If your credit score isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, you might be wondering why it is what it is. What could possibly have happened in your financial history to stop your score reaching the top?
If you’re asking this question and looking to improve your credit score, here’s a rundown of five common things that prevent people from having a good credit profile.
1. You’ve never taken out credit before
Your credit score reflects your ability to make repayments if you choose to take out credit. It’s based on your history of paying back credit cards, loans and other forms of credit so if you’ve never borrowed, you won’t have much of a history to speak of.
Luckily, there are credit cards specifically designed to help you build your credit history and consequently improve your score. Our Card Matcher tool compares the cards you’re most eligible for, increasing your chances of being accepted. What’s more, it only leaves a soft search which means it won’t affect your credit score and lenders won’t be able to see it.
2. You’ve applied for a lot of credit in a short space of time
If you’ve applied for a lot of credit in a short space of time, your credit score could pay the price. Every time you apply for a loan or credit card, it shows on your credit report and arguably suggests you’re not in the strongest financial position. If you have multiple rejections for credit, you may find your score suffers even more.
Most people advise that you stagger applications and check your likelihood of being accepted beforehand.
3. You have a lot of outstanding debt
If you have accounts in arrears, a history of making late payments and/or a county court judgement for unpaid bills, your credit score tells the tale. These things indicate that you’re financially stretched and not in a good position to take on and pay back any more credit.
Work out a plan for paying off debts and getting yourself in a strong position again. Stepchange or Citizens Advice can help and their services are free. While it can take a number of months for any improvements to show in your credit score and report, being able to indicate to lenders that you’re taking control of your situation can increase your chances of being approved.
4. You’re not on the electoral register
While it’s up to you whether or not you vote, it’s important that you’re on the electoral register. This lets lenders verify that you are who you say you are and helps give them confidence that you’ll be able to make repayments because you have a stable living situation.
5. Your credit report contains mistakes
If you’ve received a low score, it’s important that you look through your credit report to understand why. You might find that there is incorrect information in there or data that doesn’t apply to you which is dragging your score down.
Mistakes can be a result of basic error but they can also be a sign of identity fraud. Investigate anything that looks suspicious to ensure that someone hasn’t applied for credit in your name. If you find something, contact your credit reference agency. They will look into it and help you get the mistake removed.