What is our credit profile and why is it important?
We live in a digital world and with the onset of the Coronavirus lockdown, our digital footprints are bigger than ever as we access more and more products and services online from home.
Our digital identities and the potential for our lives to be monitored, analysed and manipulated are key concerns for those of us that value our privacy – but like with life in general, knowledge is power. If we can understand how our data trails are being used by others, we can take back control
Our credit profile is one of the most important aspects of how the data generated about our previous behaviour determines what opportunities and options we have in the future.
Understanding how our decisions and actions affect it can be the difference between a “yes” and a “no” next time we apply for a loan.
5 top tips on how to maximise your credit score:
Register to vote – not appearing on the electoral role not only stops you from exercising your democratic rights; it can sometimes limit your credit profile too. So get registered, use your vote and improve your credit profile too!
Limit your searches – lots of credit applications in a short space of time can indicate someone who is desperate for credit; better to limit searches where possible to “soft” searches where no record is left on your file. This is usually where you get a quote from a lender, before you’ve formally applied.
Avoid (unplanned) missed payments – every now and again we all face a financial squeeze and the current pandemic crisis has created financial challenges for many. If and when you might struggle to make a payment, the key advice is to contact your lender and see how this can be managed with minimum impact on your credit profile. Never bury your head in the sand!
Pay your bills – it’s not just non-payment of credit and loan accounts that has an impact on your credit profile; missing various bill payments like your telephone or utility bills will also have an impact. And where you are having difficulties, the advice on approaching your provider to seek their support still applies.
Be clever with credit – A final key piece of advice is to “revolve” and use credit as often as you can while meeting your repayments. If you are fortunate enough to have an affordable credit card, for example, use it for day to day spending – as long as you can repay it in full each month, you will pay no interest but every successful repayment will boost your profile.