How to Get an Excellent Credit Score

Man sat looking at phone researching how to get an excellent credit score

An excellent credit score of 800 or over is exceptional. It means you’ll pretty much be accepted for any finance loan and you’ll get the best offers and interest rates. However, building this kind of excellent credit score takes time, effort and diligence. Here are some good ways to get started.

Credit score breakdown

Here’s a rough breakdown of how much each aspect of your financial history affects your credit score.

  • Payment History (35%) Never miss or be late on a payment
  • Amount of Credit (30%) How much credit and how many loans you’ve got
  • Credit History (15%) How long you’ve had credit
  • Multiple Credit Sources and Utilisation (10%) The types of credit you’ve got and how much you use them
  • New Lines of Credit (10%) Frequency of credit inquiries and openings

Never miss or be late on a payment

It’s simple: never, ever, ever miss or be late for a repayment. This is the fundamental rule of building a good credit score. If you can’t repay your credit loans in full and on time, a car finance lender will never be able to trust that you’ll stick to the terms of your car loan agreement.

How much credit and how many loans you’ve got

It’s important to have as many lines of credit open as you can manage to repay in full and on time. This proves to a lender that you are capable of managing your finances and spending sensibly. You can think of it as a track record of the way you look after your money: the more cases you have in your favour (i.e. the more lines of credit you have) the more reliable you appear.

How long you’ve had credit

Whilst opening new lines of credit is important, it’s also vital that you don’t close old ones. A large part of your credit score is determined by how long you’ve had your lines of credit open. So, even if you’ve paid off a line of credit (e.g. on a credit card) keep it open for a few years afterwards to strengthen your average credit length.

The types of credit you’ve got and how much you use them

It’s important to have multiple credit sources and optimise your utilisation on these sources. Utilisation is the measure of how much you use your cards, especially in reference to how close you are to ‘maxing out’ those cards. It is important to spread your costs over multiple cards as this proves to a lender that you are capable of managing your finances effectively. 

Utilisation below 30% 

Using multiple cards is important, however, it doesn’t mean anything if you’re using some too much and others not enough. It is vital that you keep your utilisation on each card at 30% or under, at all times. Consumers with FICO credit scores of 800 or more have an average utilisation of 11.5%.

You can calculate your utilisation rate on each card by taking the balance on the card and dividing it by the card’s spending limit.

For example:

Card
Balance
Spending Rate
Utilisation rate (%)
MasterCard
£1,000
£5,500
18%
Visa
£900
£3,000
30%

Frequency of credit inquiries and openings

Opening new lines of credit and inquiring into your credit options is important to building a strong credit score. When you first do this, your credit score will suffer. This is because somebody with more repayments to make presents more of a risk to a lender. However, your credit score will be stronger once you have made your first few repayments on time.

Building an exceptional credit score isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible. Follow these tips above and you’ll see your credit score improving in no time. If you’re worried about being accepted for car finance on your current credit score, don’t be. My Car Credit is open to discussing car finance options regardless of your credit score. Use our car finance calculator or contact us for more details.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

What Are the Different Credit Score Ranges?

Couple leaning against red 4X4 wondering about their credit score range

Your credit score acts as a tool for lenders to know how risky it might be to lend money to you. To understand what your credit score means you need to know which credit score range it falls into.

All credit scores are split into a series of ranges which act as a rough indication of how well you are viewed by finance lenders. Essentially, the higher your credit score is, the more trustworthy you are in the eyes of the lender. This means that you’re likely to be accepted for loans and receive better interest rates. Credit scores run from 0 to 999 and are split into several ranges in between.

Here’s a full breakdown of the Experian credit score range and what it means*:

  • Excellent (961-999) – Will be accepted for loans and receive the best interest rates.
  • Good (881-960) – Almost certain to be accepted for loans and receive good interest rates.
  • Fair (721-880) – More than likely to be accepted for loans and receive fair interest rates.
  • Poor (561-720) – Could be accepted for loans and receive higher interest rates.
  • Very Poor (0-560) – Less likely to be accepted for loans and likely to receive high interest rates.

Understanding your credit score without knowing which range it falls into is like trying to understand a word without its context – the meaning of one relies on the other. What is also important is where your credit score sits in this range. For example, a credit score of 881 sits in the ‘good’ range on most credit score ratings which would indicate that you have a good chance of being accepted for loans and receiving competitive interest rates. However, 881 is on the cusp between the ‘good’ and ‘fair’ range. So, whilst you have a ‘good’ credit score, you’re not as financially secure enough to receive the rates that someone in the middle of that range.

