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Is Your Credit Rating In Danger?

Aug 17, 2007
People seldom know why they have been turned down for credit. In fact, it often comes as a shock. Some people don't find out till they are standing in a shop with a store card application in their hands. But did you know that your lifestyle could seriously affect your credit rating? Here are three ways in which you could damage your credit rating.

1. Change Your Bank

Lenders like to see that borrowers have been with the same bank for a while. It shows continuity and responsibility, both of which are good for credit reports. Borrowers who have had a long history with the bank and have had different banking products are popular with lenders. So if you've had a credit card, cheque account, loan or authorised overdraft and have paid them all perfectly, this is a good sign for lenders.

Of course, there's always a tempting new offer from a different bank. Maybe you fancy a larger overdraft, a financial incentive or just a change. Even if you get a new bank account, it's worth keeping the old one to show some banking history.

2. Avoid Responsibility

Lenders assess responsibility in several ways. First of all, it is important to be on the electoral roll. This makes it easy for lenders to track your address. If you have been at the same address for more than three years, this is also good.

Even better for borrowers is owning their own home. This is one of the best indicators of financial responsibility as far as lenders are concerned. People who have been approved for a mortgage must be responsible. People who rent their homes or who live with parents score less well for credit reports.

It also helps a bit if you are relatively mature. This is one time when getting older is a benefit. You should also have a telephone at home. This proves that you have been approved for credit and have paid your bills on time (provided it's working, of course).

3. Mismanage Your Credit

One of the best ways to be approved for credit is to show that you have had credit and managed it well. It pays to apply for a credit card, store card or loan and to make the necessary repayments on time and in full.

If, on the other hand, you make late payments, miss payments or don't pay at all, your credit report will look rather different. Arrears, defaults and County Court Judgements (CCJs) do not look good when you're applying for credit. They tell lenders that you have mismanaged credit in the past. This makes you a poor risk.

Of course, even people with poor credit reports can get credit. Payday loans and homeowner loans cater for these people. But the interest rates that are offered to people with a poor credit history are much less attractive than those offered to people with five star rating. However, if people manage this type of credit well, they may be able to improve their credit rating.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Guide, offering views on credit cards in the UK, visit them today for some great 0% balance transfer offers and start clearing credit card debt today.
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