30 ways to improve your credit score and boost your finances before summer

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We have almost reached the end of the first month of 2022 and if you are struggling to keep up with any financial resolutions you made on New Year’s Day, all is not lost.

Money experts at Ocean Finance have some excellent tips to get you back on track and boost your credit score within months.

Whether you’re planning to make 2022 your year of positive change, saving for a deposit or a new car, keen to pay off credit card debt, or simply want to start making savings, hopefully there are a few quick wins on the list below to get you started.

15 ways to instantly improve your credit score

If you’re looking to improve your credit score over the next few weeks, here are some quick wins:

  • If you rent, ask your landlord to put you on the Rental Exchange Initiative to show you pay rent on time

  • Check your address is correct on older, active credit accounts, as this helps with accuracy for future credit

  • Add a landline number to credit checks to provide stability

  • Get your name on household bills, even if you’re in a house share as this proves you make payments on time

  • Get on the electoral roll to boost your score by around 50 points

  • If you can’t register to vote, get proof of residency to have it added to your credit report

  • Make sure all of your direct debits are paid on time.

  • Do not withdraw cash on a credit card, as you will have to pay interest fees

  • Think twice before agreeing to be financially linked to those with bad credit

  • Disassociate yourself from previous financial partners by closing joint accounts, mortgages and more

  • Use calendar reminders to stay on top on your finances so you don’t miss a payment

  • Pay off your debt with your savings if you have any, as this will save you interest

  • Be frugal, and live within your means so you’re more likely to borrow less

  • Check your credit report for mistakes, and contact the credit reference agency directly to fix any you find

  • Protect yourself from scams as falling victim to one can cause unfair damage to your credit score

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15 ways to improve your credit health in the New Year

Ocean Finance have also shared 15 ways to better your credit health with some long-term goals to achieve by the summer:

  • Always stay below 25% of your credit limit so if you have £1,000, spend less than £250 per month

  • Don’t open a new credit account for six months, and you will increase your credit score by 50 points

  • Have a variety of different credit types to prove you’re a reliable borrower – for example, one credit card with a consistent balance and payment amount, have one loan, a mortgage and one store card (if these are all necessary)

  • Use free eligibility checkers to see if you will be accepted for credit before applying

  • If you’re applying for credit, choose the timing carefully – if something is about to expire on your report, it may be worth waiting until afterwards

  • Keep a fixed address – anything over three years looks more favorable

Financial help available in Scotland

  • Get a credit rebuilder card if you have a poor credit history or none at all. These come with a low, manageable limit and can help build your credit score

  • If you have some high-interest debts that you’re struggling to pay off, consider a debt consolidation loan

  • Avoid payday loans if you want a mortgage

  • Avoid using overdrafts – authorized or unauthorized – as it’s classed as a form of borrowing

  • When paying your credit card, pay more than the minimum if you can

  • In addition, two payments per month on credit cards, as this suggest you’re paying over the minimum

  • If you’ve suffered financial problems in the past, consider a pre-paid card where you load the card up with cash and use it like a credit card

  • Pay off existing debt before applying for more credit whenever possible

  • Pay for your car insurance monthly by Direct Debit as opposed to one annual payment

All of these tips are detailed further in the Ocean Finance online guide here, which also debunks some credit score myths and allows you to test your credit wisdom.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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