Credit score - tips

Laura_G

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Morning all,

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on improving your credit score?

My financial history has not been great. Without fully going into detail I have made some poor choices regarding funding my masters which kicked off a cycle of jumping from loan to loan (not realising you mostly pay interest first and not much towards the actual debt) and getting credit cards to pay for monthly expenses. However, I have never missed a payment, all my accounts are up to date and in order. No CCJ's or anything like that.

I'm in a stable position now and I am actively working to pay down the debt. My problem is I have 3 credit cards which are 0% interest. The 0% will be running out beginning of August, March 2020 and May 2020. I have not been able to find a 0% card to switch to for the upcoming credit card due to having a poor score. I have been able to borrow the balance from a family member, knowing I can make some extra cash to repay them, but I do not want to be in this position come March.

Financial advisors from HSBC visited my workplace 4 months ago and they advised me to reduce the credit limit on my cards as I made the minimum payments. So the limit would reduce each month.

However, I recently had an appointment with my bank Natwest who said this was the worst thing to do as it showed I was handling credit poorly. They told me to get another card (!) to spend £50ish on each month and they pay it in full. I am not in a position to get another card, I just don't have the score for it. I am worried about this advice as she seemed to want me to just take out further products.

What I'm trying to ask is there anything anyone has done which has actually improved their score? :)
 

Laura_G

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Thanks for that Jon. I'm already doing most of that. I think I'll just have to focus on paying off as much as I can as soon as I can.

I haven't applied for any credit in over a year (it was a soft search I did to find out I couldn't get a balance transfer card).

I was just wondering if anyone had seen an improvement in their score after doing something in particular.
 
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An-na

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Morning all,

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on improving your credit score?

My financial history has not been great. Without fully going into detail I have made some poor choices regarding funding my masters which kicked off a cycle of jumping from loan to loan (not realising you mostly pay interest first and not much towards the actual debt) and getting credit cards to pay for monthly expenses. However, I have never missed a payment, all my accounts are up to date and in order. No CCJ's or anything like that.

I'm in a stable position now and I am actively working to pay down the debt. My problem is I have 3 credit cards which are 0% interest. The 0% will be running out beginning of August, March 2020 and May 2020. I have not been able to find a 0% card to switch to for the upcoming credit card due to having a poor score. I have been able to borrow the balance from a family member, knowing I can make some extra cash to repay them, but I do not want to be in this position come March.

Financial advisors from HSBC visited my workplace 4 months ago and they advised me to reduce the credit limit on my cards as I made the minimum payments. So the limit would reduce each month.

However, I recently had an appointment with my bank Natwest who said this was the worst thing to do as it showed I was handling credit poorly. They told me to get another card (!) to spend £50ish on each month and they pay it in full. I am not in a position to get another card, I just don't have the score for it. I am worried about this advice as she seemed to want me to just take out further products.

What I'm trying to ask is there anything anyone has done which has actually improved their score? :)
Hi Laura_G,
I don’t have any special advice to give you as I think you have done and are doing all you can. I have been building up my credit score for a few years now and from my experience it is not something that happens quickly. When you have done everything that you can, for example, Jon’s tips to boost your credit score, that is it. It can be quite misleading when you start reading about what to do only to find that it is all the same advice going round in a circle.

Although you are not in debt as such there is free advice from some debt advice organisations that might be worth a phone call to get a different perspective.

https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
https://www.stepchange.org/
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/

Don’t feel bad about asking for advice, debt, like shit, happens.

I got my first credit card in ages in March this year. It is one that helps rebuild your credit rating. I know this isn’t your situation but I just would like to mention that after I got it my credit score plummeted. I was really shocked and researched like crazy as to what had happened. It turns out that this is quite common and that your score will return to what it was in the next month or so. Mine did but it was not a nice experience to lose everything that I had been building up so diligently.

Another thing that I discovered was the Martin Lewis Credit Club.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/creditclub/
Everything is free and it is a good way to keep an eye on things. It also can show you what credit cards you are eligible for so maybe you will get lucky there or even be able to consolidate your cards into a low interest loan.

This debt/credit score thing takes time to achieve. I hope to make it to the next level by May next year. Good luck with all of this and I hope you can get it sorted soon.

An-na

 
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Laura_G

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Hi Laura_G,
I don’t have any special advice to give you as I think you have done and are doing all you can. I have been building up my credit score for a few years now and from my experience it is not something that happens quickly. When you have done everything that you can, for example, Jon’s tips to boost your credit score, that is it. It can be quite misleading when you start reading about what to do only to find that it is all the same advice going round in a circle.

Although you are not in debt as such there is free advice from some debt advice organisations that might be worth a phone call to get a different perspective.

https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
https://www.stepchange.org/
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/

Don’t feel bad about asking for advice, debt, like shit, happens.

I got my first credit card in ages in March this year. It is one that helps rebuild your credit rating. I know this isn’t your situation but I just would like to mention that after I got it my credit score plummeted. I was really shocked and researched like crazy as to what had happened. It turns out that this is quite common and that your score will return to what it was in the next month or so. Mine did but it was not a nice experience to lose everything that I had been building up so diligently.

Another thing that I discovered was the Martin Lewis Credit Club.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/creditclub/
Everything is free and it is a good way to keep an eye on things. It also can show you what credit cards you are eligible for so maybe you will get lucky there or even be able to consolidate your cards into a low interest loan.

This debt/credit score thing takes time to achieve. I hope to make it to the next level by May next year. Good luck with all of this and I hope you can get it sorted soon.

An-na

Hi,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

I'm keeping an eye on things with clear score at the moment but I will definitely check out the Martin Lewis credit club.

I fully appreciate it is going to take time to rebuild the score. It's just disheartening to see it stay the same or go down a little each month. Especially when I was following advice from a bank.

It is encouraging to hear you have rebuilt your score so thank you for sharing. :)
 

An-na

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Holy moly :eek: did I get a surprise this morning!!!
My credit score has jumped up by 81 points o_O
It took me a while to get over that and then I realised that it was because of the credit card that I took out to rebuild my credit score actually working.

I have just been using it to put a tenner's worth of petrol in my car and then paying it back quickly before any interest was incurred. That is only a few payments since getting it in March. I am now in a nice mid range credit score and I look nice and normal.

I was alerted to this by an email from the Martin Lewis Credit Club who inform you of any change to your credit report. They use Experian credit reporting. Free of course.

I am a very happy An-na today :D
 
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Laura_G

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Holy moly :eek: did I get a surprise this morning!!!
My credit score has jumped up by 81 points o_O
It took me a while to get over that and then I realised that it was because of the credit card that I took out to rebuild my credit score actually working.

I have just been using it to put a tenner's worth of petrol in my car and then paying it back quickly before any interest was incurred. That is only a few payments since getting it in March. I am now in a nice mid range credit score and I look nice and normal.

I was alerted to this by an email from the Martin Lewis Credit Club who inform you of any change to your credit report. They use Experian credit reporting. Free of course.

I am a very happy An-na today :D
That's fantastic! Congratulations. :D
 
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