Managing your credit score effectively and understanding how to keep your score healthy is essential if you are looking to borrow money (e.g. get a mortgage), get a new credit card, or even get a mobile phone contract. Having a poor credit score can be a real worry and have a big impact on your life. At Aqua, we know there’s much more to you than your credit score. No matter what your situation we’re here to help you on your journey towards better credit.
In this guide, we’ll show you what counts as a healthy score and how you can keep yours.
Before delving deeper into some of the ways you can keep your credit score healthy, let’s cover off some of the basics.
What is a good credit score?
If you want to know how to keep your score healthy, then you need to know what a healthy score looks like. Your credit score will usually fit into one of four bands:
If your score falls within this band you are likely to have the most difficulty getting access to credit with providers turning you down.
A score within this band will likely result in you frequently being rejected when applying for credit.
A score within this band is likely to result in you often being accepted for credit and could be in a good position to start selecting between different credit providers.
Within this rating, you are most likely going to be accepted when applying for credit and are in a good place to take advantage of the widest selection of deals in the market.
It is important to remember that a high credit score doesn’t guarantee that you will get approval, each lender’s decision-making process isn’t just based on score.
Using Credit Karma as an example, the maximum credit score is 710 so if you are close to that you know that you fit into the Excellent category.
Visit Credit Karma for more information on the different credit bands and what they could mean for you.
How to maintain your credit score
So now that you know what a good credit score looks like, let’s look at some of the ways you can maintain and improve a healthy score.
Paying your bills on time
While it might seem like an obvious one, paying all your bills on time is a useful way of showing lenders that you can manage your money well. This will help keep your score on track and help other lenders to know that you’re in control and will pay back any money you borrow. With that in mind...
Set up direct debit payments where you can
An easy way to make sure all your bills go out of your account on time is to set up direct debit payments so that your bills are being paid consistently every month. Setting up direct debits for your bills will mean you don’t have to worry about remembering to sort out payments each month and reduce the chances of missing a payment, which can affect your credit score.
Assess any existing debt
It can be more difficult to gain access to credit if you have existing debt so it’s important to always keep assessing what you have and keep to your payments. One idea is to have everything written down into a plan, so you know exactly how much you have left to pay and when each payment is coming out of your account.
Keep checking your credit report
It may sound simple but keeping an eye on your credit report is one of the best ways to make sure your score stays healthy. Something simple like an incorrect detail can have an impact on your overall credit score, so checking the details on your credit file now and again for mistakes is essential. If you spot something that doesn’t look right, report it immediately and get it fixed.
Keep an eye out for fraud
Checking your credit report regularly is also a great way to guard against fraud and identity theft. If you see credit enquiries or information about accounts that you haven’t tried to open, get in touch with the bank or lender and let them know and report it to ActionFraud – the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.
Get a credit card
Using a credit card regularly and making all your payments on time is a great way to maintain and build credit, providing you can pay it off on time and in full each month. Having a credit card and regularly paying it off essentially proves you’re creditworthy and can help increase your credit score over time.
How can an Aqua card help?
We understand that there are many reasons why your credit score might not be where you want it to be and we want to help. To us, you’re much more than your credit score so if you apply for an Aqua card, we’ll do everything we can to say “yes” and help you on your journey to better credit.
A credit card is a great way to help get your finances back on track and improve your credit score by making your payments on time and sticking to your credit limit. Which Aqua card is best for you?
We can help you start your journey to building a better credit score when you manage your account well. Our most popular credit card, the Aqua Classic could help improve your credit history. We continuously monitor your account and could even offer to increase your credit limit after four months of good credit behaviour.
- Starting credit limit: £250-£1,200
- No annual fees
Reduce your rate over three years if you stay within your credit limit and pay on time. Want a longer-term solution? Aqua Advance reduces your interest rate over time. Keep making your payments on time and stay within your credit limits, we'll drop your interest rate every year for three years. All while you build a better credit score!
- Starting credit limit: £250-£1,200
- No foreign exchange fees for using your card abroad