How to Improve Your Credit Score

If you’ve had a recent credit application turned down, don’t panic. Here’s what you need to do to improve your credit score: 

  1. Don’t immediately apply for another credit account, or accounts, as this will have a detrimental impact and decrease your credit score.
  2. Ensure that you are on the Electoral Roll of your current address, this is one of the most important steps! Just by being registered it could add 300 points to your credit score.
  3. Check your details in the ‘my account’ section of your credit agencies membership site. If you have not given them a full 6 years of address history, and all the other names you have been known by in the last 6 years. You won’t be seeing an accurate view of your credit report and score.
  4. If you’ve added new history to your account, check back in 24 hours to see if your report has updated.
  5. In the meantime, contact the bank or financial institution involved and ask why they turned your application down. This normally needs to be done in writing and then they will have 7 working days from receipt of your letter to reply.
  6. Call your selected credit agency as they may be able to help you to find out more about what might be affecting your ability to get credit.
  7. Check the information on your credit report is up to date and accurate. Particularly your linked addresses and financial associations. This can be found in the ‘credit report and tools’ page. If we are missing information then your Credit Report and Score won’t be an accurate reflection of how banks and financial institutions see you.

Please remember, even people with the top Credit Score of 999 can be turned down for credit, the score is only a guide, and is not a guarantee that your credit applications will be successful.

There is no such thing as a credit blacklist

Credit blacklists do not exist. There is no such list which would prevent anyone or any household from getting credit. A bank or financial institution uses your credit report and the information you give them in your application form to make a decision about whether or not to lend you credit.

Your credit report is made up of information gained from public records as well as banks and financial institutions. You can see all of this information in the credit report section of your membership site.

Some lenders will say ‘yes’ to a credit application when others would say ‘no’. Nobody tells a bank or financial institution whether or not to lend to a person, and there is no list of people who shouldn’t be lent money or must be refused a credit card.

A credit application from someone whose credit report shows they have, or have had, arrears on credit accounts, defaults, or court judgments against them. Will negatively affect the decision. Based on this information the bank or financial institution may or may not approve your application.

So, why am I getting declined for credit?

When you apply to a bank or financial institution for credit, their decision is based on a wide range of things that are in your credit report and in the application form you filled out. Essentially, they want to feel confident that they can easily identify you, that you are seen to be responsible with your finances. Also that you will reliably pay them back according to the agreement.

It’s worth taking a good look at your credit report to see what is affecting your Credit Score. As this can give you an idea how you can improve your chances of acceptance.

Also, it’s worth doing some research before applying for credit. If you have applied for the credit card with the lowest current rate on the market, it’s likely that they will only accept the best applications that they get. So make sure you’re applying for credit that you’re more likely to be accepted for.

Remember, repeatedly applying for credit decreases your Credit Score and could further affect your ability to get the credit you want or need.

Be aware it’s possible to have a Credit Score of 999 and still get an application for credit declined.

Every bank and financial institution uses their own credit scoring system. They do not use the Credit Score, so they may score you differently and that might be why you were declined.

999 is the highest score that you can get from any of the mainstream Credit Agencies. You should be aware that the credit score they give you is only a guideline, to give you an idea as to how you are doing financially. They work very closely with the banks and financial institutions in the UK. Then they create your Credit Score based on their detailed knowledge of how they create their own credit scores. To give you a score which you can use as a benchmark.

Many of the banks and financial institutions in the UK even have different scoring systems for different products. So while they may accept you for one credit application, they may decline you for another. If you’re uncertain about what to do next, here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Remember that each time you apply for credit, your credit report will be searched. In turn this will decrease your Credit Score (which is an indication of your score with each bank and financial institution), so try not to make too many credit applications in a short space of time.
  2. Contact the bank or financial institution that you applied to who declined you,usually done in writing, they may be able to tell you why.
  3. Contact your Credit Agency to find out what you may be able to improve on your Credit Report to try to ensure you are not declined on your next application.


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