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Debrief Staff | Contributing Writer | Monday, 14 March 2016

5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Credit Rating

The Debrief: Credit checks are scary. Fact.

Are you thinking about saving to buy your first home? From £1 - £75,000 your money is protected for free by the FSCS in UK banks and building societies. Find out more here.

Credit checks are scary. It’s a well known (and hardly talked about) fact that a good percentage of us are still living in our student overdrafts. With wages so low, and rents so high, it’s super hard to stay out of debt. That means that it’s hard to maintain a good credit rating. Which means costs like insurance is going to be even more expensive, which means we’ll be in more debt, which means no one will EVER give us a mortgage. Obviously paying off your debt in a timely manner and not defaulting on any payments is important, but what else can you do? Don’t worry, we’ve been doing our research. So here are 5 easy ways to improve your credit rating without really trying.

READ MORE: How To Save Money In Your Twenties 

Pay down Debt

Paying off your 0% credit card in instalments whilst saving a little bit each month sounds like a good idea, but it’s not. You’re much better to eschew saving whilst you’re still in debt. The less debt you have, even if you’re managing it sensibly, the better your credit rating. Debt is more harmful than savings are beneficial.

Register To Vote

Obviously this is something you should do anyway, but it can be complicated moving around for Uni and work etc. Make sure you’re registered to vote, and at the correct address. If you’re not on the electoral register, it’s unlikely you’ll be allowed to have any credit.

Financially Uncouple (From Your Flatmates too)

If you’ve broken up with someone you used to share a bank account with, or even moved out of your flatshare where you had a joint account, make sure you cut all financial ties by closing any joint accounts (and joint utilities accounts, too!). Your ex, or ex flatmates' financial misdemeanours could end up affecting your credit score if you don’t do this.

Get A Landline Phone

I know, it’s retro right? Having a permanent, landline number can help improve your credit score. This will help show that you’re living at a stable address and will help when it comes to passing identity checks – plus, it’ll make your Mum happy! #CheapCalls.

Cancel Unused Store Cards

If you’re hanging on to that store card, even if it’s just sitting in your purse unused, but particularly if there’s a balance on it that needs clearing, cancel it. Having them sitting there unused is still increasing the amount of credit you have available to spend, which isn’t a good thing. Plus, they’re ludicrously expensive.

Still renting and need some tips on cutting costs? Check out this video on how to be a savvy renter, by the FSCS. And remember, whatever you’re saving for, the FSCS protects your money in UK banks, building societies and credit unions.