How to improve your credit rating:

For most of us, the cost of borrowing, or the likelihood of getting credit depends a great deal on our personal credit ratings. Things like buying insurance or mobile phone contracts are also connected to your credit rating. One of the most effective ways to make sure you can borrow money, and do so as cheaply as is possible, is to make sure that your credit rating is as good as is possible. Here are some things that you should know about:

Check out your current credit rating: Everyone can check there own credit rating. You can do this by contacting one of the major ratings agencies. You don’t need to pay for their ‘premium’ services, but just use your rights under the data protection act, this is called a ‘statutory credit report’ and costs £2. You should check that all the details are correct. If you find mistakes, ask for them to be corrected. This is called a notice of correction. The three main credit agencies are:


Disassociation: This is where you ask for a note to be put on your credit record to explain that somebody who was once living at your address is no longer connected to you. This avoids someone else’s credit history damaging yours.

Make sure you are registered to vote: Not being on the electoral register is very damaging to your credit rating. You can register very simply by contacting the council on

Timing is everything: If you have something on your record which is a problem, for example a county court judgement; remember that your record usually runs for six years. If you wait until difficult entries fall off your record, this will help avoid unnecessary refusal. It is important to avoid being refused credit.

Avoid making too many applications for credit: There is a balance to be struck between too many entries and too few. In general terms avoid making too many applications for credit; the foot print these applications leave reduces your rating. This is especially the case if you have made a lot of applications over a short time. You also should remember things like paying insurance by instalments are also credit applications.

Getting more credit, can improve your records: If you have a very thin track record, this can also be a problem. In these cases, getting credit and using it well can actually improve your rating.

Some things never to do: Never be late with a payment – this will be damaging. Never use a credit card to get cash, not only is this very expensive but it will damage your rating, and never apply for a pay day loan.

For help from Salford Citizens Advice visit your local bureau in Eccles, Irlam and Cadishead, Salford City, Swinton, Walkden or at Salford Royal.

Telephone our advice line: 0844 826 9695 (if calling from a landline or if calling from a mobile 0300 456 2554).

Tom Togher