Martin Lewis explains credit score and the key way to fix and improve yours

Martin Lewis offers advice on credit scores

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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, was back on the small screen discussing ways Britons can improve their credit, breaking down the matter to help people further. A credit score is a tool which is used by lenders to help them determine whether a person can qualify for a credit card, loan or mortgage. As a result, many people will want to improve their credit score to ensure there are no barriers in their way for their finances. 

Martin Lewis warned people can be their “own worst enemy” when it comes to money – but how can people improve their situation?

The Money Saving Expert analysed the matter when visiting a secondary school teaching financial education – but his tips are translatable to all, regardless of their life stage.

He said: “There are two reasons that mean a person will not get any credit. 

“The first is that a person has a history of not paying back, but the second is they don’t know who you are.

“In this sense, a credit card can be useful. If you spend on one each month and then pay it off in full, with no interest, it is one way of building your credit score.

“Because it is like you are borrowing money each month, but you are always paying it back.

“The bank know you have a record of paying it back and that helps with your credit history.”

However, Martin also highlighted that the matter of always making repayments is not the only factor banks will consider when it comes to loan-based products.

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Providers will also look at whether a person actually has the money to pay back the loan – and this is where salary may come into play.

He said: “If a bank is lending you £10,000, it’s no longer just about whether you’ve borrowed well in the past.

“Instead, it’s also about whether a person actually has the £10,000 to give it back in the future. That’s how they decide whether they are going to lend to you.”

In the past, Martin has highlighted it is particularly important that Britons have an understanding of their credit score, regardless of their perceived financial situation.

This is especially the case due to the impacts of COVID-19 which have often wreaked havoc with people’s finances.

While a poor credit history can count negatively against a person, so too can having little credit history at all – as it makes outcomes of repayment less certain.

Therefore, he encourages people to build some level of credit, while ensuring repayments are within their control on a regular basis. 

A credit score can impact whether a person can secure a mortgage, a credit card, a loan, insurance and a mobile phone contract.

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It can also impact the rate a person pays, and so it is important to keep on top of the matter as much as possible.

Doing so could avoid spending unnecessary money or being rejected from an important loan. 

Martin also recommends checking a credit report annually or before any major application takes place to avoid being disappointed.

Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip

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