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 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

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