Our third-year journalism student, Chloe Doolan, sat down with LJMU Money Advisor, Viven Hart to ask all those financial questions on her mind, including what a credit score is, and how to improve it.
Here the Money Advice Team explains...
What is a credit score?
A credit score is number that has been designed to represent your credit risk, or the likelihood you will pay your bills on time and is what will be looked at when you apply for a loan or some type of credit. Creditors and lenders consider your credit scores as one factor when deciding whether to approve you for a new account. Your credit score also impacts the interest rate and other terms on any loan or other credit account for which you qualify.
The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be approved for your loan, a car on finance, or even a mortgage.
How do I improve my score?
Join the electoral role
- This is also one of the easiest ways to improve your score.
Manage a credit card
Credit cards can help improving your credit score, but it can also be dangerous, so make sure you can financially afford it.
Don’t apply for the maximum amount of credit, you can get credit cards with a £300 limit that will still benefit you and that you can make sure you can pay off.
If you purchase items on your credit card, try and pay them back almost immediately to get into the habit and stop you from developing any debt.
Keep track of your credit score
Apps such as Experian and ClearScore help you keep track of your credit score and often give you personalised insights that can help you get a better overall score.
By keeping track of your score, you are able to actively help your credit score wherever is possible and improve any of the areas that are damaging your score.
Name on your bills
From an early age, try and get bills in your name. This can be either your phone bill or even streaming services such as Spotify and Disney+
If you have bills in your name, you need to make sure you’re paying them on time every month, otherwise this could seriously affect your credit score. Lenders will often use your credit score to see if you are reliable when it comes to paying your bills.
Space out applications
Applying for too many things on credit at at once can actually damage your score.
Space out any of these applications to show this show lenders that you are being responsible with your finances to potential lenders.
For further support or advice on your finances contact the Money Advice Team, they offer drop-in sessions, 1-to-1 support and classes on managing your finances.
You can also find out about the discounts, help, advice and support on offer from LJMU and JMSU on our Cost of Living hub.