The High Cost Of A Poor Credit Rating
Is your credit rating good or poor? If you've recently been turned down for a credit card, store card or loan, it could be because you've paid off everything so perfectly that you have no credit history. But it's more likely to be because your credit rating is poor. And this means it could be difficult to get credit at a price you find attractive.
What Makes A Poor Credit Rating?
Applications for credit are scored using criteria on the application form. For example, home owners score higher than renters and it's useful to be on the electoral roll. People tend to get a poor credit rating if:
- They have defaulted on payments in the past;
- They have been made bankrupt;
- They have paid bills late (arrears);
- They have had County Court Judgements (CCJs) against them
Bankruptcies and CCJs stay on a credit file for six years, and it is hardest to get credit if these are the problem.
Banks, credit card companies and store card issuers also look at people's credit report. This is a file maintained by a credit reference agency detailing people's applications and approvals for credit, borrowings, payment record and electoral roll entry. Equifax and Experian are two of the biggest and best known credit reference agencies and are used by most of the lenders. Over time, a credit report can become quite large, with details of every payment made or missed for every credit card and loan.
How Will A Poor Credit Rating Affect You?
A poor credit rating can mean that a person is turned down for credit. At the very least, it makes it difficult to get a loan, credit card, store card or mortgage. Even if people manage to get these products, they rarely benefit from the same low rates and incentive offers as other credit card applicants. Instead, they may have to pay a higher interest rate, either permanently, or until they show a good record of payments on the credit card or loan.
To give an example, a person with an excellent credit rating could borrow money at an interest rate of under 6% (depending on the loan amount and the particular deal). A person with a poor credit rating might have an interest rate of well over 25%.
Loan Options For People With Poor Credit Ratings
People with poor credit ratings have the option of having a secured loan. This means that if they default their house can be seized to ensure that the lender is paid. For credit cards they could have a card with a high interest rate. There is also the option of a prepaid credit card. This is similar to a prepaid mobile phone card. The card holder tops the card up with money and can spend that amount in places where a credit card is needed.
How To Improve Your Credit Rating
Improving your credit rating can be simple. Make sure you are listed on the electoral roll and pay your bills on time. Finally, get a copy of your credit file from Experian or Equifax to make sure the details are correct. That way you won't pay the price for someone else's bad credit history.
About the Author: Joseph Kenny writes for the Loans Store who can offer cheap loans to UK residents and secured loans if you have a poor credit history.
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