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How can I improve my credit record?
I tried to purchase a mobile phone contract through Vodafone but was refused because of my credit rating. I would like to know why this was and how I can go about improving it. The only thing I can think of is that I have been in the country for less than six months at a fixed address. But I really need a new phone – how can I get around this? Regards,
Alison, Shepherds Bush
I hope I can help. The phone provider is likely to have factored three sources of information into their credit scoring – the information you gave on your application, the information they had about you already (if you’ve been a customer before, that is) and the information on your credit report about your repayment history and current borrowing. Credit scoring essentially boils all of this information down into a single number that, based on the lender’s criteria, indicates whether you’re creditworthy and the type of customer they’re looking for. They should have told you the principle reason for refusing credit and whether the information on your credit report was instrumental in their decision to say no. If they didn’t then I recommend you ask as only the lender knows this. Unfortunately, there is sometimes no single reason for your score not reaching a lender’s pass-mark, which never seems terribly helpful. But you have to understand that scoring weighs up lots of different pieces of information and sometimes there is no one thing that is a problem. When credit is refused – and it happens to us all from time to time – it’s always worthwhile checking your report. You may well find something you can do to improve the picture this paints of your current financial situation, which will help when you next apply for credit. Do make sure you’re registered on the electoral roll and this is shown on your credit report. Also check to make sure any existing credit agreements you have – such as with your bank – are shown on your report. Don’t worry that the credit refusal will damage your credit rating by the way. Only the fact that you applied for credit will be registered on your report.