At My Car Credit, we are happy to talk to you whatever your credit score and we’ll try our best to get you the right car finance deal for your circumstances. Use our car finance calculator to figure out where you stand.

For more information around improving your credit score, check out our blogs.

*Source: https://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/experian-credit-score.html

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How to Boost Your Credit Score in Your Late-Twenties

man in his late twenties wondering about how to boost his credit score

By your late twenties, you’ve probably got into the swing of managing your financial responsibilities and might be looking to take on a mortgage, apply for a credit card loan or perhaps exploring your car finance options. Here’s our advice on boosting your credit score and moving to the next financial stage of your life.

Stop making hard inquiries

Hard inquiries with financial lenders are bad for your credit score, especially if your application is rejected. It’s always best to opt for a soft search approach as this does not leave a mark on your credit history. Before you get to the point of applying, it’s also a good idea to look into your credit history and credit score so you know what to expect from a financial deal from a lender.

Consider multiple accounts

When it comes to your finances, it’s always best to have two or more accounts open. This proves to a lender that you are financially responsible. There are a number of ways to do this depending on your financial circumstances (e.g. you can pay one set of bills from one account and run any day-to-day expenses through the other). It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean spending more money but spending more evenly across multiple accounts.

Managing your utilisation

It’s simple, spread your payments across your accounts. There are a few financial sites that will recommend a strict utilisation percentage (usually between 15 and 30%). However, a good rule of thumb is simply to use each account evenly. Spreading your payments and costs onto a number of cards proves to your lenders that you know how to manage your money.

Keep old accounts open

A good amount of your credit score is determined by your credit history. So, whilst it might be satisfying to close an account as soon as it’s paid off, it’s actually better to keep it open in many cases.

Punctuality is key

This is something that cannot be stressed enough, no matter how old you are. Punctuality is one of the main things that financial lenders look for because it proves your ability to make repayments. Our advice is to get everything on Direct Debit so you’re never late with a payment.

Your late twenties are a time to get yourself financially stable. It’s time to shake off the old bad habits from your early twenties and begin to manage your money properly. Take our advice on board and you’ll be off to a flying start!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How to Boost Your Credit Score in Your Mid-Twenties

Young woman in mid-20s thinks about improving credit score

When you reach your mid-twenties, your financial life really starts to go up a notch. This is usually the time when you receive your first considerable paycheck, apply for a credit card and begin to take full responsibility for your expenditure. An important part of this step is establishing and building your credit score. We take you through the ins and outs of how to boost your credit score.

What’s a credit score?

Your credit score is a three-digit number used by lenders to determine your eligibility for finance such as a car loan. It is made by taking into account your credit history, which is a record of how you’ve managed your lines of credit in the past – the most common for people in their twenties being an overdraft, credit card, mobile phone contract and/or utility bill.

Your credit score affects what type of finance products you can get, and what interest rate you end up paying. Those with a higher credit score, for example, are seen as being a lower risk to lenders and so are more likely to be accepted for finance on a lower interest rate.

What’s a good credit score in your twenties?

Credit scores range from 300 to 850 – the lower your number, the worse your credit rating is. There are different evaluations of what determines a good credit score. One of the main credit reference agencies, Experian, generally considers a score of 700 or above as good. Having a credit score that is this high in your twenties is very difficult to achieve, as often there have been fewer opportunities to prove your creditworthiness. At this time, the average credit score is usually hovering around the 630 mark, so anything higher than this is highly beneficial.

How to boost your credit score

When it comes to improving your credit score, there are three essential rules you have to follow: make all your payments on time, optimise the way you use your credit and don’t open too many lines of credit.

Making all your payments on time is the important part of building a good credit score and is the first thing lenders will look at when evaluating you for a car loan. If you have a bad history of paying your utility bills, paying your rent, or making contract repayments (e.g. paying excess charges on your phone contract), there’s no reason for a lender to trust that you will make your repayments on a car finance agreement.

Optimising the way that you use your credit essentially means being sensible with your money. It’s a vital part of improving your score as it proves that you are financially responsible. You may well make all your payments on time, but if you’re maxing out your card every month or stretching your overdraft to the absolute limits, this is a warning sign for lenders. They could argue that the additional money to pay back on a car finance agreement, would be one step too far.

