How To Improve Your Credit Score

What can I do to improve my credit score?

A good credit history helps to get lenders to say yes to your application. That’s why it’s useful to know what things can affect your credit rating – and how you can improve it.

So whether you’ve recently been turned down for credit or just want to apply in the future – take a look at some of the ways you could help improve your credit score. 

Watch how Jo is working towards a better credit score for her next adventure. Viewing time: 0.57.

If you need help in improving your credit rating, you should aim to give yourself a history of good financial management. You can prove this by showing how you’re always on time with payments – from any loans you may have, to utility bills or an existing credit card.

Making your payments on time each month can be a big help in building a better credit history – it shows that you can manage credit responsibly.

Getting turned down for credit affects your credit rating – making it harder for you to get credit in the future.

Using our eligibility checker won’t show on your credit record and you’ll be able to apply knowing how likely you are to be accepted. There’s no harm to your credit rating so it won’t affect your ability to get credit at a later date.

Keep a healthy bank balance and don’t use the overdraft on your account too often – this will show potential lenders you’re in control of your finances.

When deciding whether or not to lend money to you, lenders get information from Credit Reference Agencies. The two largest in the UK are Experian and Equifax.

If you’re a Barclaycard customer you can access your Experian credit score for free by logging into your online servicing account.

You can pay for a report from a Credit Reference Agency, then carefully check its accuracy. If you spot mistakes, get in touch with them. Regularly checking your credit report is also a good way to monitor if you’ve been a victim of identity fraud.

Just remember, using a reference agency to see your score only gives a general idea of how credit worthy you are – each lender you apply to will have their own criteria. Find out more about Credit Reference Agencies.

Making a lot of new credit applications at once can make you appear risky to some lenders and this can negatively impact your credit score. Whenever you make an application for new credit, the lender’s search leaves a footprint on your credit history, so too many applications can imply that you’ve failed to get the credit that you want.

Using our eligibility checker won’t leave a footprint on your credit record. Checking your eligibility before you apply won’t harm your credit score either, so it won’t affect your ability to get credit at a later date.

Being registered on the Electoral Roll shows lenders you are more settled, and it helps with their identity verification checks.

Take care to be consistent in your applications. For example, make sure you write your name exactly the same every time, and if you have more than one mobile number, always use the same one for your application. A landline number can also show that you have a stable lifestyle and help improve your credit score.

Closing down an old credit card account that you no longer need or use could hurt your credit score, especially if it significantly reduces the credit limit available to you compared to the credit that you currently use. Credit reference agencies will keep a record of closed accounts for six years before they are removed from your credit report. There are times when closing an account can help your credit score, especially if you have multiple accounts, each carrying actively used balance being repaid in smaller repayments. However, as a rule, you should aim to keep accounts with a long history of good repayments.

Other people may appear on your credit report if they’re registered to vote at your address, or if you share a mortgage or joint loan with them. Lenders may use this information to help them decide whether they give you credit or not. If you’re no longer connected, you may be able to ask for them to be removed from your credit report.

You should always pay off a CCJ as soon as you can.  If you can show that you’ve paid off your debts – and they show as settled on your credit report – you’re less likely to be unsuccessful in your future applications.