With the economy still in the early stages of recovery, it comes as little surprise that a huge number of us are struggling with personal debt. As a result of this, it seems that more and more of us are also struggling to control our personal credit score.
A good credit score can be the key to unlocking financial doors previously considered closed. In fact, whether you want to open a store card, secure a mortgage or take out a loan, it is most likely that a credit check will be performed in order to ascertain the type of borrower you are.
With that in mind, it is vital that you are acutely aware of both how your credit score is compiled and what you can do to take control of it.
One of the most difficult things to comprehend when trying to understand your credit rating is that not all companies use the same system to determine your suitability for borrowing. However, across all organisations there are key aspects of your financial history that are likely to play a part in whether you get accepted or rejected when you apply for some kind of credit.
Monetary commitments such as credit cards, mortgages, store cards and car finance could all potentially be reported on your credit file, in addition to bankruptcies or county court judgements related to any payments missed in the past. So before you begin to rebuild your credit rating for the future, it is important to look to the past in order to ensure the information being used to judge you is both relevant and factually correct.
Firstly, you must make sure that any unused or dormant accounts or lines of credit are properly closed off. This must be done at the source in order to alert prospective lenders to the fact that the accounts are defunct and are no longer a financial commitment.
Secondly, checking that you are on the electoral roll is vital. The roll is commonly used to ascertain identity and proof of address when you are applying for credit.
One sure-fire way to damage your credit score is to repeatedly apply for unobtainable lines of credit. Indeed, each rejection is recorded on your file, and so the more frequently you are turned down, the less likely it is that you will be considered a good borrower in the future.
However, it is important to note that nowadays a credit score is not the be all and end all when it comes to securing financial support. Indeed, an increasing number of companies are taking the time to consider more than just a computer-calculated score when it comes to the issuing of bad credit loans or even cards for those with previously poor credit.
The latter are an increasingly popular option for people wishing to improve their credit score over time. Starting with a relatively low credit limit, the cards are designed to encourage responsible borrowing and improve repayment behaviour in order to get used to handling credit effectively.
But whether you have a card with a low limit or a high limit, it is recommended that you repay the full balance each month in order to maintain your credit rating. By keeping your credit card spending at or below 30% of the available limit, you will put yourself in a far better position to use the card to your advantage. In fact, store cards can work in a similar way.
If your current credit rating is poor, you should get one, use it once, make a payment and then close the account, leaving a positive mark on your credit file.
When it comes to improving your credit score, being organised and repaying your lenders as quickly as possible is essential. Being honest about your debt with yourself and with those you have borrowed from is important, as it is in the best interests of both parties to settle any financial difficulties.
Whether you choose to do this through debt consolidation loans or independently, it can be the most important step in rebuilding your credit score and improving your financial future.