On this journey, one of the biggest improvements we have seen is our credit score. When we started, I did do a little bit of research on how to improve your credit score. Not for us to get more credit and fall deeper into the hole. It was for us to be able to get the best deals on our mortgage and interest-free credit cards to switch and save money along the way.
Our credit score was never awful, we had not missed any payments. The biggest drawback of our credit score was our amount of credit to our income. I’m not sure if this takes into account my self employed income or not, but either way, it is something we are addressing.
When it comes to a good credit score, it takes into account a number of things. This includes the amount of credit you have, missed payments, risks etc. All of which you can work on improving, but will take time. Here are a few things you can do to improve your credit score.
- Check your credit account – This may seem like a really logical place to start. But getting into what is on your credit score and understanding what is there is a good place. Check all the accounts are credit that you have got and it ties up to the balances you expect. Also, check who you are associated with, so if you have shared finance in the past, their bad score could be affecting yours.
- Close down unused accounts – If your credit score flags up a store credit account not used in years, close it down. Don’t be tempted to spend more money on credit in the coming months.
- Make payments on time – Not missing a payment will increase your credit score, every missed payment will add a dent to your score.
- Time – I know for some this may be a bit frustrating, however, if you have not looked after your credit score over the years and are working on it now, you need to give it time. Working on improving your rating whilst on your debt-free journey is a great way to improve it.
You can pay to access your credit score or take out the free trials offered by Experien and Equifax. Money Saving Expert also has a credit club, that allows you access to your credit score and runs a new report each month. We are using this currently and it just allows us to track our rating. Every 6 months we just check our score and accounts to make sure everything is correct.
We have a long way to go on our debt-free journey and I know that over time our credit rating will increase. For us, this will be great when it comes to things such as remortgaging and getting a better deal. I’m just a little annoyed at my past self for allowing it to get into the position it is in but we can’t go back and change that now.