Are you planning on buying a home in the near future? If so, chances are you’re already preparing for what is likely to be one of your largest financial investments. One essential step toward achieving this goal is obtaining a mortgage loan with an affordable interest rate and monthly payment. Your credit score, which is often used to determine whether you’re eligible for a mortgage and how much interest you’ll pay, plays an important role in the process.
Before applying for your loan, check your credit score to get an idea of where you stand. Knowing what score lenders will be looking at when assessing your application can also help you decide if you need to change your spending or saving habits.
- Why Should I Check My Credit Score Before Getting A Mortgage
- Your Credit Score Is Used To Calculate How Much Money You Can Borrow
- What Information Is On A Credit Score?
- Why Is This Information So Important?
- How Is A Credit Score Calculated?
- Who Holds This Information?
- How Long Does This Information Stay On My Credit Record?
- Can I Get a Mortgage With A Bad Credit Score?
- How To Improve Your Credit Score In The UK
Why Should I Check My Credit Score Before Getting A Mortgage
The number one reason to check your credit score is so you know what it is and how much financing help you can expect when applying for a home loan. The better your credit score, the easier it would be for you to get a mortgage loan. In fact, in most cases, when your credit score is excellent, finding a lender willing to give you a home loan becomes very easy.
Your credit report contains information about how well you have managed your finances in the past. When your credit report is clean, and you have a good credit score, a lender views this as an indicator of how well you might manage their money if they give you a home loan. Conversely, if your report is bad and your credit score is low or poor, lenders view this as an indicator that you may not be able to manage your money responsibly. This means that even if your credit score isn’t great, it can be improved with time and effort.
Your Credit Score Is Used To Calculate How Much Money You Can Borrow
They say that there are three types of people in the world; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.
Anyhow, on to the subject at hand. No one can deny that having access to money makes life much easier. No matter what you want to do in life, money can help. People cannot live without money, whether you need a bus fare or enough cash to buy a house.
This is why almost everyone tries their best to get more of it. One technique that people use is borrowing. If they are short on money, they will often borrow some until they get paid again.
One of the main ways to do this, if you’re in the UK at least, is through Personal Loans. These are usually small amounts that people will borrow for a short period. The money can be used however they want, so it’s beneficial indeed.
However, there is one stumbling block to these loans; credit scores. These measures how much you borrow and whether or not you’ll be able to repay it in time.
Every lender in the UK uses these scores to determine whether or not they should lend you money and what rate they should charge you. So it’s pretty essential information if you want to get a cheap deal.
The score is calculated by a complex algorithm that takes into account things such as the history of borrowing and payment, income and credit card use.
So to have a good credit score, you need to borrow money responsibly without defaulting too much. It would help if you also had enough spending power to afford the repayments on your loans.
On the other hand, if you have a poor credit score, it will be challenging to get any loans. It may also increase the cost of your loans substantially, hampering your ability to repay them in the short amount of time given.
Luckily there are ways that you can improve your credit score even if you haven’t borrowed much before.
What Information Is On A Credit Score?
In the UK, credit scores are calculated by ‘credit reference agencies such as Experian and Equifax. These companies keep records of any financial information that relates to you as an individual, including:
-Whether or not you’ve had county court judgment (CCJs) against you declared against your name;
- If you have a County Court Judgement declared against your name, there is a good chance it will be sold to debt collectors and used to pressure you into paying back money owed to them.
- Information on whether or not you’ve missed any repayments on loans/mortgages; -Any defaults of payments which go through the court’s system.
Why Is This Information So Important?
This information helps to calculate a credit score, which then gives a numerical measure of your trustworthiness in terms of how likely you are to meet financial commitments.
In the UK, lenders will use this information to assess whether or not they should lend money to individuals. If an individual has a low score on their credit record, some lenders may refuse to offer them any finance. In other cases, if an individual does have a lower credit score, it can impact the interest rate at which they’re charged for borrowing money.
How Is A Credit Score Calculated?
If you’ve never had any experience with managing debt and making repayments on loans that you’ve taken out before, then it’s likely that you’ll have a low credit score when your financial history is assessed. If you’ve had previous experience with managing loans and are good at keeping up with repayments, then it is more likely that you will have a high credit score.
When building up their own individual credit score, lenders look for how long an individual has been in debt (i.e. whether or not they can repay money as agreed), what type of finance they’ve previously borrowed (such as mortgages or student loans) and if there are any CCJs which have been recorded against them.
What Does The Information On My Credit Score Mean?
For example; an individual may be refused access to a lending service because:
-They may have missed too many repayments on loans that they’ve already taken out;
-They may have acquired too much debt already with other lenders before.
On the other hand, an individual may be given access to a lending service but only at an increased interest rate because:
-They have previously failed to make certain forms of repayment on previous loans;
-They have CCJs recorded against their name, which shows the potential risk of not being able to make repayments in the future.
Who Holds This Information?
In the UK, two leading credit reference agencies hold all this financial information about your past and present borrowing habits as an individual: Equifax and Experian. One or both of these companies will likely prompt you to submit your personal information when you apply for finance (loans, mortgages etc.) or other services such as obtaining a mobile phone contract.
How Long Does This Information Stay On My Credit Record?
Information held by either agency is kept on file for six years from when an individual stops making repayments and/or defaults on loans and credit commitments.
Information can also be recorded if:
– A CCJ has been judged in your name;
-A county sheriff visits your home to request payment on a court judgment. This will stay on your credit record for six years from the date on which it was initially declared against you.
Can I Get a Mortgage With A Bad Credit Score?
