There are a number of things that can affect your credit score. These include:
- Applying for credit. Every application you make affects your score because lenders perform ‘hard search’ credit checks and these leave footprints on your credit report. Some lenders, like Satsuma, offer ‘soft search’ credit checks that give you an idea of whether you’ll be accepted without leaving a footprint.
- How long you’ve lived at your current address and whether you’re on the electoral roll.
- How old your accounts are. An old account in good standing can signal stability and trustworthiness.
- Missing payments or accounts in default. These can seriously affect your credit score.
- Credit utilisation. This is the amount of credit you’re using compared to how much you could potentially have. Keeping your balances low will help your credit score.
- CCJs and bankruptcies. A lender obviously doesn't want to see these. CCJs will stay on your report for six years.
- Limited credit history. Having little or no borrowing history can actually work against you. Lenders like to see that you’ve had credit in the past and paid it back consistently.
- Errors on your credit report. You should always check your credit report carefully and let the credit reference agencies know as soon as you spot any mistakes.
It’s worth noting that your salary, Council Tax history and student loans don’t affect your credit score.