Your credit report is one of the most important pieces of information in your personal financial profile. You can have a large savings account in the bank, a credit card that is far below your limit and a lovely home in your name, but your credit report can still be ravaged by past unpaid debts, identity theft and late payments.
Why is your credit report important?
More and more, your credit report plays an integral role when it comes to financial transactions, both mundane and life-changing. Renting a car, buying a big ticket item, taking a vacation or applying for a new credit card – all of these things could be affected by a poor credit report. If you want the financial freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it, it pays to ensure that your credit report is in good shape.
How can I improve my credit score?
We have compiled a list of tried and tested strategies that can help you to start to improve your credit score. Don’t delay – start now. In order to see where you currently stand, apply for your credit report here.
- Take out a credit card and pay it off in full each month – This one might seem like a bit of an oxymoron, taking out a credit card to improve your credit report does seem kind of crazy! But if you use this card to only make small purchases and pay it off in full each month you can increase your credit score in leaps and bounds within a short period of time.
- Make sure your credit report information is up to date – Once you receive your credit report, have a careful look at all of the details contained within. If your birthdate, name (including middle names) and address is all completely correct. This will prevent erroneous transactions from being added to your profile and ensure that your report is accurate.
- Register on the electoral roll – Points are automatically deducted from your credit report when you are not registered for the electoral roll. This is a simple and quick way for you to boost your score in minutes.
- Close down unused accounts – Unused utility accounts and idle old credit cards with a zero balance can negatively impact your credit score. These should all pop up on your credit report, and so once you have assessed this you can contact all old account providers and close them down.
- Sever ties with past spouses or flatmates – Is your name still attached to accounts shared with past spouses, family members or housemates? Your credit could be vulnerable without you even realising it, in jeopardy because of the whims of others. Sever all of these ties as soon as possible!
- Pay your bills on time – This is the easiest (and maybe the hardest!) tip to follow. Make sure that you pay your bills (especially your credit cards) on time each month. Late payments, even if they are only a few days late, can add up and cause real problems on your credit report.