What Are 5 Ways To Build Your Credit Score?

Home What Are 5 Ways To Build Your Credit Score?
Sunny Avenue
Credit Scoring Sunny Avenue
31 May 2024

Your credit score holds incredible power in your financial life. It's a number that can make a big difference in your ability to get loans, mortgages, and credit cards. But it's not just about borrowing – it's also a reflection of how well you handle money you've borrowed before.

In this insight, we'll break down why having a good credit score really matters. From getting approved for loans on better terms to having an impact on where you live and work, your credit score is like a financial fingerprint that can shape your future.

Key Takeaways

  • Your credit score holds a lot of sway, affecting loans, housing, and job opportunities. It reflects how well you handle money you've borrowed before.
  • Pay bills on time, handle credit wisely, get on the electoral roll, review your report, and think about a credit-building credit card if needed.
  • Your credit score depends on factors like payment history, credit use, how long you've had credit, the types of credit you have, and recent credit applications.
  • Don't close old credit accounts; using cash doesn't help; checking your own score won't hurt; moving impacts history, but you can adapt.

What Are 5 Ways To Build Your Credit Score?

1) Pay your bills on time

Paying your bills on time is perhaps the most crucial step in building and maintaining a good credit score. Late or missed payments can have a significant negative impact on your creditworthiness. To ensure you never miss a payment, consider setting up automatic payments or reminders. This way, you can stay on top of your financial obligations and avoid unnecessary penalties or damage to your credit score.

late payments

2) Use credit responsibly

Using credit responsibly is another key factor in building a strong credit score. It's important to demonstrate that you can borrow money and repay it responsibly. Here are a few tips to help you use credit wisely:

  • Keep your credit utilisation low

Aim to use only a small percentage of your available credit. This shows lenders that you are not reliant on credit and can manage your finances responsibly. Consider paying off your credit card balances in full each month to keep your utilization low.

  • Avoid maxing out your credit cards

Maxing out your credit cards can signal financial instability and negatively impact your credit score. Instead, try to keep your credit card balances well below the credit limit.

  • Don't open unnecessary credit accounts

While having a diverse mix of credit accounts is beneficial, avoid opening too many accounts within a short period. Each new credit application creates a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your score.

3) Register on the electoral roll

Registering on the electoral roll can positively impact your credit score. It provides proof of your address and stability, making you appear more reliable to lenders. Make sure you are registered at your current address and update your details whenever you move.

You can register on the electoral roll at the Gov.UK website. It's as simple as completing an online form confirming your address,

Register to vote 

register on the electoral role

Find out: Am I On The Electoral Register?

4) Regularly check your credit report

It's crucial to regularly check your credit report for errors or fraudulent activity that could negatively impact your credit score. You can request a free credit report from each of the credit reference agencies in the UK: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Review your report for inaccuracies, such as incorrect personal information or accounts you don't recognize. If you find any errors, contact the relevant credit agency to have them corrected.


★★★★★ 4.8

Regularly checking your credit report can help identify any fraudulent credit applications in your name. With as little as your name, address and date of birth, someone could take out a credit card in your name and the first time you will find it is when you check your credit report.
You can view your credit report with CheckMyFile. CheckMyFile offer a 30-day free trial to view your report. If you just need a quick look to make sure all is in order, checkmyfile is a great (free) way to do it. You can cancel your trial at anytime during the trial period to avoid fees.

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credit fraud infographic

5) Consider a credit-building credit card

If you're struggling to build credit or have a limited credit history, a credit-building credit card can be a valuable tool. These cards are designed for individuals with low credit scores or no credit history. By using a credit-building card responsibly and making regular, timely payments, you can demonstrate your creditworthiness and gradually improve your credit score.

Understanding the factors that affect your credit score

Before we dive into the strategies for building your credit score, it's important to understand the factors that influence it. In the UK, credit scoring agencies, such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, use various criteria to calculate your credit score. Here are the key factors they consider:

Payment history

This is one of the most critical factors in determining your credit score. Lenders want to see that you consistently make payments on time. Late or missed payments can have a significant negative impact on your credit score.

Credit utilisation

This refers to the amount of credit you are currently using compared to your available credit. Keeping your credit utilization low (typically below 30%) demonstrates responsible borrowing behavior and positively impacts your credit score.

