Improving your credit with 40+,
Take the stress out of money managing…
Improving your credit at 40+ aims to help with improving your credit status, so that next time you’re applying for a loan or bank reference, you don’t have to worry about being turned down. So let’s start with answering a few questions…
Are you on the electoral register?
The electoral register shows who is eligible to vote from each address. Making sure you’re on it is a simple and effective way to improve your credit rating instantly. It also stops any bad credit that previous tenants or owners of your home may have had from affecting your credit rating. Registering is easy, just go to Register To Vote. You need to provide your National Insurance number and date of birth. If you don’t want to do it online, contact your council for a form. Also, put your landline number, instead of just your mobile, on your application as this links your application with your address. It’s a simple way to improve your credit score.
Can you “freeze” credit cards you’re not using?
Check your credit cards, especially the ones that you’re not using. If you have any with a large amount owing then pay them off before applying for a loan. Your credit rating is partially based on HOW you pay your debts, and that carries more weight than NOT HAVING ANY debts. So if you have credit cards, that’s OK, but learn to use them like DEBIT cards. Use them for the small things and pay the cards off at the end of every month instead of minimum payments over many interest laden years. You can also consider actually freezing them. Put them into a container of water and shove it into the freezer and forget about them for a while. An active credit card used correctly is a help rather than a hindrance…
Have you checked your credit file?
Most cases of identity fraud are spotted and prevented but it can take people an average of 10 months to discover the fraud. Check your bank and credit card statements as soon as you get them – that way you’re more likely to spot any identity fraud early on. Shred paper containing personal info and don’t give personal details to cold callers or in emails.
Find out more on these credit reference sites. You can also contact them to order a copy of your credit report, so you can see what it’s really all about.
0330 024 7579
0844 335 0550
Unlike in most cases, shopping around for a loan isn’t a great idea. Too many applications, especially in a short space of time, can have a bad effect on your future score. It’s an annoying situation because if you keep getting rejected, you’re more likely to get rejected again. The solution? Ask for quotes, rather than making actual applications. Then select the loan that appeals to you and just make the one application.
After following our handy tips of course!
Still thinking of borrowing?
Here are a few more questions….
How much will it cost each month?
The monthly cost of a loan will depend on how much the loan is for, how long you agree to repay it over, the agreed interest and any additional charges that may be included. However, you should only take out a loan that you can afford. A simple way to do this is: calculate your monthly outgoings (rent, bills, travel costs, food etc.) then subtract that from your monthly income. Is the remainder enough to cover the loan’s monthly payment?
What are the penalties for late payments?
Most loan companies will issue additional charges if you miss any monthly payments. Make sure that you know in advance what the worst-case scenario could be. Mainly so that you know to avoid it!
What are the additional charges?
Always ask if there are any additional charges so that when you come to confirm your loan, there are no nasty surprises. Also, once you have signed up for the loan, some lenders charge a fee to make extra payments or impose a fee if you pay the loan off early. It is good to know these things sooner rather then later!
What is the total I will repay?
The amount you will pay back over the period of a loan will obviously be more than you initially borrow. Ask what the exact repayable amount will be upfront before you apply so that you have all the information you need to help make your decision.
How long will it take to repay?
The total amount you pay will be greatly influenced by the period of the loan so make sure that the loan term is of a length that you can manage and afford. In brief, the shorter the term, the lower overall repayment but the higher the monthly payment.
You are not alone.
Whether it’s an unexpected bill, loss of income or simply being overstretched, sometimes debt can feel out of control. But don’t worry, you’re not alone, there are plenty of people who can help you. Take a look at the links below and get on the path to sorting everything out.
Here are some of the organisations who can help you manage your debt, with advice, support and practical help. Even better – they’re free.
Offering a web-chat service, as well as face-to-face help, Citizens Advice provides support and advice, including help with budgeting and bankruptcy.
Set up to help those struggling with debt, this organisation offers a four-step solution as well as practical assistance tailored to your needs.
Need help quickly? This charity offers a free session online within 20 minutes, aiming to help you find the right solution.
Offering a free online debt management plan and web chat service, PayPlan provides debt solutions for all.
Whatever your circumstances, we understand that dealing with debt can be stressful for everyone. But remember, the solution is out there and you can get all the help you need.
You are not alone!