Five ways to improve your credit rating

Published by Nathalie Bonney on 04 March 2011.
Last updated on 18 March 2011

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1. Check all your personal information is up-to-date

If you've changed address and this hasn't been updated, you'll need to notify your local authority of your new address. Doing so will ensure you are put on the relevant electoral roll - and boost your credit score in the process.

2. Your credit report will reveal any financial links you have with other people, such as joint accounts or partners' debts.

Contact the credit agency that provided you with the report if you think any of the information is incorrect or you suspect any suspicious activity.

3. If there's a bad mark on your credit report that is factually true but you believe can be explained by extenuating circumstances, you can attach a note to your file explaining this.

Creditors don't have to take this into account, but they can, and the very fact that you have left a note to explain a particular blot shows you want a better credit rating.

4. Every time you apply for credit, you mark your credit file with what is known as a footprint.

If a lender sees you've made a lot of credit applications in a short space of time, it may reduce your chances of getting credit. Exercise caution when applying for credit and read the terms and conditions before signing up.

5. Conversely, you can check your credit file as many times as you like without damaging your credit rating.

Keeping an eye on it is one way of making sure you're not a victim of ID fraud. You can get a statutory £2 one-off credit report from any of the main three agencies - CallCredit, Experian and Equifax. 


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