Length of credit history

The length of time you've had credit accounts is also taken into account. A longer credit history can be beneficial, as it provides more data for lenders to assess your creditworthiness.

Credit mix

Having a diverse mix of credit accounts, such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages, can positively impact your credit score. It shows that you can handle different types of credit responsibly.

Recent credit applications

Each time you apply for credit, it creates a hard inquiry on your credit report. Multiple recent inquiries can temporarily lower your credit score, as it may indicate a higher risk of taking on too much debt.

Now that we understand the factors that affect your credit score, let's explore five actionable steps you can take to build and improve your creditworthiness in the UK.

Common misconceptions about building credit scores

Building a credit score is a process that requires time and responsible financial habits. However, there are several common misconceptions that can hinder your progress. Let's address a few of them:

Closing old credit accounts will improve your credit score

While it may seem logical to close unused credit accounts, doing so can actually harm your credit score. Closing accounts reduces your available credit, which can increase your credit utilization ratio. Instead, consider keeping older accounts open and using them occasionally to maintain a positive credit history.

Only using cash will give you a good credit score

While it's true that using cash can prevent you from accumulating debt, it won't help you build a credit score. Lenders need to see evidence of your ability to manage credit responsibly. Using credit cards and loans responsibly and paying them off on time is crucial for building a credit history.

Checking your credit score will lower it

This is a common misconception. When you check your own credit score, it's considered a soft inquiry and does not affect your score. Only hard inquiries, which occur when you apply for credit, can temporarily impact your credit score.

Moving to a different country erases your credit history

If you move to the UK from another country, your credit history may not automatically transfer. However, some lenders may consider your overseas credit history when assessing your creditworthiness. It's important to establish a credit history in the UK by following the steps we've outlined.

Additional tips for improving your credit score

In addition to the five strategies mentioned earlier, here are a few more tips to help you improve your credit score:

  • Keep your credit accounts active: Inactive accounts may be closed by the lender, potentially reducing your available credit. Use your credit cards occasionally and make timely payments to keep your accounts active.
  • Minimise new credit applications: Multiple credit applications within a short period can raise concerns for lenders. Only apply for credit when necessary and avoid applying for multiple loans or credit cards simultaneously.
  • Communicate with lenders during financial difficulties: If you're facing financial difficulties and struggling to make payments, reach out to your lenders. They may be willing to work with you to establish a repayment plan or offer temporary relief options.
  • Avoid payday loans and high-interest credit: These types of loans often come with exorbitant interest rates and can be detrimental to your financial health. If possible, explore alternatives such as personal loans from reputable lenders or credit unions.

Building and improving your credit score is not an overnight process. It requires patience, persistence, and consistent financial habits. It's important to stay committed to responsible credit management, such as paying your bills on time and using credit wisely.

Remember that your credit score is a reflection of your financial behavior over time. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article and maintaining good financial habits, you can gradually improve your creditworthiness and achieve your financial goals.

Seeking professional help for credit repair

If you're facing significant credit challenges or struggling to improve your credit score on your own, you may consider seeking professional help. Credit repair companies specialize in assisting individuals with credit issues by identifying errors, disputing inaccurate information, and providing guidance on improving creditworthiness.

When choosing a credit repair company, be sure to research and select a reputable organization with a track record of success. Read reviews, check their accreditations, and understand the fees involved before committing to their services. It's important to remember that credit repair companies cannot guarantee specific results or remove accurate information from your credit report.


Building and maintaining a good credit score is essential for achieving your financial goals in the UK. By understanding the factors that affect your credit score and implementing the actionable steps outlined in this article, you can take proactive measures towards improving your creditworthiness.

Remember to pay your bills on time, use credit responsibly, register on the electoral roll, regularly check your credit report, and consider a credit-building credit card if necessary. Avoid common misconceptions about credit scores and be patient and persistent in your efforts.

Monitoring your credit score using available resources and seeking professional help if needed can further support your credit-building journey. With time and responsible financial habits, you can build a strong credit score that opens doors to better financial opportunities and helps you achieve your dreams in the UK.


Stuart is an expert in Property, Money, Banking & Finance, having worked in retail and investment banking for 10+ years before founding Sunny Avenue. Stuart has spent his career studying finance. He holds qualifications in financial studies, mortgage advice & practice, banking operations, dealing & financial markets, derivatives, securities & investments.

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