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.