Experiencing difficulty in borrowing money if you have a poor credit record can be a disheartening experience. The majority of people need to access credit or take out a loan at times, and being unable to borrow leaves you with no option other than very expensive credit providers. And with banks toughening up their lending criteria, it’s more important than ever before to have a good report. So read on for advice on how to avoid rejection, and ways to improve your credit score.
Your Credit Report
Your credit report is all the information lenders need to make a decision about whether to extend you credit. The information contained in your report adds up to create a score, which helps lenders assess your risk. Your report will detail every credit agreement you’ve taken out in the past six years, along with your repayment history. For this reason, it’s critical to check the information they hold on you to start improving your score.
How to Check your Credit Report
A credit report changes all the time and can often contain errors, so checking on a regular basis will help you track your credit rating. You’ll need to check every tiny detail, as even the smallest mistake can affect your rating – as even failure to record a mobile phone contract address update can badly impact your score. If you’re having trouble understanding your report, make sure you use a service who specialise in credit analysis and will explain your score in clear and understandable terms. http://www.credit-cleaner.co.uk/ is a good example, but make sure you shop around before settling on a company.
Correcting your Report
If you do see any errors on your file, then you can ask for any errors to be changed. If you see that a debt that remains ‘unsatisfied’ (unpaid) on your report, but you know that to be wrong, you should write to the lender who extended you credit, and ask them to update their records and inform the credit reference agencies. You can also add a ‘notice of correction’ which gives you a chance to explain any reasons for defaults. This should be no more than 200 words and contain only the facts that led to your financial problems.
Improving your Score
Lenders update their credit scoring systems all the time to reflect changes in consumer behaviour, so what can seem hopeless now can easily change. And you should also remember that a score can be rebuilt in two years providing you have no CCJ’s. So don’t feel too dismayed if there are no errors. All you need to do is simply work on improving your score:
- Make sure you’re on the electoral roll
- Don’t make multiple applications for credit in one go
- Try not to move home or job for at least two years
- Pay all your current debts on time and don’t make any further defaults
- Take out a credit building credit card, but be sure to use it sensibly by paying everything off at the end of the month.
- Close any unused credit accounts
Wendy Lin is a freelance writer, painter and entrepreneur. She enjoys wake boarding and going on carribean holidays with her family in the winter months to escape the cold English weather.