Check If You Qualify

10 steps to take now to improve your credit rating

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 1st May 2024 - 4 minutes to read

If you are currently working on reducing the amount of debt you have, improving your credit score may not be at the top of your agenda. However even if seeking out further credit is not something you want to do in the foreseeable future, it is still important to ensure your credit record is as clean as possible. This is because your credit rating can impact much more than just your ability to take out loans and credit cards. Applying for a mobile phone contract, paying your car insurance in monthly instalments, and even being able to switch your utility bills from a pre-payment meter is all dependent on your credit score.

Poor credit does not have to haunt you forever, particularly if you take positive action to improve your situation. Here are 10 actions you can implement now to improve your credit record for the future.

Obtain a copy of your credit report – Giving your credit report the once-over is vital if you are looking to improve your credit rating. You can obtain your report for free and check all is correct. If you notice anything on there that shouldn’t be you can challenge incorrect information and have this removed from your report. Lenders use three main credit agencies: Experian, Equifax and CallCredit. It is a good idea to obtain your report from all three companies, as each will hold slightly different information and analyse it in different ways.

Scotland Debt Calculator

Get a rough indication of what your repayments might be under each of our different debt solutions.

Your Total Debt

£0 - £5,000

£5,000 - £10,000

£10,000 - £20,000

£20,000+

Your Employment Status

I am employed

I am self-employed

I am unemployed

I am a student

I am retired

Your Total Monthly Income

£0 - £1,000

£1,000 - £2,000

£2,000 - £3,000

£3,000+

What can you pay monthly towards your debt?

£0 - £100

£100 - £200

£200 - £300

£300+

Do not miss making payments on current debt

This may seem obvious, but keeping on top of your current debt is the number one way to improve your credit report. You should consider setting up direct debits to ensure your minimum payments are automatically met. It is then advisable to make manual payments on top of this to clear the balance sooner.

Regularly check your credit report – Once you are sure that your credit report is accurate, you should endeavour to keep it this way. You can do this by getting into the habit of checking it once or twice a year. This helps to ensure that the information on your report remains accurate, and also provides protection against identity fraud. Checking regularly can also show you whether your credit rating is heading in the right direction over time.

Close unused credit cards –Lenders consider not only the amount of credit you are actually using, but also the amount of credit you have access to. This is known as ‘available credit’. If you have a number of credit cards with a zero balance you should consider closing these down.

Beware payday lenders and using a credit card to withdraw money – A reliance on payday loans and withdrawing money from credit cards can mark you out as someone with poor money management. This type of behaviour is a huge red flag to lenders. Not to mention this type of borrowing is traditionally one of the more expensive ways of obtaining credit, so knocking this on the head can help you financially too.

Attach a ‘notice of correction’ to your report – If there are legitimate reasons behind a period of bad credit, such as unemployment or ill health for example, you can attach a note to your report explaining this. This can be particularly effective if the period of bad credit was several years ago and you can show that these problems are now behind you and you are now using credit in a more controlled way.

Check you are on the electoral roll – This helps bank verify your identity and helps weed out fraudulent applications. This is one of the easiest ways of boosting your credit score.

Limit credit searches – Every time a credit search is carried out this leaves a footprint on your credit report which can be seen by other lenders. A large amount of these footprints over a short period of time rings alarm bells for lenders, as it can appear that you are desperate for credit. If you find yourself being rejected for credit, it is better to ask the lender why you were rejected rather than immediately applying somewhere else thereby having another footprint added to your file.

Sever old financial connections –If you had any joint financial products with ex partners or ex housemates, you may find that you are still connected to that person on your credit report. If your finances are no longer linked, you can get this removed by writing to the credit reference agency. This is particularly important if they have bad credit, as this is likely to be detrimental to your rating.

Show stability – Lenders like to see stability in their prospective customers. Staying at one address for a significant period of time rather than moving around, remaining with the same bank and even keeping the same job for a length of time also helps. If you can provide a landline number as opposed to a mobile on any applications, this is also looked upon favourably.

facebook colour icon twitter colour icon linkedin colour icon messenger colour icon whatsapp colour icon email colour icon
Sharon McDougall Square

Sharon McDougall

Manager

Other Articles

Can I borrow money whilst I’m in a Trust Deed? Can I Borrow Money

Can I borrow money whilst I’m in a Trust Deed?

Borrowing money when you’re already deeply in debt requires careful consideration, and consultation with your trustee, as there are various factors associated with further borrowing in this situatio...

Your guide to getting a mortgage after a Trust Deed Guide to get a mortgage

Your guide to getting a mortgage after a Trust Deed

If you’re about to be discharged from a Trust Deed, you may be wondering to what extent your ability to obtain a mortgage has been affected.

What is an inhibition court order in Scotland? Court Order

What is an inhibition court order in Scotland?

If you’ve lost your job, state benefits and tax credits can provide vital financial support to see you through this tough time and help you avoid taking on too much debt while you look for more work...

About

Why Choose Us

Usp Discussion

Speak Direct With

A Qualified Adviser

Headset

We Don't Operate

Call Centres

Usp Location

5 Offices in Scotland

National Coverage

Usp House

Ask us About

Home Visits

Usp Award

Fully Regulated Advisors

From a Reputable Firm

Usp Hand Heart

Helping Scots Get

Out of Debt Since 1989

We'll give you a call

Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.

Here at Scotland Debt Solutions we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See our Privacy Policy.

Tools

Useful Tools

Personalised Debt Report
Usp Planner

Personalised Debt Report

Our personalised debt report will help you better understand your financial position and see where your money is going.

Debt Report
Instant Scheduled Call & WhatsApp
Headset

Instant Scheduled Call & WhatsApp

Arrange a call with an expert advisor at a time to suit you or contact our team via WhatsApp for immediate help and advice.

Arrange Callback
Find a Local Office
Usp Signpost

Find a Local Office

We have five offices located across Scotland. Find your nearest one here.

Find an Office

OUR SERVICES

We can help you with...

Sequestration

Sequestration

Sequestration is the Scottish version of bankruptcy and may be suitable for you if you do not have the money to pay back your debts

Find out More
Trust Deeds in Scotland

Trust Deeds in Scotland

A Trust Deed involves making a monthly contribution to your debts for up to four years. After this time any remaining debt included in the Trust Deed will not need to be paid.

Find out More
Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

A Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) lets you pay off your debt through a series of manageable instalments over a reasonable length of time.

Find out More
Business Debts
Icon Briefcase

Business Debts

Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company director, we can help you work through your current financial problems including money owed to HMRC

Business Debts

Our Insolvency Practitioners are regulated by ICAS or the IPA and our firm is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Fees and Information: There are fees associated with our services. These will be fully explained before entering into any of the personal debt solutions referred to on this website. Full details of our fees and how these are charged are fully explained to you prior to you committing to any particular service.

ICAS Insolvency Practitioners