5 top tips to improve your Experian Credit Score

Everyone has an Experian Credit Score. Looking after it, nurturing, growing and improving it can help you get a better rate on loans, credit card or mortgages.

The Experian Credit Score is a guide to help you understand your credit report, and how the way you’ve managed the credit you’ve had in the past might affect applications you’re making now. 



It can also help you keep an eye on your progress while you maintain or improve your credit score before you apply – and here are our
five top tips to help you do that.

Tip 1 – Stay within credit limits and keep balances low – The lower your overall balances (not including mortgage), the better. If you can afford to pay off a bit more debt and you want to improve your Experian Credit Score, reducing the balance on your credit cards and overdraft can be useful. Close unused credit accounts if you don’t use them anymore, as lenders can take into account the credit limits available to you, not just what you owe at the moment.

Tip 2 – Try not to make too many applications in a short space of time – A scattergun approach to making credit applications, even if you see it as just shopping around, can have a negative impact on your Experian Credit Score.  Each application is recorded on your credit report and if lenders see lots in a short period, they could think that you’re desperate for credit or suspect fraud. 

Tip 3 – Set up direct debit payments to make sure credit bills are paid on time – Missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years, and this can have a big impact on your score.  Regular payments on time can help build up a good credit account payment history. 

Helpful guides from Experian about credit scoring

Tip 4 – Register to vote at your current address – Lenders use the electoral register to help confirm who you are and where you live. 

Tip 5 – Review your credit report regularly – Make sure it’s up to date, and that the information on it is accurate. If you do find anything that needs correcting, contact the relevant lender and ask for an amendment – Experian can also raise a query on your behalf. Even small details like the way your name and address is recorded could have a significant impact. Also check your financial associations with other people.

13 thoughts on “5 top tips to improve your Experian Credit Score

  1. pauline

    It’s all well and good saying this that and the other but what if some of it is not your fault ie; your waiting for benefits to be sorted and they are taking ages and you have very little money coming in. I have contacted all my creditors but I still have some of them on my back.

    Reply
    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Pauline, if there is information on your report that you would like to explain to potential lenders you can add what is called a Notice of Correction to your report.

      A Notice of Correction allows you to explain information on your credit report.

      Any credit applications that you make will be removed from a lender’s automated scoring system if you add a Notice of Correction to your report, this is so that they can take your comments into account.

      This means that you will not be able to get credit instantly (for example, by internet or in a shop) and may result in your application taking longer than normal.

      You can find our more about adding a Notice of Correction to a report here You do need to have a copy of your report to do this.

      If you are having difficulty making payments with existing accounts you may want to speak to your local citizen advice bureau, or a free debt charity such as http://www.stepchange.org who would be able to provide advice on what you can do.

      Kind regards
      Neil

      Reply
  2. Fran Carr

    The first tip mentions close credit accounts of not using them as lenders also look at credit limits available to you- I have recently done this with the biggest credit account I had as I had paid it off, and this has produced a negative effect on my score. How long is this effect likely to last?

    Reply
    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Fran, if you are not using cards then closing them can help to reduce potential for fraud, in addition some lenders will be concerned if you have a large amount of credit available to you, that you could become over-committed if your were to take additional credit.
      However it can be a bit of a balancing act, reducing the amount of available credit can mean that the percentage of available credit you are using can go up, which can then lead to a reduction in your Experian score.
      As the percentage of available credit that is being used drops, then the Experian score would start to increase again.
      Kind Regards
      CreditExpert Neil

      Reply
  3. Kate D

    Hi, how long do credit searches (for instance when you apply for credit whether you accept it or not) stay on your report for? Thank you

    Reply
    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Kate, thanks for your question.
      Experian keeps previous search information on your report for 12 months, after this time it is automatically removed from the report.
      The search entry won’t show whether you opened the account or not, only that the search was made.
      Kind regards
      CreditExpert Neil

      Reply
  4. David

    Hi,
    I got into bad debt 11 years ago and haven’t had any credit since, not even a bank account. My wages get paid to my wife’s bank account as I can’t get one. Any advice how to build up my credit rating as I’d like to apply for a mortgage in the future.

    Reply
    1. Emma Beardsley

      Hi David, Its great that you are wanting to improve your credit rating. There are several steps you can take that might help you improve:

      – Make sure you’re registered on the Electoral Roll. Many lenders will use this information as a way of confirming your identity at your current address. Applications can be affected if you aren’t registered.
      – Make your payments on time. If you are struggling with your repayments, get in touch with your lenders before it gets out of hand to discuss your options.
      – Keep the balances on your active accounts as low as you can. High balances compared to limits can indicate that you are having to rely on credit and may be overcommitted. This is likely to viewed negatively by potential lenders.
      – Try not to make too many applications for credit in a short period of time. This can cause lenders to be concerned that you are credit hungry. You should try to limit the amount of applications you make to one every two/three months.
      – If you’ve had any CCJ’s registered against you, make sure they show as ‘satisfied’ if you’ve paid them. If they don’t, you should contact the court to arrange for this to be done.
      – If you’ve been declared Bankrupt and have now been discharged, make sure the correct information shows on your report by sending us a copy of discharge certificate.
      – Avoid credit repair companies –their advice may not always be right and in some circumstances can make the situation worse.
      – Always check your credit report – that way, you can check the information is correct before making any application.

      You may also find this links helpful;
      http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/improve/guides/demystifyingyourcreditscore.html
      http://www.experian.co.uk/blogs/consumer-advice/5-top-tips-improve-experian-credit-score/
      http://www.experian.co.uk/blogs/consumer-advice/credit-score-clinic/
      http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/credit-education/improve-credit-rating.html
      http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/questions/askjames359.html

      Hope this helps.
      Kind Regards,
      CreditExpert Emma

      Reply
  5. Rose Arnold

    Hello,

    Is it possible/would it help to get a note added to my credit record about having been out of the UK for six years?

    I am doing all the steps I can think of – being added to the electoral roll at new address, putting bills in my name etc etc – but it is very hard. It seems that all my many years of good credit history are irrelevant.

    Reply
    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Rose, it sounds like you have already taken a number of important steps to start rebuilding your UK credit history. It can take time to rebuild and you can certainly add a notice of correction to your report to explain the situation in the meantime.
      Adding a notice of correction to your credit report will mean that any applications that you make will refer out of automated decision making processes, so that the lender can read the notice and take it into account. This does mean that you may not be able to get instant credit online or in a store.
      You would need to send us your requested notice of correction in writing or email. It needs to be under 200 words and cannot be factually incorrect or defamatory. You can find out more about adding a notice of correction here.
      You might also find my blog about rebuilding your credit report on moving back to the UK useful here.
      Kind regards
      CreditExpert Neil

      Reply
  6. Melanie

    Hi
    Why do the Equifax and Experian show different credit scores? For example on the Equifax website it says: Experian-750, Transunion-710, Experian-761. On the Experian website says: Experian-690, Transunion-683, Experian-701. This is a huge difference. Which website is more accurate Equifax or Experian? Why do the websites differ so much?

    Reply
    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Melanie, thanks for your question!
      In the UK your credit score won’t be the same with each agency as each will hold different information and have their own method of scoring. As you mention Transunion in your comments who don’t operate in the UK I suspect you may be talking about a US credit report.
      Our colleagues in the US will be able to help you with your US score if this is the case. You can get in touch with them here. Kind regards Neil.

      Reply

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