credit score

7 Ways To Clean Up Your Credit Score

There’s nothing more frustrating than inaccurate, unfair or out of date information which will negatively affect your credit score. It’s not an uncommon issue, in fact a recent study found that one in five people has an error on at least one of their three credit reports.

Building a good credit score is important because it can affect your ability to borrow money or access products such as credit cards or loans. You can check your score for free and if it isn’t in the best shape, there are things you can do to improve it. Knowing how to improve your credit score will help you in the long term.

  1. Make sure you’re registered at your current address.
  2. Make sure you’re on the electoral role (at your current address.)
  3. Get a copy of your credit file.
  4. Go through your credit reports line by line – check all the details.
  5. Challenge any errors.
  6. Pay off any debts
  7. Close all accounts that aren’t needed and stop applying.

IMPORTANT: Diarise and repeat steps 1 to 7 every 3 months.

What To Do If You Find Errors

If you do spot any mistakes, challenge them immediately by reporting them to the credit reference agency.

They have just 28 days to remove the information or tell you why they don’t agree with you.

During that time, the ‘mistake’ will be marked as ‘disputed’ and lenders aren’t allowed to rely on it when assessing your credit rating.

It’s also best to speak directly with the credit provider you believe is responsible for the incorrect entry, so you are attacking the problem and error from both sides. This way it’s likely to get resolved faster.

Credit reference agencies rely on information provided by lenders, and the lender often is in the best (and fastest) position to resolve this.

It takes time to fix

It can take time and it will depend on how low your credit score is.

If you’ve had significant financial difficulties that have severely impacted your credit history (such as County Court Judgment, insolvency or bankruptcy) it could take years to rebuild your score, whereas if you’ve missed a single credit card repayment it may only take a few months to repair. Bear in mind that it can take some time for new information (such as a new bank account) to reach credit reference agencies, so this should also be factored in.

I’d recommend allowing 3 – 6 months to clean up your credit file.

What to avoid

At all costs avoid expensive credit repair companies. You may see adverts from firms that claim to repair your credit rating. Most of them simply advise you on how to obtain your credit file and improve your credit rating – but you don’t need to pay for that, you can do it yourself. Some might claim that they can do things that legally they can’t, or even encourage you to lie to the credit reference agencies. Save yourself time and money, by following the 7 steps listed above.

What next?

If you need help, and want to talk to a uniquely qualified and experienced Mortgage Broker & Financial Coach who importantly won’t judge you, please get in touch.

Call  07969 859749 or email chat@rachelrowley.co.uk and let’s see how I can help you!

** Think carefully about securing a mortgage against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you fail to keep up with the mortgage payment