5 Steps to Protecting Your Credit Rating

5 Steps to Protecting Your Credit Rating

Follow these simple steps to keeping your credit rating healthy.

By Emma Meakin

Whilst some people will tell you that in order to look after your credit rating you need to register with expensive credit boost agencies, this is not the case. There are some simple steps you can take to boost your rating.

1. Firstly, register on the Electoral Role . By doing this you provide not only a confirmation of address but one which is confirmed by the government and you cannot get a better guarantor. You can apply to register on the Direct Gov Website.

2. Do some spring cleaning. If you have any unused accounts - from the one opened when you were a baby to a credit card you took out but never use - it's time to close them. There are two reasons for this: forgotten cards or accounts can be used fraudulently by others without your knowledge, and if you have numerous accounts with no activity lenders may be dubious of your account activity.

3. Make sure you are not late with payments and definitely don’t allow an account to enter default. Late payments and defaults are like a red rag to a bull (the bull is the lender). Too many will mean an unlikelihood of any credit being provided to you, disproportionately affecting your credit score resulting in a lender’s requirement not being met.

4. Don’t let someone else affect your score! If you have a joint financial product such as a joint loan or current account, the conduct of the joint owner can affect you. When your credit file is looked at, their records will be accessible also via your jointly owned product. Therefore, don’t let your flat mate’s bad credit history affect you because you shared an account to facilitate the payment of bills or rent.

5. Minimize your credit applications. Use free credit calculators when researching loans, credit cards or mortgages. This will reduce the number of checks that appear on your history. If there are a large number of credit checks recorded on your credit history especially if this is in a short period can harm your credit score. This can flag to lenders that you are looking at numerous products and worry them when they assess your applications.

Whilst these are some steps you can take there a numerous options available. If you are rejected for a loan you are within your rights to ask the credit provider why. Sometimes this simple step can be the most informative and let you address the situations even if it is tying up loose ends like checking addresses on your registered accounts and updating this if you move.

If you want to check your rating, you can do so at varying costs by providers such as Equifax, Call Credit or Noddle.