Improve Your Credit Rating

Having good or bad credit can be the difference between being able to purchase products online and being declined for a credit card. The good news is that a few easy steps can help build or transform a poor credit rating.

What if I have a bad credit rating?

If you have a bad credit history you could be denied a credit card and other credit products, which limits your purchasing ability online and more. So it pays to make a positive attempt to improve your credit rating if your credit score is less than first-rate. Having access to credit means being able to make online bookings, such as hotel, plane or car rental reservations, even if you plan to later pay the balance in cash. Those who have proven that they can repay debt are given more choice by lenders when it comes to credit as a reward for their financial reliability.

How credit cards could help you rebuild your credit rating

Used responsibly, a credit card can be a convenient way to help you rebuild a bad credit rating. Finding a credit card when you have bad credit can prove tricky, but at aqua we believe that everyone deserves a fair chance to get their financial health back on track. That's why we responsibly accept more applications from people with all kinds of financial histories than other credit providers.

With the right tools and careful planning, you could have your credit rating well on the road to recovery so that you can start planning for your future. aqua provides you with the support you need to help you stay on track with your payments. As long as you borrow sensibly, a credit card can help you improve your credit rating.

Using a credit card to rebuild your credit rating

There are a few simple ways that a credit card can help you to rebuild a bad credit score. First off, be sure to keep up with your monthly repayments and stay within your credit limit. We know how easy it is to miss a date here or there, so we have a great range of services available to help you manage your money better. These include an online account and app, a UK helpline and text reminders to help you keep up with your payments – or better yet, a Direct Debit facility which you can set to pay anything from the minimum payment to full balance each month.

Whatever you decide, set a budget and monitor it regularly so that you always know exactly where your money is going. As well as regular payments, such as rent, mortgage or household bills, be sure to factor in smaller amounts such as food, clothes and birthdays. These are the little things that people often forget about, but they do always add up eventually. Take a look at this Budget Planner from the Money Advice Service for some more great tips tailored to you.

It's always a good idea to set a little aside each month for emergency purchases, such as appliance repairs or a visit to the dentist. That way you'll be able to stay on track your credit card payments even in the event of a minor financial setback.

Three steps to improving your credit score

Credit card benefits

Credit cards can offer more legal protection than debit cards or cash payments against problems such as fraudulent purchases, companies going bust or an item getting lost in the post. This security net is not always offered by other payment options, so it's a good idea to use a credit card for expensive purchases as the full price of the product or service is more likely to be protected.

The best credit cards for bad credit offer flexible payment options and manageable monthly payments to help you stay on top of your finances. You'll never pay any late payment fees as long as you make monthly repayments on time, and if you pay off the balance in full and on time, you will avoid interest charges too. If you do miss a payment, or are worried that you may not make one on time, be sure to call our helpline as soon as possible to discuss your options. Being open and upfront about your situation may help limit any damage to your credit score.

Many people use credit cards as a useful first step towards improving a bad credit rating. As your rating improves, the amount of money you can borrow may increase and the amount of interest you pay could go down. A healthy credit rating will also help your chances of getting a mortgage or a loan, as well as opening up a whole new selection of financial options.

Credit card benefits include

How to get a credit card with bad credit

You can apply for an aqua credit card if you're a UK resident aged 18 years or older, even if you've had bad credit history. We then take a closer look at your financial history and current situation, and as a responsible lender, we will only recommend a card and card limit that we think you can afford.

All you need to apply for an aqua credit card is a permanent UK address and a UK bank or building society account. As long as you haven't been registered as bankrupt or have bankruptcy proceedings against you, haven't received a county court judgement in the last 12 months and don't have an aqua, marbles or opus credit card already, you're good to go.

Everyone’s circumstances are unique, so we always thoroughly check the information you send us to decide whether a credit card is a suitable solution for you.

Top tips for improving the chances of getting a credit card

Our best credit cards for bad credit

Our aqua classic card is a quick and easy way of improving a bad credit score. As long as you stay within your credit limit and make your monthly payments on time, this credit card is one of the simplest ways to improve a bad credit rating. Representative 35.9% APR variable on the aqua classic card.

Just like our other cards, the aqua reward helps you to rebuild your credit rating but also rewards you with up to 0.5% cashback (up to £100 per annum) on your purchases, providing that you stay within your credit limit, and make monthly repayments on time. Representative 34.9% APR variable on the aqua reward card.

If you're looking for a more long-term plan, aqua advance gets you all the advantages of a classic card, but with added benefits too. If you continue making your monthly payments on time you could reduce your APR rate after three years. Representative 34.9% APR variable on the aqua advance card.