I have had a couple of hiccups along the way with a missed payment here, or a project overrun there that caused my cards to be “too full”.
But the point in this article is to point out that, it is relatively easy to get a score over 800 (Experian) or even higher with just a few of the right tools.
Some of the tools I have used include:
The Credit Builder from Cash Plus
This tool is a ~£80 loan for 12 months. It shows as a loan and you pay it back every month - building your credit score. Great if you have nothing at all, or a bad score. It costs just £5.95 per month and after about 4 months I saw an improvement in my overall score.
I just started using it for an associate, and it is an even better product, as it is actually free to use, with a small caveat. You have to sign up for a new bank account at the end of the 12 months (or shorter).
The way it works is you set a savings goal, say £240. Then you pay by direct debit every month into the account. They report this as a loan repayment to the credit reporting agencies. It really is genius. I expect the higher you set your savings goal, the more useful this is as a tool.
At the end of the 12 months, your loan is marked as fully settled, and you suddenly have a fully paid up loan on your credit history!
Great idea. Even paying £30 for the privilege is worth it in my opinion.
At the start, I got a small personal loan of just £1,500 from HSBC (or any bank) and made the set monthly repayments for 6 months, before completely paying it off. This added another “perfect” score, fully repaid loan on my record. The high interest rate of the loan was only a minor cost in building my score. I was then getting the great offers that are advertised, and had a relatively high score, way above average.
If you are not monitoring your score, then start. It is one of the most important data points and will determine the cost of many things in your life.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
2: Build your score with the above tools.
3: Save money on everything, and fly through applications for everything from mobile phones to cars to home loans.