Tackling your debts

Is your bad credit history having an impact on your life?

Posted 07 May 2015

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If your bad credit score is starting to impact the rest of your life, our guide could help.

If you’re struggling to make debt repayments or have done in the past, it’s not just your finances that take a hit, but your credit history. What’s on your credit record can have an impact on how you live your everyday life … if you can relate to this, then you’re not alone.


Research* conducted on our behalf has found that 6 million Brits are being excluded from day-to-day life because of their poor credit history. Of those, 3 million have been blocked from mobile phone contracts, while 2 million have been turned down for a rental agreement and 1.7 million from a mortgage. So, is there anything you can do about it? Read on to find out more.

How do I find out details of my credit report?

You can access your credit report through either of the three leading credit agencies, Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. Once you’re in your credit report you should be able to see any missed payments that you’ve had in the past, or, if you’ve had more serious problems that have led to a CCJ (County Court Judgement), then these should be logged too.


If there’s anything that doesn’t quite add up, such as a payment that you can distinctly remember paying, then query this with the company. You should be able to find their contact information on your credit report and could ask them to correct or update any of the information on there, along with evidence that you made the payment.

How do I improve my rating?

If you’re currently dealing with problem debt, then you won’t be able to dramatically improve your credit rating overnight, but there are a few things that you can do to help. Make sure that you’re on the electoral roll as credit agencies will use this information to confirm your identity. If you’re not, you can register to vote here.


Another simple thing that you can do is to make sure that your credit report lists your current address and your current name (for example, if you’ve recently got married) as these can also affect your rating.


If you’re struggling with your debt repayments, it’s not a good idea to apply for any more credit, so stop. Each time you apply for credit it’s noted on your report … whether you’re accepted or rejected … so if there are a lot of applications on there, it could look like you’re desperate for cash.

Seek help

If your credit rating has really taken a hit … perhaps because you’ve missed a few repayments in recent weeks or months, then the best way to improve it is to tackle the root of the problem … the debts themselves. If you don’t think you’ll be able to find your way out of your debt without help, then seek the advice of an expert.


One of our debt advisors will be able to listen to your situation and talk you through the different debt solutions available (of which fees are payable). Taking this first step towards seeking help, could be just what you need to finally steer your finances away from the danger zone.


*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 11th February and 23rd February 2015, of whom 635 were in Scotland. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.

by Shelley Bowers

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.