Opening many lines of credit (especially over a short period of time) can look suspect to lenders and could indicate to them that you need extra revenues of money to support your lifestyle. So, whilst it’s ok to have a few lines of credit, it’s best to only have what you need.

Whilst it’s not good to have too many lines of credit, you can improve your credit score by opening a credit building credit card account. This a card with smaller amounts of money on it, which you can use as an example to lenders of you being financially responsible. However, if you don’t make your payment and use the credit on this card excessively, you will harm your credit score. This is only recommended for those people that are financially secure, disciplined with managing their budgets, and want an additional way to improve their credit score.

Building a good credit score in your twenties is no easy task – you’ve just begun your financial life and you might not have had enough financial responsibilities to establish a good credit score. Don’t panic, there will be plenty of time to prove your creditworthiness, and as long as you follow the rules outlined above, you’ll get there in no time!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Everyday Hacks To Improve Your Credit Score

Lady uses credit card to improve credit score

Whether you like it or not, your credit score is important. Want a credit card? Check your credit score. Want a mortgage? Check your credit score. Whatever way you look at it, your financial life is dictated by these three numbers. A good credit score is generally seen as being 670 or above. So, don’t sit around wasting time if you’re not there yet. Use our everyday hacks to improve your credit score.

Automate your payments

It’s simple – don’t miss your payments. You can make a standing order with your bank to make sure you’re prompt with payments. Alternatively, set a monthly reminder on your phone if you want to manually make payments.

Have a few lines of credit

When you have multiple open lines of credit – and they are being used correctly – credit agencies begin to take notice. It’s a sign of trustworthiness and organisation. Two or three is the sweet spot.

Use all your cards

Some people think the lower their credit card utilisation is, the better – they’re wrong. Using your credit card is a vital part of proving your responsibility to credit agencies. Don’t get yourself into debt making big payments, just make regular smaller payments – the kind of things you might normally make in cash or whack on your contactless debit card.

Balance out your cards

Make sure that your credit cards are levelled-off at all times. If you have one card that is looking a bit low, top it off with another one. Managing your credits by switching balance from one card to another shows financial maturity.

Pay off, don’t close off

Around 15% of your credit score is decided by the length of your credit history. If you close your old accounts you can shorten the time and affect your credit score. So, pay them off, don’t close them off.

Take out a credit builder card

If you haven’t had the opportunity to build up a credit score yet, or you’ve got a less than perfect score, take out a credit builder card. These are real tests: they have low credits and high interest rates, so manage this right and you’re onto a winner.

Piggyback on someone’s credit score

Adding yourself onto a credit account of someone with a good rating (with their permission!) is a great way of improving your credit score. It proves you are trustworthy with money. This is usually best to do with a partner or family member.

Up your credit limits

Don’t panic, we know this sounds crazy. This is actually a very effective way of lowering your credit utilisation and improving your credit score. Here’s how it works: you use £300 each month on your credit card but have a limit of £600, your credit utilisation is 50%. If you increase your credit limit to £900, your credit utilisation drops to 30%. Just don’t be tempted to splash out.

The three numbers that make up your credit score have a massive effect on your life, so it pays to improve it as much as possible. We’re sure that if you follow our credit score hacks, you’ll be on track to more approved financial applications, lower interest rates and a richer financial life.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How can I improve my credit score?

Dial showing credit score of excellent through to poor credit score

The better your credit rating is, the easier your car finance journey will be – you’ll be offered lower interest rates and have cheaper repayments to make each month. So, it’s worth aiming for an improved credit rating! For those that are having difficulty getting car finance because of a poor credit score, we’ve got eleven excellent tips to help you out.

