How to improve your credit score in 2021 – 30 tips from an expert

Martin Lewis provides advice on how to boost credit scores

Having a good credit score demonstrates an impressive history of paying debts. It is also checked when you apply for a credit card or loan, or when you make a large purchase such as getting a mortgage on a house. Here’s 30 ways to improve your credit score – 15 before the New Year and 15 after, according to Ocean Finance.

15 actions you can take to improve your credit score immediately

  1. If you rent, ask your landlord to put you on the Rental Exchange Initiative to show you pay rent on time.
  2. Check your address is correct on older, active credit accounts, as this helps with accuracy for future credit.
  3. Add a landline number to credit checks to prove stability.
  4. Get your name on household bills, even if you’re in a house share as this proves you make payments on time.
  5. Get on the electoral roll to boost your score by around 50 points.

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

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

8. Don’t withdraw cash on a credit card, as you’ll have to pay interest fees.

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

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

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15 ways to improve your credit health in the New Year

  1. Always stay below 25 percent of your credit limit so if you have £1,000, spend less than £250 per month.
  2. Don’t open a new credit account for six months, and you’ll boost your credit score by 50 points.
  3. Have a variety of different credit types to prove you’re a reliable borrower i.e. one credit card with a consistent balance and payment amount, have one loan, a mortgage and one store card (if these are all necessary).
  4. Use free eligibility checkers to see you will be accepted for credit before applying.
  5. 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.
  6. Keep a fixed address. Anything over three years looks more favourable.
  7. 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.
  8. If you have some high-interest debts that you’re struggling to pay off, consider a debt consolidation loan.
  9. Avoid payday loans if you want a mortgage.
  10. Avoid using overdrafts – authorised or unauthorised – as it’s classed as a form of borrowing.

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