If you have a low credit rating, there are several things you can do to try to to improve your score:
Register on the electoral roll
If your name is not on there, you will find it much harder to get credit. You can register to vote online or by post.
County Court Judgements (CCJs)
Having a court judgements for debt has a serious impact on your credit score. If you are struggling to pay your CCJ you can apply to vary the judgment.
High levels of existing debt
Paying debt off can help. If your total borrowing looks like you are maxed out, lenders are unlikely to lend you more, unless you are looking to re-organise your debts. However, it is worth bearing in mind that some lenders might score you lower when they see a history of paying borrowing off early as this might look like unmanageable debt being juggled.
Check for mistakes on your file
Even having just a slightly wrong address can have an impact on your score. So, make sure you check all the details and report any incorrect information immediately.
Paying on time a phone landline or internet contract is a great way to prove to lenders that you’re capable of managing finances effectively.
Check if you are linked to another person
If you have a spouse, friend or family member’s credit rating linked to yours through a joint account it could affect your personal rating if they have a poor score. You can remove a financial association but only usually if there is no joint borrowing.
Check for fraudulent activity
If something recorded on your credit report is incorrect or does not apply to you, i.e. if someone applied for credit in your name without your knowledge, contact the credit reference agency immediately to have your file updated.
Lenders are more comfortable when they see evidence that you have lived at one address for a considerable period. Although you need to bear this in mind, of course it is often beyond your control as a private renter.
If you’re struggling to improve your score, you could sign up to a one-month free trial membership with one of the credit reference agencies but you need to make sure you know the cancellation terms to prevent ongoing charges if you only want the free trial period.