1. Make sure you are on the electoral register. Lenders use the electoral register to help fight identity fraud and confirm a person is who they say they are and that they reside at that address.
2. Pay bills on time or ahead of schedule, a good credit score needs to be built up over time – lenders will look favourably on this.
3. If you notice anything on your credit report that could be incorrect or you think you might be the victim of identity fraud, i.e. you think someone has applied for credit in your name, contact the credit reference agency who will work with the lender to try and resolve the issue.
4. Avoid keeping a high balance on your credit card. Lenders may view it as excessive debt and be concerned about your ability to repay.
5. Only apply for products when you really need them – applying for more than four forms of credit in a year can lower your credit score.
6. Do not make multiple applications for credit as this can have a negative impact on a credit record.
7. Close down out of date credit cards and make sure you cancel old agreements, such as store cards you never use, as these will still appear on your file. Lenders may be wary about the potential size of your debt.
8. Sever old financial relationships if you are divorced or separated, making sure your former partner’s details are removed from any joint accounts. The credit history of all financial associations such as a spouse or anyone else you have a joint bank account or loan with can affect your credit rating.
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