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In the world of credit cards, a credit score means everything. If you find yourself with a poor credit history, it may seem like an uphill battle to successfully apply for any sort of credit card. So here are three tips on how to improve your credit score.
Tip 1: Get a credit rebuilder card
One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to show that you can borrow responsibly. You can do this through using a credit rebuilder card. Designed for those with a poor credit history, these cards often have lower eligibility criteria. For example, you could be considered even if you have had a county court judgement (CCJ) or individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), are a student, or are self-employed – all of which would usually cause issues when applying for other types of credit card.
Credit rebuilder cards typically have lower starting credit limits than other types of card, in order to make borrowing more manageable. You would need to research the best fit for you, but there are cards that will increase your credit limit in the future if you display good borrowing practices such as paying off your balance each month and staying within your existing credit limit.
However, something to be aware of is that a credit rebuilder card is likely to have a comparatively high APR, typically over 30%, so make sure you take that into account and avoid getting caught out by the high interest charges.
If you do get a credit rebuilder card to improve your credit score, you will need to make sure you stay within your given credit limit and make your minimum payments each month. This will show the credit provider that you are borrowing sensibly and will help to improve your credit score.
As a side note, it would also be wise to pay down any other high levels of existing debt you have if you are looking to improve your credit score.
Tip 2: Check your credit score regularly
Checking our credit score is probably something we should all be doing. Errors can occur, and one small mistake on your credit file can give you a poor credit score. Before you can improve your score, you need to know what’s going on with it.
There are several free credit score checking services available, such as Noddle, which will not only tell you your credit score but also alert you if anything out of the ordinary occurs.
If you are thinking of getting a credit rebuilder card, look for the ones that come with a free credit checking service. This will help you track your credit score and see whether any of the changes you make are helping to improve it.
When looking at applying for a credit card, take advantage the free ‘check eligibility’ services that lenders provide. These are often found on the credit card’s information web page and don’t affect your credit score. Checking your eligibility could give you a good idea about whether you would be accepted for that particular card before you submit an application.
Tip 3: Register for the electoral roll
It may seem simple, but being on the electoral roll is one of the best things to improve your credit score. Registering for the electoral roll is often a factor in scoring; even when it isn’t, lenders will often use the electoral roll to check your address and ID – i.e. that you are who you say you are. You don’t have to wait until you receive the annual reminder to register to vote: you can apply any time at Gov.uk.
If you are not eligible to vote in the UK, then the best course of action is to send all three credit rating agencies (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) proof of residency and ask for it to be added as a note on your file.
If you’re looking for a great card, a good starting place is our pick of the best credit rebuilder cards for 2019
Looking for a new credit card?
Great credit card offers are out there — you just need to know where to look! If you’re after the top offers on the market, a great place to start is our list of the top credit cards.
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