Your credit score is a numbered system that helps potential lenders determine if you’d be a responsible borrower. These scores help to determine if you’d be accepted for a credit card, mortgage or other financial services and products.
The main credit reference agencies in the UK are Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. They will all have slightly different ways of calculating your score, but will all use a scale – the higher the number, the better your score. Having a good credit score means you’re likely to be eligible for more credit opportunities. But what if you have a poor credit history? Here, we look at what impacts your credit score, to help you spot places you can make improvements.
Creditors want to know as much information as possible to help them make an educated decision on whether they’re willing to support you. By having your personal information up to date, including address, postcode, salary and family status, you’re making it easier for them to access the information they need to make their decision. This can also indicate that you’re not expecting change therefore won’t jeopardise your ability make repayments, over time this can improve your credit score.
If you already have poor credit it’s still beneficial to provide up to date information. Any false data can lead to penalties from your creditor.
Your credit score is highly influenced by your previous credit history as many lenders will predict your reliability based on your past actions. So, if you’ve consistently missed payments in the past, this could have had a negative impact on your score. Having had debt will not have necessarily had a negative impact, it will all depend on how you’ve managed this.
If you’re looking to improve your credit score one solution is to try to pay off any outstanding debt or at least consolidate it into one sum that you can consistently pay.
Lenders can see every enquiry you’ve made financially, and this can also have an impact your credit score. If you make lots of enquires in a short space of time it indicates to creditors that you may be in a difficult situation and are reliant on credit. This will likely lower your credit score as it suggests you’re in need of support and therefore may not be able to make regular repayments due to financial issues.
Rather than making lots of applications, you should only apply for credit when you need it, consider all options and choose one that best suits your needs once research has been conducted.