The science of scoring - how hard is it?

Understanding what's on your credit file and how lenders score you could boost your credit rating according to credit reference agency Callcredit.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"Many people think the amount you can borrow is linked directly to how much you earn but it's much more complicated than that.

"Each lender is different in how it uses your credit file to work out a score. Understanding the information held about you and how lenders might use it is the first step towards getting the best deals on credit you can."

The Callcredit guide to what's on your credit file:

Lenders use all of the following information to give you a credit score:

  • Electoral Roll information.
  • Payment history for mortgage, credit cards, loans, hire purchase and finance agreements.
  • County Court Judgments.
  • Amount owed and number of credit facilities.
  • The length of your credit history.
  • How many new credit facilities you've applied for.
  • The type of credit used.
  • Salary details from the application form.
How to keep your credit file in good shape:
  • Immediately register on the Electoral Roll when you move house.
  • Pay all bills on time, it's recorded even if you're only a few days late.
  • Keep credit card balances low.
  • Pay off debt rather than moving it around.
  • Only apply for new credit when you need it.
  • Build up your credit history slowly, don't open lots of new accounts rapidly.
  • Check your own credit file to make sure it is correct.

MyCallcredit offers online access to your credit file for a one fee of £7.50 and customers can receive a credit score based on the information provided to lenders for an additional £2.99

Online credit reference agency price comparison
Name SingleCredit report 12 mths subscription Credit score Address
MyCallcredit £7.50 £29.99 or £39.99 with e-alert £2.99 www.mycallcredit.com
CreditExpert N/a 30 day free trial then £49.99 £4.99 www.creditexpert.co.uk