Today I bring you the second part of our article – 16 ways to boost your credit score
9. Check the address on all active accounts – this should be shown on your credit report. Just because you’re not bothered about that old mobile phone anymore that’s registered to your old address doesn’t mean that a lender isn’t. Conflicting addresses on your credit report could hinder your application.
10. Cancel unused credit cards, debts and accounts. – Access to too much credit, even if it isn’t used, can be a problem. If you have a range of unused credit cards, cancel most of them; this lowers your available credit and should help However long-standing bank accounts with good credit histories can be a benefit to your credit score, so they’re often best left open.
11. Timing is everything – not only do you not want to make lots of credit applications at once but if you plan to move house then this can disrupt your credit score. If you have any major life changing events, i.e going on maternity leave, planned in the future you’d be better off applying in advance.
12. Pay all your other bills on time, not just your credit cards and loans – for example your pay monthly mobile phone bill was taken out on a consumer credit contract. Pay the bills on time and your credit score should improve
13. County court judgments – If your finances have gone awry and you have county court judgments in your name, pay off the debt in full and make sure that records at the Register of County Court Judgments are amended.
14. Use any savings to pay off debts – The amount of outstanding debt you have is part of the info lenders have access to, so minimising this is a clever strategy. In general, you’ll be better off by using savings to pay off expensive debts anyway ( see my post Money tip #60 – How to become debt free)
15. If you have split up with someone with whom you shared a joint product, such as a mortgage, make sure you inform all the big credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. Ask for a ‘notice of disassociation’, otherwise your credit report will remain linked to theirs. If they subsequently rack up a bad debt it will reflect badly on you
16. Finally, its good to talk – fo further advice call the National Debtline (www.nationaldebtline.co.uk, 0808 8084000) and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (www.cccs.co.uk, 0800 1381111) offer debt management advice.