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7 ways to build your credit score

Improving your credit score can help unlock better offers, so you can keep moving up towards your goals. 

  • It can take a little time, but the steps are simple and the results will be worth it.

  • Lenders want to see evidence of responsible borrowing and good financial management 

  • It can seem overwhelming at first but we’ve broken down some of the best ways to get your score moving in the right direction!

1. Always pay on time

Late payments are an absolute no-no when it comes to responsible borrowing. If you can’t keep on top of payments, lenders will immediately view you as a risk. Setting up a direct debit means you won’t miss any as they’ll be made automatically, and on time. Good budgeting will also ensure you have enough funds available to make payments.

2. Use credit responsibly

Borrowing money from lenders comes with constant monitoring, and expectations of you and your financial behaviour. It may take a little patience, but it’s important to borrow responsibly (using under 25% of your credit limit, making repayments on time and never missing any) to show lenders you aren’t a risk.

3. Only open accounts if you need them

Repeatedly opening new accounts in a short space of time could flag you as a risk to lenders, lowering your credit score and access to more and better offers. It’s important that you maintain your existing accounts well and only open accounts when you really need them. It’s also a good idea to let lenders of your old, unused accounts know that you’re no longer using them. This is known as being financially disassociated.

4. Check your report for errors

Sometimes the information in your credit report is wrong. This can negatively impact your credit score, which means you won’t see the best offers available. Regularly checking your free, live credit report in the TotallyMoney app helps you keep your details correct and up to date. If you find errors, you can raise a dispute through the relevant credit reference agency. Correcting inaccurate information may even improve your credit rating.

5. Act quickly when something goes wrong

Mistakes happen. If you miss a payment, it isn’t the end of the world — but make sure you can get back on track ASAP. Find support if you need it and speak to your lender if you’re struggling with repayments to see if they can help. So long as you don’t lose control of the situation, you could still carry on moving forward.

6. Avoid these big mistakes

There are some things that will leave a long-lasting stain on your credit report. Make every effort to avoid bankruptcy, CCJs, and other hugely negative actions on your credit report. While you can recover, you’ll have an enormous mountain to climb when it comes to regaining the trust of lenders.

7. Focus on the quick wins to start

Want a low-effort way to improve your score? Get the TotallyMoney app and you can see what’s affecting your eligibility. Eligibility is your likelihood to be accepted for an offer. Our app shows you what you’re doing right and where you could improve. Here’s one for free: make sure you’re on the electoral register and you’ll give your credit score a little bump. Easy!

Check your free credit report

See six years of your credit history, and we’ll tell you why your credit score is what it is, plus how to improve it.

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TotallyMoney is an independent credit broker, not a lender. Our comparison service works with most leading lenders, covering the majority of the market. Though we may be paid a fee by lenders or brokers this never influences how our products are ranked.

We don't provide financial advice. Product information is obtained from independent sources and rates displayed may vary depending on your personal circumstances. While we make every effort to ensure that information is up to date, you should always confirm the terms of the offer with the product provider.

TotallyMoney is owned and operated by TotallyMoney Limited which is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06205695). TotallyMoney Limited is an Appointed Representative of TM Connect Limited, which is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06967012) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of consumer credit related activities (FCA FRN: 511936). Registered Office: Chapter House, 16 Brunswick Place, London N1 6DZ. Credit is available, subject to status, only to UK residents aged 18 or over.

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