Did you know that over five million people in the UK have a limited or non-existent credit history*?
That means you’re far from alone if you’re struggling to access financial products. Many organisations rely on your credit score as it allows them to see how well you handle credit. They can only assess your ability to pay your bills or verify your identity if you have an established credit history.
If you’re trying to secure a loan, get approved for a mortgage, or open a credit card, having a credit history can help increase your chances of approval and even impact the amount and terms you qualify for.
So what can you do to gain a credit history? Registering on the electoral roll to confirm your current address is a well-known move that can help boost your score, but there are a few other things you should be doing as well. Here are three financial moves that you can make that can help you to start building your credit.
Pay Your Bills on Time
An easy move to start building credit is to try to get your name on some bills. Utility bills, including mobile phone contracts, can show on your credit report. Paying on time will demonstrate to potential lenders your ability to handle credit. But take care. If you miss a payment, there’s a good chance it will negatively affect your score. Setting up a direct debit can be a great way to avoid missed payments. Just make sure there are enough funds in your bank account to cover the payment each month when the due date comes around.
Think about getting a Credit Card
If you don’t have a credit history, you may not be able to access the best credit cards on the market. However, some companies offer credit cards to people with little credit history, which can help you build up your score and give you some borrowing power. Just ensure that you’re using your credit card responsibly. Making all of your payments on time is a great way to help your credit score.
Try to Keep Your Credit Utilisation Low
You’ll also want to keep your credit utilisation low. Your credit utilisation refers to the percentage that you use of your available credit. This means if you have a limit of £1,000 and you’ve used £500, then your credit utilisation is 50%. In most cases, having a lower percentage is seen as a good thing by lenders. You’ll want to avoid using all of your available credit and instead try to keep your utilisation sensible and of course, it’s also important to never go over your credit limit.
Having limited credit history can negatively impact your ability to get financial products. While it can take time to build up your score, don’t be discouraged. With patience, diligence, and good financial habits, there’s a great deal that you can do to become credit-established and boost your score.
Senior Digital PR Specialist