Your credit score is a three-digit number that lenders calculate how much money you can borrow. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be approved for a loan and receive a lower interest rate. A low credit score can lead to high-interest rates and prevent you from being approved for a loan.
Your credit score is based on information in your credit reports, such as your payment history, current debt obligations, and the age of your accounts. Lenders also look at your credit utilisation ratio, the amount of credit you have available compared to the amount you’re currently using.
The most important factor in determining your credit score is your payment history. Late payments and missed payments will have a negative impact on your credit score. In addition, if you’ve maxed out with all of your available credit lines and don’t make any purchases for an extended period of time, this can also significantly affect your credit score negatively.
Your credit score is a valuable asset, so it’s essential to keep track of it and ensure your credit report is accurate. You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com. Review your report carefully and dispute any inaccurate information.
If you’re not happy with your current credit score, there are several things you can do to improve it. Make sure you pay all of your bills on time, avoid maxing out your credit lines, and keep old accounts open. You can also consider enrolling in a debt management or credit counselling program to help get your finances back on track.
How To Improve Your Credit Score In The UK
If your UK credit score is lower than you’d like and you’re searching for ways to improve, several helpful methods make this seemingly difficult task much more straightforward. You are also probably here because you have been refused credit. Well, not many people know that the less a credit agency knows about you and how you are with finances, the more it hinders your score. Be sure to read on and learn more about the following tips so that you can make the necessary improvements to your UK credit score as rapidly as possible.
1. Obtain a Credit Report
When you are uncertain about the specifics of your credit score, a credit score agency like MyCreditMonitor can provide helpful insight. Take a moment to obtain MyCreditMonitor to find out if there are any correctable mistakes or if you’ve been a victim of financial fraud. Best of all, MyCreditMonitor offers its clients a chance to enjoy a free 30-day trial, allowing you to receive this valuable information in a manner that is light on your pocket.
MyCreditMonitor will provide you with the guidance, tools and tips to improve your credit score. They will monitor your credit file 24 hours a day, and you will be notified of any changes to your score. Credit agencies will look at your score to see if you are eligible for credit. By attempting to improve your credit, they will see you more positively. Ensure that you are registered on the electoral roll and that all of your details are correct throughout your credit history, as this will harm your score considerably.
2. Vanquis Cards
You have a poor credit history, and a low credit score is not an insurmountable hurdle. Thanks to Vanquis credit cards, a cardholder can rebuild their score without taking a potentially harmful shortcut. While your initial interest rates will be higher and your credit limit will be lower, a Vanquis card reestablishes your credit history, improves your credit score and showcases your future viability to other creditors.
3. Cancel Cards You Are No Longer Using
Did you know that having inactive credit cards can serve to lower your credit score? Having unused credit cards will lower your UK credit score and leave you far more susceptible to fraud and identity theft. It is also in your best interests to stop applying for credit cards until your current financial situation has been straightened out. Having applications repeatedly declined is a major red flag to potential creditors.
4. Make Repayments Early
A UK credit score does not improve overnight, and you will need to instil more vigorous long-term financial habits to show your former and future lenders that you’ve mended your ways. You are now showing potential lenders that you are a financially sensible borrower by making repayments early and not allowing your balances to carry over from month to month. Just be sure to keep some pounds and pence in an emergency account in case of a rainy day.
5. Steer Clear of Credit Repair Companies
We’ve all seen the dodgy adverts for companies that promise to repair our credit scores for a small fee, but these companies are far from trustworthy. Many of these businesses will make outlandish claims that they cannot live up to, and others encourage their clients to lie to credit agencies. Improving your credit score may be a somewhat challenging process, but it is well within your grasp to complete this task independently. Bear in mind that credit score agencies are increasing their ability to find a person who is considered providing ‘fraudulent data’, which will undoubtedly hinder your score to disaster.
6. Pay Any Overdrafts or Credit Cards Off As Soon As Possible
Removing any debt will improve your credit score in the long run. Coming up with a payment plan will help dividends. Ensure you include the interest that you and your creditor have agreed on. It would be of most importance to pay off the debt with the highest interest. First, this will mean that you save more money in the long run.
7. Never Miss/Avoid a Bill
Credit agencies have specific criteria to follow too. This allows lenders to feel more confident about offering money to others. One of the most valuable tips to improve or at least avoid a drop in score is never to miss out on any payments. If you have defaulted on a payment, this will stay on your credit file for more than two years and affect your chance of receiving a loan. Even if you have agreed to pay with a creditor, failure to deliver on time will still affect your score. This can be seen on your Credit Score account.
8. Reduce The Amount Of Credit Applications Made
When looking around for the best credit products, you must keep in mind that applying for too many in a short period may negatively affect your score. This may show the credit agency that you are struggling financially or even attempting fraud. There are two types of searches that the creditor makes. They are a soft search and a hard search:
Soft Search – These types of searches are routine, and they may be used to confirm your details when taking out insurance. When this search is completed, it will not affect your credit score. However, it will stay on your profile for 12 months. Soft searches are mainly used to give you an accurate quote on a loan, insurance quote or interest rate. Natwest and Barclaycard are well known for offering customers a ‘soft search’ facility to give them a rough idea of prices. If it determines if you are accepted for credit, the creditors will attempt a hard search.
Hard Search – This search is visible to other creditors and may affect your credit score. You will be notified when a credit check is taking place.
9. Using Too Much Of Your Available Credit
Your credit score will improve if you can successfully increase your credit limit on your card. However, if you are constantly using a significant percentage of this credit, the credit agency will look at this negatively. Your bank has given you a high credit limit, and you only use a small amount of that limit a month will help your credit score significantly.