  1. Make sure you are on the electoral roll – Lenders check this to protect themselves against fraud and to check that you are who you say you are. You can find out how to register by visiting Your Vote Matters.
  2. Cancel any out-of-date credit cards – Many people switch cards regularly but forget to cancel old agreements if they no longer use the card. These lines of credit will still appear on your credit file and can make lenders wary about the size of your debt – some may fear that you will ‘max out’ these cards and then struggle to make repayments.
  3. Apply truthfully – Make sure that the information you provide on applications is accurate and truthful. Inconsistencies can have a negative effect on your credit score and could be considered fraudulent.
  4. Don’t over-apply! – Too many applications, especially in a short space of time, can have a negative effect on your future score. This is a bit of a ‘catch–22’ as if you get rejected, or the rate you are offered is poor, you’ll want to keep applying to see if you can get a better deal, but at the same time your chances of being accepted will start reducing. For initial research, we offer a soft search application that doesn’t appear on your credit file.
  5. Use a credit card to (re)build a history – Lenders want to see that you have a reputation of managing credit sensibly. Those with little credit history, even if none of it is bad, are often rejected because they’re difficult to predict. If you don’t have a (good) credit history, build one. The easy way is with any credit card – just spend a small amount each month on it (e.g. £60), and make sure you repay in full each month (preferably by Direct Debit).
  6. Top up your credit card – As well as making sure that all your repayments are made on time by Direct Debit, pay manually on top of this each month. That way you guarantee that you’ll never be late with basic payments, and you’ll also have the flexibility to pay for any further financial responsibilities.
  7. Update your credit report – If you have defaulted on credit or had a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you, it will be recorded on your credit file. Even once debts are settled, some lenders may restrict who they lend to, especially if the CCJ has been given within the last 12 months. Therefore, it is important that as soon as your debts are settled, you make sure that your lenders inform the credit reference agencies and that your credit report is updated accordingly.
  8. Apply for a guarantor loan – If you’re getting rejected for a car finance loan based on your individual credit score, see if you can be accepted for a guarantor loan. This kind of finance option allows you to improve your credit score as you go along, as (in theory) you should never miss repayments. You’ll need to have a close friend or family member with a good credit score that trusts you to make repayments but will financially support you where necessary.
  9. Look carefully at the small print – Make sure that you look at all the information on your credit file to ensure it accurately reflects your current circumstances. Keep a watchful eye for any errors or evidence of charges caused by identity theft or fraud.
  10. Check if you are linked to another person – Having a spouse, friend or family member’s credit rating linked to yours through a joint account could affect your personal rating if they have a poor score.
  11. Include additional information – Where necessary, provide further information regarding any previous credit problems. If such problems occurred following identity fraud, redundancy or divorce, and your financial situation has improved since, you can add a note explaining this.

We hope this has given you a good insight into how to improve your credit score, but if you want any other information, you might be interested in visiting our related article:

How to check if you can get finance for a car without affecting your credit score

At My Car Credit, we are open to accepting applications from people with less than perfect credit scores. So, if you require further advice, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly My Car Credit Specialists – they will be more than happy to help and guide you the whole way through your car-buying journey!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How can I check if I can get car finance for a car without affecting my credit score?

It’s natural that customers shopping around for car finance can be concerned that an initial credit search will negatively influence their credit score. Initial credit searches usually result in a mark on your credit score - especially when they are abandoned.

At My Car Credit, we help customers check their eligibility for credit before they formally apply for car finance – taking the worry out of assessing your options. We do this by carrying out a ‘soft search’ credit report at the very start of your application.

Representative APR 23.9%

What is a soft search?

A soft search is a type of credit check which allows us to see your financial history (i.e. how you’ve managed your loans and finances) without having this information exposed to lenders.

Here’s how it works. We ask you to complete a short online application form that should take no longer than three minutes – the form will require simple details such as name, address, DOB, contact details, employment details, and history, etc. You will then receive an instant online decision on screen, as well as by email and text.

We understand that no two customers are the same and that several different factors can affect the outcome of your application. Our commitment is finding you the best finance solution possible. In order to do this, we adhere to lending regulation by placing all our prospective customers into one of two categories: prime and subprime.

  • Prime customers (those with a good credit status) will receive an actual annual percentage rate (APR) – this rate is a transparent one, i.e. in the majority of cases this will be the rate a customer will pay.
  • Subprime customers (those with an impaired credit history) will receive confirmation of their application and the My Car Credit team will work hard to access our panel of 34+ lenders to get the right deal for your circumstances.

Other than its convenience and the information it provides, one benefit of a soft search is that it is not visible to lenders. This means that it won’t affect your future ability to obtain finance, even in the case that you are rejected for finance with us.

If you were to ask for a copy of your credit report, you will be able to see the soft search on there – but (within reason) you can have as many soft searches as you like on your credit profile without affecting your credit score. Essentially, a soft search checks for the same kind of data that a ‘hard’ application would, without running the risk of obtaining a credit mark.

