Credit blacklists do not exist

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Credit blacklists do not exist

Credit of any sort - from bank loans to mortgages and credit cards - has never been handed out freely. You have to show lenders that you are in control of your finances and are likely to make repayments on time and in full. If you do, you have a much better chance of getting the deals you need.

If you are among the people who have been refused credit recently or if you are thinking of applying for credit soon, don't panic - take action instead.

A good place to start is your credit report, which is essentially an overview of your personal finances. There's information that confirms your identity - such as electoral roll details - information about previous credit applications you've made, and there's financial information, such as a list of your credit accounts and repayments.

Lenders check it when they decide whether to make you an offer and what terms - such as interest rates - to set. It's crucial that your credit report is up to date and accurately reflects your circumstances, because a better credit history makes you more likely to get a better deal.

Some top tips:

  1. Use some credit on a regular basis, but never take on more than you can afford.
  2. Stay within the agreed credit limits and always make your repayments on time, paying more than the minimum off your credit cards each month if you can.
  3. Space out your credit applications and avoid making several applications close together.
  4. Make sure you register to vote at your current address.
  5. Get into the habit of reviewing your credit report on a regular basis - make sure everything is accurate and up to date and query anything that isn't.
  6. Review financial links to other people and ask for any outdated links (e.g. to an ex-partner) to be broken.
  7. Explain any missed payments by adding a "notice of correction" (up to 200 words).
  8. Review your credit utilisation rates (i.e. your balances versus your credit limits) and aim to keep them below 30 per cent.
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