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If you’re wondering how to improve credit score and increase your chances of getting approved for loans like a mortgage or other credit products, the answer is easier than you think.
Whether it’s due to unexpected life circumstances, an accident, injury, or illness, or a global pandemic, most people have experienced financial stress at one point or another. The good news is there are ways you can protect yourself and even build your credit score during these difficult times.
To a bank, your credit score reflects the level of risk you represent as a borrower. It encapsulates your credit application and debt history, and your positive and negative repayment behaviours. The higher your credit rating, the better you look to lenders like the bank or financial institution you’re seeking to borrow from – and the more likely you are to be approved.
At MoneyMe, we’ve got a range of financial tools and articles to help you better understand things like what is a credit score, does afterpay affect credit score, what is a good credit score in Australia, does ZipPay affect credit score, and more.
It’s a common misconception that banks or other financial institutions are the only ones able to tell you ‘what is my credit score’, that a credit score check costs money, or that you can only find out your credit health by making an application for a loan or other credit product.
A key part of checking your credit score is ensuring there aren’t any inaccuracies on your record that could be bringing your score down unfairly. This might look like loans or credit cards that you haven’t applied for – and is typically a sign that someone has attempted to use your identity to illegally obtain credit. In such instances, you’ll need to contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority to notify them of identity theft and to raise a dispute with your credit provider. Getting these applications – and, in some instances, debts – removed from your record is an important start on how to improve credit score.
If your credit report is clean of any fraudulent activity, it’s time to start looking at the lines of credit you currently have open – such as personal loans, a mortgage, credit cards, payday loans, buy now, pay later accounts – and your repayment habits.
Here are the top five things you can do to improve your credit score:
With recent changes to consumer credit reporting laws, financial institutions and other providers are now only presented with the past two years of your credit history – instead of five. Thanks to what’s called Comprehensive Credit Reporting, they’re also privy to what are called credit behaviours, a.k.a. your repayment patterns. Whereas previously only missed payments or a default were recorded on your account, these days your positive behaviours are also reflected – meaning all those consistent, timely bill repayments are helping you to build your credit score.
If you run into trouble and think you can’t pay a bill, it’s important to reach out to your utility or credit provider so you can put a payment plan or financial hardship arrangement in place before the due date. While under such an agreement, the missed payments won’t negatively impact your credit. It also demonstrates you are conscious and proactive with your finances and are working to improve your situation.
Your credit report shows every application for credit you’ve ever made – as well as any open accounts or debts. If you’ve got credit cards or other instant access credit available, reducing the number of open accounts is a good way to start working towards a good credit rating. If you have a credit card, lowering your credit limit can help reduce the perceived level of risk in lending to you. Similarly, reducing your use of multiple buy now, pay later services can also help fix my credit score.
While it might be tempting to try your luck across the board, it’s important not to shop around and apply for multiple credit products within a short amount of time. This is because every time you make an application for a line of credit, it’s recorded on your credit file. Multiple loan or credit card applications within a short period can significantly damage your credit score.
Far from being just for those with an overflowing stock portfolio, a conversation with a financial counsellor can help you get a much clearer picture of your finances. Their industry insight and experience can help you make your money work smarter towards rebuilding your credit score and your other financial goals.
Keeping an eye on your credit score – and how things appear on your credit report – has never been easier thanks to MoneyMe. You can learn more about your credit history and how to improve credit score through MoneyMe.
How to Improve Credit Score
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p.a. to 19.95 %
p.a. to 21.32 %
$295 for loans between $2,100 and $5,000
$395 for loans between $5,001 and $15,000
$495 for loans between $15,001 and $50,000
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*This comparison rate is based on an unsecured personal loan of $30,000 for a term of 5 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. A $495 establishment fee and $10 monthly fee applies.