Keeping on top of your credit score

Credit score

Credit Score! It’s one of those things that people just put their heads in the sand about but massively impacts your ability to get loans, mortgages, and more. So what is your credit score and how can you improve it?

Your credit score is an indicator of your personal financial stability and wellbeing. Here is the information about what amount of borrowing you have, how long you’ve been on the electoral roll at your current address, checking for missed payments, and more. It is used to indicate how reliable you are when it comes to money, using your history. It doesn’t involve how much you earn. Someone that earns 6 figures can still have bad credit, and someone that earns less than 5k a year can still have good credit so long as they reliably and regularly paying off small debts.

If you want to see what your credit score is, websites like ClearScore, Equifax, Experian, and Credit Karma all provide a free service to check your score for you. Be aware though, they use different scores per individual checker so it can be worth checking on more than one.  For example, Experian is out of 1000 points, whereas Clearscore is out of 700. Where you sit in that category remains largely the same.

Now that you have checked, what can you do to improve your score?

Most checkers will tell you with a list of recommendations. Including an audit of your current financial situation. It can also recommend credit cards that you have a high chance of being accepted for, providing you with options to help boost your credit score in a way that is easy to manage. It will tell you what factors may be bringing down your scores and what you are doing well, but as a general rule, having and using a credit card monthly for small payments (like your groceries), and paying it off at the end of the month is a great way to build credit and there are a few easy wins, such as registering to vote and working to clear off existing larger debts.  

Lastly, some credit check sites can be temperamental when initially setting them up and if you input something wrong, it can lock you out and say it cannot verify your identity. This is largely to prevent fraud, as you can get better credit card and mortgage offers for good scores. Don’t panic! Try another email and double-check your details before trying to verify again, and in a worst-case scenario, just try to use another checker and drop them an email to let them know you’re having issues. 

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