Tuesday 27 February 2018

Three Easy Ways to Build Your Credit Score

When I left school I was 'book smart' but I wasn't prepared for life in the real world. I'll admit, my parents did a lot for me as a teen so when I moved out and began living with Chris, bills, expenses and all other "grown up" stuff hit me like a tonne of bricks. I've now been living away from my childhood home for eight years now, raising two children and I'd like to think that I'm doing a pretty decent job! The downside is that back then we were, and still are, privately renting a home but we obviously want to get on the property ladder as soon as we can. Although I had a job and had had a mobile phone on contract for a number of years, my credit score was neutral or average.

A credit score is a tool that most lenders use to determine whether or not you qualify for a particular loan, credit card or mortgage. For us, wanting to be able to get a mortgage is high on our list of things to do especially since having children. An average credit score isn't bad but the higher, the better as creditors will be reassured that you will repay your debts as agreed. Here are three things you can do that can help you build your credit score over a little bit of time but if you have bad credit you could still secure a loan if you are short on time and need it urgently!

1. Make sure you are on the electoral register
This may sound simple - too simple - but it really can affect it. If your name isn't on there, you will find it much harder to get credit. Plus, it's always good to be on there so that you can vote!

2. Pay bills on time 
Again, this might seem like an obvious one but if you have bills such as TV licence, phone and electric, ensure that you have the funds available to pay those bills straight away. My bills usually come out on the same date every month and I always account for them before spending. This is a great way to prove that you are capable of managing your own finances effectively.

3. Get a credit card
I know it may be hard to get a credit card in the first place, but if you shop around you may be able to find a company who will allow you to take one out - we managed to get ours from Vanquis. We use our credit card to pay for our grocery shopping even though we have the cash in our current account, then just transfer the money to pay off the credit card right away. Just be sure that you don't spend what you don't physically have and can always pay back your credit card.

Do you have any tips for building your credit score? I'd love to hear them!

(This is a collaborative post.) 
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