COVID credit: Why it’s a great time to boost your rating
Do you know what your credit score is? Find out why now is a good time to improve your rating – and why it’s important.
Another day in the life of the pandemic! It’s tough and uncertain out there, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take the time before us to improve our situation as best as we can.
For many women and adults across the UK, taking decisive action on any project is proving to be a great way to alleviate the stress, lethargy and varying degrees of depression many of us are feeling.
Today we’re going to go through a quick run-down of how you can boost your credit score up to a healthier level. It may not be the most exciting subject out there, but it’s a great thing to have in your pocket as far as your finances and financial security are concerned.
So, what exactly is a credit score?
It’s something of a taboo thing to admit you don’t know much about credit scores and how they work. Many adults in the UK would rather stick their head in the sand on this one, pretending it’s something they don’t really need to worry about.
And while you can live without a good score, you’ll have better opportunities and more emergency options available to you if your score is healthier.
So, what is it? Simply put, a credit score is a rating that’s made from information held about your credit report, which is also often called a credit file. This is basically a history or ‘log’ of your financial past; your transactions, payments made and payments missed.
As you’d expect, lenders of any form nowadays have very sophisticated algorithms they use to try and calculate what kind of potential customer you are. By using a credit score, they get a quick and easy way to estimate your likelihood of repaying a bill on time. That’s the core of it.
Is there an easy way to check my score?
Yes! It’s surprisingly fast and easy to get your own score checked and you can usually do it online for free. There are a few well-known go-to options here, such as Equifax and TransUnion, who are credit scoring agencies. You can also access your file and score with other companies such as Credit Karma and ClearScore.
Many of these will also offer you a printed copy of your credit report and score, although you might need to pay to request it.
How do I know if my score is good?
Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast single rule for this. Different lenders will use their own algorithms to determine what a good score is and isn’t, meaning you’ll get a different answer depending on who you ask and go to.
Generally speaking, though, if you look at your score via one of the main sites we listed above and you get a good answer, you’ll know you’re in a good space – and the opposite too, of course.
Are there easy ways to boost my score?
There are a few tricks you can do to get an immediate boost on your credit score, but it’s important to remember that it is simply a reflection of your overall spending history. Ultimately, there’s no entirely fast way to improve it overnight.
That said, you can take steps to get boosts in the short-term. Register yourself on the electoral roll to get one such bump. You can also look over your file and score to see if any mistakes have been made – these sometimes happen and can cripple an otherwise good score!
Beyond that, it’s what you’d expect: pay those bills when they’re due or before they’re due and do your best to minimise, eliminate or consolidate your debt via something like a direct lender.
It’s commendable to face this aspect of life as an adult head-on – and it’ll really benefit you when you’ve done the work. We wish you the best of luck in your efforts to boost that credit score!