When applying for a mortgage or another credit product, it’s important to think very carefully about your credit behavior in the previous six months.
"Think of your credit report as your financial CV," says James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian. "You wouldn’t apply for a job by unearthing an old copy of your CV and sending it off without updating and improving it." The same should apply to your credit history, he believes.
Every check of your credit history will leave a footprint on your record, but only when you apply for credit will this affect your credit score. This means it’s a good idea to check your credit report yourself before you ask a lender to check your eligibility for a product.
This gives you an opportunity to make sure information is accurate and up–to–date before you apply. If you need to, you can improve your rating by filling in any gaps or changing how you’re managing existing credit lines.
"What any new lender is looking for is evidence that you can be relied upon to make payments on time, according to your agreement, and that you’re in a good financial position right now," Jones explains.
You can find out your credit rating at credit reference agencies like Experian, Equifax or get it for free, for life using Noddle from Callcredit.