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.
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.
Your credit score is often seen as the key that could unlock access to better credit deals, mortgage approvals & more. But who decides your credit score? And what are the factors that most affect it?
When you make an application for a loan, credit card, mortgage or other type of credit (such as a new utility contract or mobile-phone account), lenders look at your credit report to work out a credit score for you. They do this so they can judge for themselves if they think you’ll be a responsible borrower and likely to repay what you owe them.
There is no ‘one’ universal credit score. Different lenders can score differently, using their own formulae based on their own factors – there really is no ‘magic number’.
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, and can give you an indication of what kind of loan you might get. Usually, a higher score means you’re seen as lower risk – meaning you’re more likely to get credit, and at better rates.
Your Experian Credit Score is not set in stone – it’s a living, breathing thing and it changes along with your own financial behaviour. Getting your credit score up could open up the potential chance to get better loans – and at better rates.
Do try to stay within your credit limits and do try to pay your credit bills 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.
Credit scoring can also look at the average age of your accounts, so try not to chop and change all of your accounts on a regular basis.
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 dispute on your behalf. Even small details like the way your name and address is recorded could have a significant impact.
Don’t resort to a scattergun approach to credit applications, as each application is recorded on your credit report and if lenders see lots in a short period, they could think that you’re desperate or suspect a fraud.
Make sure you register to vote at your current address, as lenders use the electoral register to help confirm who you are and where you live.
You can also send in general credit or ID Fraud questions to James Jones, our Head of Consumer Affairs, who regularly answers queries on his popular Ask James column – a selection of which we regularly feature in this blog.
Being able to vote could potentially help you get credit
With the general election just months away, the leading names are jostling for position as they covet our votes.
But many of us won’t even be able to vote in it, unless we get on the electoral roll – and not doing so could also affect your credit rating.
Today (5th February) is National Voter Registration Day, a day that marks the anniversary of the Great Reform Act in 1832 which first introduced voter registration. The aim for this day is to get 250,000 more young people on to the electoral register, as young people are very much under-represented at present. Continue reading →
In the second of our series of Credit Café videos, our Experian Experts James Jones and Joanne Leahy explain how a credit score is calculated.
This video is part of the ‘Demystifying Credit’ series that we’re posting on YouTube every Friday for the rest of January. Look out for the next one coming soon on our YouTube channel. You can watch the first Credit Café video about who decides if you get approved for credit here.
Did you get paid early in December? Many of us find ourselves with an early Christmas present when the final salary of the year comes a week or two early – however this does of course mean that there’s a much longer run than usual until the next one in January.
Experian research has found that eight out of 10 of Brits (81%) found the early payday a hindrance when it comes to their festive finances*. In fact, more than half (53%) of those paid earlier than usual in December said they struggle to meet their bills by mid-January, with more than a third (35%) overspending at Christmas by an average of £207 on things like food & drink, heating & fuel, and various seasonal extras. Continue reading →
The last thing you want, when you’re making an application for credit, is for your application to hit the buffers because there may have been some inaccurate or out-of-date information on your credit report.
In this video, Joanne from Experian talks about what you can do if you spot errors or mistakes in your credit report.
You can watch more credit questions answered by Experian’s Experts here:
Weddings are expensive, there’s no getting away from it. While “the happiest day of your life” can be memorable, it can also put a strain on the wallet. Before and after marriage, there are often a few disagreements on personal finance, but what are they and why do they happen?
People pair up with their partner for all sorts of reasons – and one of the biggest is finances. A nationwide Experian survey of couples in relationships* asked if financial responsibility would make someone more attractive, 29% said it would, while 35% of women said this would make a male ‘much more attractive’. Continue reading →
Flying the nest, fleeing the coop – whatever you want to call it, since Elvis was strutting his stuff in the 1950’s large numbers of young adults have dreamed of the day they no longer have to live at their parents’ home. These days, with 800,000 graduates stuck at home, more young people than before the credit crunch can’t afford to move out.Continue reading →