Checkmyfile: 15 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score To 999 In 2024
If you're trying to get a mortgage for a house, remortgage or simply borrow money, lenders use your credit score to assess your creditworthiness.
If you have a good credit score, you're likely to borrow at more favourable interest rates, saving you money over the life of the loan.
Whether you're dreaming of a new car or simply want to improve the state of your finances, here are 15 ways to improve your credit score.
These tips have helped me to improve my bad credit score from the 400s to 999 😀.
15 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score To 999 In 2024
Going from bad credit to good or excellent credit takes doing a combination of small things together. Here they are:
1. Check Your Credit Report Regularly
There are 3 main credit referencing agencies that you should check your credit reports with – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Checkmyfile helps you to get your free credit report across all 3 agencies all in one place.
This will help you to look for differences in what’s being reported by all three agencies.
That way, you can identify any problems and start taking action immediately.
In addition, you can view up to 6 years’ history of your repayment performance.
Try it for free for 30 days and you can cancel at any time. After 30 days, it costs £14.99 a month.
👉🏽 We used it ourselves when we were trying to rebuild our credit scores ahead of buying a house.
2. Fix Any Errors Promptly
It might be hard to believe but credit referencing agencies sometimes hold incorrect information about you.
I know this because I once checked my credit report and saw a County Court Judgment (CCJ) applied to my name incorrectly.
It was a very stressful experience finding out about this and going through the process to get it removed, which it did eventually.
However, without having a detailed credit report across all 3 agencies, I would have ended up with one agency still holding the incorrect information.
So get your credit report ASAP and read it line by line checking for errors or even instances of fraud.
If you’ve been a victim of identity fraud in the past, you can get a password added to your credit file so that your permission will be required before any credit checks are performed on your name.
3. Register To Vote On The Electoral Roll
Registering to vote on the electoral roll gives you an immediate boost to your credit score because it acts as a proof of address.
Please make sure that no aspect of your name or address is incorrect.
Have your name in full. For example, although I’m known as “Ken” by many, my full first name is “Kenneth”. If I had “Ken” on the electoral roll, it would create issues on my credit report.
Also, make sure that you include any middle names.
4. Pay Your Bills On Time
Paying your bills in full and consistently on time is one of the biggest contributors to a high credit score.
It demonstrates that you’re able to manage the inflow and outflow of money throughout your life.
The top tip here is to automate payments via direct debits or standing orders to ensure you don’t have missed payments.
We also log into our online banking every morning before 9 am to check that there are no bounced payments or overdrawn balances.
5. Reduce Your Credit Balance and Utilisation
The goal here is to understand what’s called your credit utilisation rate i.e. the proportion of your credit limit that you are currently using.
E.g. If you have two credit cards with £5,000 credit limit each or a total of £10,000 across both.
If on both cards, you have a balance of £3,000 each, this means that you have a credit utilisation rate of 60% i.e. £3k divided by £5k.
The credit utilisation applies to individual cards and across all your cards.
To increase your credit score, you need to get your credit utilisation rate to 30% or below ideally for your individual cards and across all your credit cards combined.
This demonstrates responsible use of credit and boosts your score.
6. Use a Mix of Different Credit Types
Ironically, you have to take on different types of debt to show you’re good at managing debt.
For example, having a mortgage, credit card, and other loans, and managing them all well can positively influence your credit score.
However, only take on what you can responsibly manage.
7. Avoid Opening Multiple Accounts Rapidly
Each time you open an account, it leaves a mark on your credit report.
If you open many accounts in a short space of time, it could be viewed as risky behaviour and harm your credit score.
8. Monitor Any Financial Associations
Your credit report will show you whom you have financial associations with.
Everyone from your partner, parents, children, ex-partners, etc.
Each of these people will have a positive or negative impact on your credit score depending on how they manage their finances.
If you’re currently associated with someone poor at managing their finances and you want to disassociate from them, you can do so by completing a ‘Notice of Disassociation’.
You need to do this with all 3 credit referencing agencies to make sure that you’re still not associated with that person.
This process can take some weeks or months, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on your credit report regularly to make sure your requests have been actioned.
9. Keep Old Accounts Open
You may have many accounts and wondering if closing them would help your credit score.
The length of your credit history matters.
We’d suggest keeping your oldest accounts open even if they have zero balances as they demonstrate a stronger credit history.
10. Use a Credit Card Responsibly
To have a credit score, you need to have access to credit. Using a credit card responsibly improves your credit score over time.
Now, we fully understand any hesitation you might have about getting a credit card, however, it’s important to note that responsible use of a credit card has advantages.
For example, you have section 75 Consumer Credit Act, which offers you protection for purchases with a credit card if there is a problem with a product or service.
Using a credit card also helps you to collect Avios points for travel as well as get cashback.
However, you need to ensure you only use it for planned purchases according to your budget.
In addition, make sure the credit card is paid off monthly. We have a direct debit set up for ours to be paid off in full monthly.
Note that if you can’t get a regular credit card, you can get credit builder cards specifically designed for those with lower credit scores.
11. Limit Credit Applications
Every time you make a credit application, it results in a hard inquiry on your credit report.
To improve your credit score, you should limit any unnecessary applications to avoid any negative impact.
It is especially important to do this in the 6 months up to when you may want to apply for a mortgage or remortgage, for example.
12. Become An Authorised User
If you have a trusted family member or friend with a good credit score and history, you can ask them to be added as an authorised user on their account.
Doing this can help to boost your credit score.
However, note that this can work both ways too. If the person who authorised you as a user misses payments, this may affect you adversely.
13. Negotiate With Creditors
If you’re struggling with payments, it’s easy to bury your head in the sand as you might think the damage is already done.
We’ve seen this in situations where people feel like they messed up with one or two credit cards in the past and carry the same behaviour into their current situation.
If you’re currently struggling with payments, the best thing to do is to contact the creditor that you owe to discuss a manageable repayment plan.
They may even be willing to work with you rather than report missed payments on your credit report.
14. Use Eligibility Checkers For a Soft Search
If you’re considering borrowing money from a credit card company or loan company, we’d suggest using a comparison website for the range of options.
These have an eligibility checker that does a soft search rather than a hard search.
Although this might not tell you that you’re immediately guaranteed to get the loan, it may give you a pre-approval.
Doing these soft checks via an eligibility check helps you avoid the issue of too many applications that result in a hard search.
15. Be Patient and Persistent
Living with a bad credit score can be frustrating especially if you’re making an effort to improve things but not yet seeing any results.
The first thing to note is that this is a gradual process and things do take time.
For some people, they can see increases in their credit scores within 30 days, however, for others, it takes longer.
Remember that working towards a 999 credit score won’t happen overnight but as you take these gradual steps to improve your finances, they’ll contribute to your overall financial health
Your free credit report with Checkmyfile will give you a full picture to begin with and every step you take from here as you action these 15 tips will help your credit score gradually start to climb.
So be patient and persistent, stay encouraged and try your best not to stress 😊.
What to read next about debt and credit scores:
- The Real Cost of 35-Year Mortgages
- 5 Signs You’ll Become Wealth 10 Years From Now
- I Wish I Knew This Before Getting a Mortgage
What is the current issue that you're facing with your credit score or report? Comment below. We're here to help 🙂