Ensuring that you have the best-possible credit rating is an easy way to cut the cost of repaying financial services products like loans or credit cards.
A credit-rate clean-up will also boost your chances of being approved for future applications, since in the current climate, banks and building societies are reported to be turning away wannabe-borrowers with all but sparkling credit scores.
Credit ratings detail how reliable you are as a borrower by listing your repayment history on things like loans, mobile bills or mortgages. But there are some easy ways to boost your rating.
First, check your credit report. Experian and Equifax (equifax.co.uk) will both allow you to do so for free, if you sign up for a trial, but remember to cancel it afterwards, otherwise you will be charged. Make sure your report is accurate - if not, contact the credit report agency to correct any mistakes - note that you might need proof from your provider. Also check for products that aren’t yours in case you’ve been a victim of identity fraud.
You can add notes to your report online explaining any reasons for delayed payments, like prolonged illness. Other ways to improve your rating include paying bills on time, closing any unused bank accounts, having a landline telephone and going on the electoral roll.