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How to check and improve your credit rating

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This guide will help you to check your credit rating and will give you some simple advice which you can follow to help you increase your credit score. The most important thing to know is that there is no such thing as a "credit blacklist". There is not one universal list where all people with bad credit records are added. Instead companies assess peoples credit rating in relation to the type of people they are willing to lend to or provide their service. This means that if you have been declined by one company you will not automatically be declined by them all. Needless to say there are certain things you can do to make it more likely that you will pass most credit checks.
There are three different credit rating companies that hold all the financial information about all adults in the UK. These are Experian, Equifax and CallCredit. Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 you have a right to see a print out of your report, for £2. If you phone, or use the website of any of these agencies you can see what information they hold about you. This is the first thing you should do.
Now for things you can do to improve, or make sure it is as accurate as possible, your credit rating. Firstly, make sure your details on the electoral roll are correct. This means registering with your council when you move house.
Do not miss any payments for your bills, missing a payment can stay on your report for up to 3 years. If you miss a payment, call the company in question and this might stop them from reporting a missed payment.
Apply for a credit card. Lenders want to know that you can use credit responsibly, so if you have a credit card and you pay the bill every month, this will be seen as a positive. So even if you don't want a credit card it can pay to have one, remember you do not have to use it.
Another thing you can do is to open a joint account with a person who does have a good credit score. So if your partner has a good credit score this could help to improve yours.
Make sure that all your data on the credit agencies files is up to date. If you get turned down for credit then ask the company why, they should be able to help you identify why you were turned down.
Every company has a different way of calculating your score, so there is no definite way to improve it, but lenders are looking for people who they feel will have no problem paying them back.
Living at the same address for a long time is seen as a plus.
Don't switch banks and financial companies often, this may be seen as a bad sign.


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