This is a collaborative post
Few subjects are as essential yet misunderstood as credit. Some people may assume that it only has to do with consumer debt and how much credit they’re using. Others think that simply paying their bills on time is all it takes. While this will help your credit score, there are tons of things that might be hurting your credit score you may not be aware of. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Not Being on the Electoral Roll
Did you know that not being on the electoral roll could cost you a few credit score points? Yes, being on the electoral roll can have a direct effect on the credit score.
This is because the information from the electoral roll will be used by potential lenders and other services to verify your address and your name, which will directly affect your credit score.
Errors on Your Credit Report
Another thing you should know is that errors can and do happen on credit reports, and it’s your responsibility to do something about them. This could be an account that you’ve closed that’s still showing active or an issue that was resolved but not properly reported.
The first thing you have to do is get an annual copy of your credit report from the three main credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
It’ll only cost you £2 for each and you’ll be able to check if there’s anything wrong with your report. You will then be able to make the changes necessary by following the procedure for disputes laid out by each agency.
Hard Enquiries on Your Credit Report
This is one more thing that could affect your credit. It may seem hard to believe that simply asking for a loan will hurt your credit score whether you get a loan or not, but that’s the way it works, unfortunately.
This is because it will send the signal that you’re actively seeking and possibly desperate for credit, which is always a bad sign.
This is why you want to either go for a soft inquiry first or go with a lender that won’t leave a footprint. Services like New Horizons are a perfect example. They provide short term loans based on income and will not inquire about your credit report to know whether you’re eligible or not.
They will instead focus on what you’re actually making and match you with a panel of lenders that could help you, and the best part is that there’s absolutely no fee. If you want to learn more about them and what they have to offer, visit newhorizons.co.uk.
This is also why you should try to keep your credit applications to a minimum. Either only apply for cards you are 100% certain of getting approved for or go for those that will conduct a soft inquiry. These will be able to get an idea of whether you’ll be accepted without having to go through a direct inquiry on your report.
Not Using a Credit Card when Hiring a Vehicle
This one might seem strange but is related to the point we just made. The simplest way to hire a vehicle is if you have a credit card.
If you don’t, you’ll have to jump through all sorts of hoops, which may or may not include a credit check. This is what could end up hurting you.
Getting a New Mobile Phone Contract
This is also where a credit check could hurt you. Getting the plan and the monthly payments that come with it are not going to affect your credit per se, but the credit check will.
Know, however, that not all service providers will conduct a check, so, it would be wise to consider those and whether the deals they offer are advantageous to you. Even if they’re not exactly as good as the one you were first considering, the dip in your credit score is simply not worth it.
Not Using Credit or Using it too Much
When it comes to raising your credit profile, being a tightwad won’t help believe or not. The goal is not to show that you’re frugal, but that you’re good at spending money responsibly.
The best thing is to show plenty of activity and make sure that you’re on perfect terms with all your providers.
Utilising too much of your credit, on the other hand, will also sink you. You have to make sure that you always monitor your total amount of available credit.
While there’s no set rule, a good strategy would be to keep your utilisation to about 30% of whatever limit there is on the card.
We hope we were able to demystify some myths about credit and will help you not only save it but get it back on track if it’s subpar.
Make sure to use it responsibly once it’s restored, so you can get back on your feet and benefit from all the joys of having a great credit score.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post