How to Improve your credit score?

Blog - How to Improve your credit score?

How to improve your credit score?
Your credit score is more than just a number; it's a reflection of your financial responsibility.
Lenders rely on it to assess your creditworthiness and determine whether to approve your loan applications. In this guide, we'll break down the concept of credit scores, explore strategies for improvement, examine the factors influencing your score and understand its impact on mortgage applications and property management.

What is a credit score, and why does it matter?
Credit scores range from 000 to 999 based on your credit history and the credit scoring model being used. Various factors, including your payment history, credit utilisation, length of credit history, new credit enquiries and credit mix determine these scores. Lenders rely on these scores to assess the risk associated with loan requests and establish the terms of your loans, such as interest rates and loan amounts. A strong credit score can unlock lower interest rates and higher loan approval rates. Conversely, a lower score may result in higher interest rates and limited borrowing options.

How can I improve my credit score quickly and effectively?
Improving your credit score requires discipline and commitment. Begin by keeping your bills on track and paid in full on time, as payment history accounts for a significant portion of your score. Reduce your credit card balances to below 30% of your credit limit to improve your credit utilisation ratio. Dispute any errors on your credit reports and consider becoming an authorised user on someone else's credit card to establish a positive credit history. However, it's important to be responsible with any new credit accounts and not overspend or miss payments, as that can severely damage your credit score.

What factors influence my credit score, and which ones should I focus on?
Several factors affect your credit score, with some holding more significance than others. Your payment history holds the most weight, followed by credit utilisation, length of your credit history, new credit enquiries and credit mix - credit mix refers to the different types of credit accounts that make up your credit history. To gain a higher credit score, you need to maintain a flawless payment history and low card balances and refrain from opening numerous new accounts in a short time span. Additionally, extending your credit history and diversifying your credit mix can have positive long-term effects on your score.

How does my credit score affect my ability to secure a mortgage or manage a property portfolio?
Your credit score plays a crucial role in securing a mortgage and managing a property portfolio. Lenders use it to assess the risk of lending you money and determine the terms of your mortgage, including the interest rate and loan amount. A higher credit score can lead to lower interest rates and more favourable loan terms, saving you money over the life of your mortgage. It also allows property investors to access better financing options and maximise their returns, enabling them to grow their portfolios more efficiently.

What are some common myths or misconceptions about credit scores, and how can I avoid falling for them?
There are multiple myths about credit scores, which can lead to misunderstandings and poor financial decisions. One common myth is checking your credit score will hurt it, this is false. In reality, checking your score is considered a soft enquiry and has no impact on your score. Another myth is closing old accounts will improve your score, when in fact, it can lower your average account age and hurt your score. To avoid falling for common misconceptions, it’s essential to be up-to-date with reliable sources such as financial institutions, government agencies or credit bureaus. In addition, consult with financial advisers, or your mortgage broker who can provide professional guidance and inform you in greater detail. 

Understanding credit scores is vital for anyone aiming to attain financial stability. By understanding the factors that impact your score, adopting effective strategies for improvement, and dispelling common myths, you can control your financial future and open doors to various opportunities in the future.

This article is for information only and does not constitute advice or a personal recommendation. TAB is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and TAB loans are unregulated so will not lend on your principal property. You will have no access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Any property used as security is at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with your payments. If you are unsure of the risks, you are advised to obtain appropriate professional advice.

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