘hard’ search is put on your report, and too many in a short space of time could negatively affect your credit score. This is because lenders might think you are desperate for credit, so 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

Ask your lender why you were rejected. 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. Our website and app show you your score, detailed report and any negatives affecting your report, completely free.

Don’t worry about checking your score and report through ClearScore — you can check as many times as you like without damaging your score. We use ‘personal’ (or ‘soft’) searches to pull your information, and these don’t leave a footprint on your report. Find out more about hard and soft searches here.

Check your credit report and score for free with ClearScore

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, making small changes can make a real difference over time.

Simple things like fixing any mistakes, getting on the electoral roll, setting up direct debits for payments and using your credit wisely will repair your credit history over time. ClearScore’s website and app have helpful guides, videos and calculators to help you.

4. Check your eligibility before applying again

At ClearScore, we make it easy to choose the right loan or credit card for you by showing you an eligibility score for each product. You might even be pre-approved, which takes the guesswork out of applying. Log in to your account and look at your 'Offers' section for products selected for you.

5. Continue to manage your loans and cards responsibly

Keep on top of your loans by making your repayments on time. A great way to do this is to set up a direct debit to pay your loan instalment every month. A good approach for cards is to use them little but often, whilst making sure to not default on a payment as this can damage your credit score.

by Lucy Burgess

Lucy has a background in law. Having spent a considerable amount of time researching personal finance, she's one of our in-house experts. 

ClearScore exists to make your finances simple.
We offer a free service where you can handle everything to do with credit in one place. In your ClearScore account, you can see your credit score and the full details of your credit report. Your credit cards, mortgages, mobile phone contracts, loans, overdrafts and utilities all on the record. Our goal is to make ClearScore as simple, calm and straightforward as possible. Money is stressful enough.