MONEY MATTERS with Scott Woods of Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding

Staff at Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Staff at Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Why everyone should take time to manage and boost their credit score.
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What do you know about your credit history?

Personal finance specialist and founder of moneysavingexpert.com Martin Lewis said: “The world of credit ratings is rife with misinformation and misunderstanding.”

Money Matter with 'Scott Woods.

Money Matter with 'Scott Woods.

But a small glitch on your credit profile could prevent you from opening a bank account, getting a mortgage or even a mobile phone, so here are some areas to focus on:-

l Failing to spot mistakes on your credit history - errors on your credit file could mean you are repeatedly rejected for a loan, mortgage or credit card. Sometimes credit history errors arise from cases of mistaken identity or file mismanagement as defaulter notices should be removed after six years, but this isn’t always done.

Meanwhile, bankruptcies should disappear from a credit report after ten years.

l Making too many “hard search” credit applications at once - even if you are just getting a quote for a loan, credit card or mortgage, or applying for credit to see if you will be accepted, these applications could leave a mark on your credit file.

In the UK, credit ratings are shrouded in myths

Martin Lewis, personal finance specialist and founder of moneysavingexpert.com

Too many credit applications in a short period of time can trigger rejections as lenders might think you are desperate for credit, even if you are just shopping around.

l Not being on the electoral roll - being a registered voter gives an added assurance to lenders that you are who you say you are and live where you say you live.

l Using too much of your available credit - even if you pay on time and in full, “maxing out” your credit limit is looked down upon by lenders and it can lower your credit score.

l Forgetting to pay or skipping the odd agreed payment - one missed payment can stay on your credit file for six years so if you ever amend a direct debit or close a bank account, make sure of notifying your credit card, loan or mortgage provider first.