What does all this mean for you?

The approach at My Car Credit means that you have the freedom to shop around for car finance before making your final decision. It also means that you aren’t penalised if you are refused car finance, as you would be with other credit searches.

There is also no obligation or fee attached to the soft search application process with us. If you’re not sure that the quoted rate is right for your circumstances, you are free to take the information away with you – without a footprint being left on your credit profile. However, if you are happy to proceed with the rate you’ve been quoted, you can simply complete your application with us – it’s as easy as that.

Put simply: A soft search is a fantastic way of starting your car finance application without the worry of affecting your credit score. Whilst this provides a very good indication of where you stand in terms of being approved for credit, it is not a replacement for checking your credit history and improving your credit score before making an application.

Representative APR 23.9%

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How to Build Your Credit Score in Your Thirties

Man using phone to research how to build your credit score in your thirties

Whilst your twenties are a good time to start establishing a credit score, your thirties are a good time to build it. By this age, you should have a pretty good handle on how to manage your finances. You're also probably getting to the age where you would like to put money down on a mortgage and perhaps open a serious savings account. So, we're here to give you a checklist for your thrifty thirties!

Ways to build your credit score

Pay your bills on time (every time): The importance of this can’t be overstated. Your payment history makes up around 35% of your credit score. Pay on time and it’ll do wonders for your credit history.

Repay your credit debt: If you have excess credit debt (e.g. on an overdraft or a credit card) then your twenties would have been a good time to level them out or eliminate them altogether.

Get rid of your student loan: This one is slightly trickier but essentially the more of your student loan you have paid off, the better.

Balance your credit limit and work history: If you have paid off all your credit debts and you have had a steady income over several years, use your work history to increase your credit limits. If you don’t abuse your increased credit limits, your utilisation will go down – a great way to improve your credit score.

Things to avoid when building your credit score

Don’t close your old accounts: A reasonable amount of your credit score (around 15%) is based on the length of your credit history. Although it seems to make sense to tidy up old accounts, keeping them open can increase your credit score.

Don’t apply for too much credit: Whilst it’s good to have lines of credit open, it’s good to be selective with the ones you choose. Your credit score can be badly affected if you open too many or too few. Don’t let your credit card payments slip: Credit cards can be useful for making purchases but if you allow too much balance to remain on your card, interest rates can really add up. Payback your card each month in full to avoid debt and late fees.

We’re sorry to say it, but your thirties are the time to become a real adult! That means being financially responsible and stable. We hope our checklists are an easy way to improve your credit score and get your financial life on track!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

How Can I Improve My Credit Score as a Student

students gather around laptop to research how to improve your credit score

For many people, becoming a university student is the first time you are given serious financial responsibility. You have to manage your student loan and any income you might have independently from your parents. Whilst this might seem to be a fairly brief period of your life, the way you handle your finances as a student can have a big impact on your credit score.

1. Make all your payments on time

Repaying your bills on time when you rent at university is an absolute must for a positive credit score. They are one of the main things credit agencies look at to judge your financial responsibility and give you a credit score. Take the responsibility for paying one of the bills and make sure that you always pay it on time. Setting up a direct debit is a good way of making sure this happens.

2. Register on the electoral roll

Putting yourself on to the electoral roll is another way to improve your credit score. It allows credit agencies the reassurance that you are who you say you are and that all the information you have provided to them is accurate. Without it, credit agencies can be wary of the potential for fraudulent activity, lowering your credit score as a result.

3. Keep any credit card limits and usage low

If you have a credit card: good. Having a line of credit which you repay punctually each month is a good way to prove your responsibility and improve your credit score. However, it’s important to keep your balance and usage as low as you can. This just helps to hammers home the point that you can be trusted with additional money.

4. Be good with your bank balance

Almost every student has an overdraft limit – it’s borderline necessary to have one if you are to make the most of a university lifestyle. However, whilst it might be tempting to see this as ‘free money’, managing it in the right way is essential to your credit score. So, don’t be silly with your spending. Make sure you have a comfortable amount in the bank each month.

Student life is a major turning point for lots of people: you’re constantly learning new things about your subject as well as about yourself. This learning process extends into how you look after your money. Being financially responsible as a student sets a precedent for the years to come and is the first real chance you get at improving your credit score. So, make it count.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69, total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!