It’s been well documented that households with a poor credit rating can pay hundreds of pounds more per year for finance and utilities payments than consumers with healthy credit scores.
Specialist credit card provider Aqua showed last year that families with a lower credit score typically can only access a month by month broadband contract (avoiding the need for a credit check) resulting in an average annual charge of £175, expensive when you consider that those with good scores pay only £60.
If you’ve never looked at your record, try taking a quick look at a new service from ClearScore.com where you can obtain a copy of your credit score and details for free.
This will enable you to check exactly what information is registered against your name as for all you know the details may be incomplete or incorrect and thus making it more difficult and more expensive to obtain credit than it should.
Your credit report contains details of your balances, limits and payment history.
It will also list any late or missed payments on your existing loans and credit cards as well as previous borrowing you’ve had during the last six years.
Your record will also shows details of any bankruptcies and county court judgements as well as the amount you currently owe on your credit agreements together with details of searches and new applications made.
It’s also worth trying to dispel some of the myths surrounding credit reports and CRA’s.
Ensure you are registered on the electoral role otherwise you won’t appear as being listed at your address if a lender makes a credit search.
Third party information, including members of your family who live, or have lived with you does not appear on your credit file as long as you don’t share any joint financial commitments.
Other people who have lived at your address previously will not affect your credit score.
If you’re looking for a few tips on how to improve your credit rating, consider the following.
Close credit card accounts that you’re no longer using. Even though your balance may be zero, any prospective lenders will take into account any existing credit limits you have available to you when assessing applications for new finance.
Having no record of managing credit can count against you so it’s worth having a credit card and using it a few times each year – if you repay the statement balance in full and on time it won’t cost you a penny, but demonstrates that you are capable of managing credit and will reflect positively on your file.
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