How to improve your credit score immediately
If you’ve been refused credit or are worried that your credit history might prevent you from getting a mortgage or loan, then you may want to take steps to improve your credit score as quickly as possible.
An improved credit score can help your chances of being approved for financial products such as mortgages, credit cards and loans at the best interest rates – so it’s always worth trying to work on improving your score in the shortest amount of time possible.
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Request your credit report
Before you do anything else, you should request your credit report using a service such as Checkmyfile. This will allow you to see exactly what lenders see about your credit history when you apply for credit – so you can identify any issues or mistakes and take steps to fix them.
Your credit score is a representation of what’s in your credit report, so if the information isn’t accurate – e.g. an old account is still showing up as ‘open’ even though you closed it years ago – then your credit score won’t be a fair reflection of your current status and your score could be lower than it should be.
It is recommended to check your credit report regularly, so that you can quickly spot and rectify any mistakes.
For more information, read our full Checkmyfile review.
How long does it take to fix mistakes on your credit report?
Fixing errors on your credit report can be one of the fastest ways to improve your credit score.
By law, your credit report should be accurate – so if you inform the credit reference agencies (CRAs) of any discrepancies on your report, they are obliged to act quickly to get them fixed. Lenders/credit providers and CRAs have up to 28 days to respond to any dispute regarding the information on a credit report, but most will aim to resolve any issues within two weeks.
Other ways to improve your credit score quickly
As well as reviewing your credit report and fixing any inaccuracies, there are some other things you can do that could help to quickly improve your credit score.
1. Get on the electoral register
If you’re not already registered to vote then getting yourself on the electoral register – or electoral roll – can give your credit score a quick boost.
The electoral register is used to confirm that you do actually live at the address you provide in your credit application, so is a key thing that lenders look for when running credit checks. One of the largest credit reference agencies in the UK, Experian, has said that registering to vote can instantly improve your credit score by as much as 50 points.
You can register to vote online and, as it only takes about five minutes, it’s definitely one of the quickest ways to improve your credit score.
2. End any ‘financial associations’ with ex-partners
If you have a joint account with someone who has a bad credit rating, it could negatively affect your own credit score.
Financial associations such as joint accounts with other individuals will mean your credit ratings are linked, and lenders may look at their credit report when assessing your credit application, too.
If you have ever held a joint account with someone you are no longer associated with then you can ask the CRAs to remove this association from your report so their financial situation no longer impacts your credit score.
Breaking the link or ‘disassociating’ with an ex-partner could have a beneficial impact on your credit score within one month.
3. Add your name to utility bills
Utility bills such as your gas and electric bill count as a form of credit, so are a great way to show lenders that you are a reliable customer and have a history of paying bills on time. However, if you don’t have an account in your name (for example if you are in a house share or if the bills are in your partner’s name) then you won’t be seeing any benefit in your credit score.
Therefore, adding your name to your utility bills can be an easy way to quickly improve your credit score.
Although the above tips might help you improve your credit score quickly, you should really view the process of improving your score as a marathon rather than a sprint. Some actions might result in a fast change, but credit scores are determined by using a range of factors, so you may be required to address a number of issues over the period of six months to a year to see a significant increase.
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