What is my credit score?
Your credit score is a number given to you by credit reference agencies. It’s worked out from a range of personal information and is the main tool lenders use to work out if they should lend to you. You can check your credit score online and it takes about ten minutes. These three websites show your credit score for free:
- Credit Karma (score powered by TransUnion)
- Creditmatcher (score powered by Experian)
- Clearscore (score powered by Equifax)
I've never borrowed money in my life! Why do I have a bad credit score?
If you’ve never used credit before or are new to the country there is no proof you can be trusted to make repayments. Credit builder credit cards are a very popular choice for anyone with limited credit history. These cards are specifically designed to help rebuild and improve your credit score.
I have bad credit. Is this forever?
No, your credit score won’t be the same forever. It can be improved and a key part of our mission in bringing Money for the Many is to help you do this. The better your credit score, the better the deals available to you and the better your financial health.
If you know your credit is bad but are still looking to borrow, take a look at ‘Can I borrow with bad credit?’ Want to improve your credit score? Below are 3 quick tips.
- Sign up to the electoral roll. It’s online and takes just five minutes, so get it done.
- Soft search for credit. Don’t affect your credit score search for credit.
- Rental Exchange Scheme. If you always pay your rent on time, you can join the Rental Exchange Scheme. Your rent payments act as proof of your creditworthiness and improve your credit score.
What hurts my credit score?
Although each credit reference agency scores you differently, they will still use the same factors to determine your score.
Here’s what could hurt your credit score:
- Late or missed repayments
- High loan/credit card balances
- Loan applications
- Closing credit cards
- Outstanding bills
Who checks my credit score?
Your credit score isn’t just a tool for mortgage, credit card and personal loan providers. Insurance companies, mobile phone networks, utility providers, and rental companies will all check your score before agreeing to a contract..
If you improve your score, you could unlock the potential to improve almost every financial aspect of your life.
Mark joined Choose Wisely in 2015. He continues to work in close contact with the providers, brokers and journalists operating in the world of consumer credit.