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Nov 16

Although you don’t necessarily need good credit to rent a TV with hiya!, having good credit is still important.

If you’ve found yourself with bad credit, it can often feel like there’s no way out – but it is possible to start to repair your credit, getting yourself back to a point where lenders are less likely to view you as a risk.

Let’s take a look at how you can manage your debts the right way, challenge errors on your credit score, and keep on top of it all.

Do check your credit score regularly!

First of all, you need to know how your credit score is actually doing, so be sure to check it!

Many people will tell you that checking your credit score will actually lower it – but this isn’t exactly true. While it is true that certain credit score inquiries do actually damage your credit score, checking your own doesn’t.

If you’re at all concerned, check the Equifax, Experian and TransUnion statements on the matter. They all say  that they class checking your own score as a ‘soft inquiry’ that doesn’t damage your rating.

The inquiries that do damage it – known as ‘hard inquiries’ are the ones made when you apply for a loan or credit card or mortgage with a new lender for the first time.

So keep checking your score regularly! Every month or two will help you keep track of where you’re at, and you can keep an eye out for any errors to dispute too. More on that later!

Because of the COVID pandemic, the three providers are offering free reports until April 2022 – find out more.

Dispute errors on your credit report

Yep, hard to believe isn’t it – but credit bureaus do make mistakes. If you spot any on your credit report, you can report them and get them fixed. They’re not common, but they do happen!

Examples of errors are:

  • Failure to remove County Court Judgments that were settled in time
  • Reference to things that you didn’t do – if your card was stolen and used for something fraudulent
  • Your credit card transactions that should have built up good credit not being recorded properly
  • Old items that should have been removed – negative items on your credit report should drop off after seven years

Usually, the first thing you need to do is talk to the creditor that the error relates to – so your credit card company for example – and they’ll sort it out. It’s only if they dispute it that you’ll need to talk to the credit bureau.

Increase your credit limit – but don’t use it!

A big part of your credit score is down to your ‘credit utlisation ratio’ – how much of your credit you actually use.

If your credit limit is £1,000 and you use £500, that’s 50%. But if your credit limit is £2,000, then it’s 25%.

If you’re able to raise your credit limit without dipping into it, it’s a straightforward way to improve your credit. Try and keep your ratio at or below 30% if you can – this is seen as a sign of good credit.

Don’t close your old credit cards

Once you’ve paid off a credit card, the easiest way to keep yourself from using it again is to close the account.

But unless you’re charged fees for the account, or have to use it a certain amount to keep it going, it’s best to keep it open – it will all contribute to your good credit history.

Prioritise your bills

Monthly payments to established companies, like your utilities bills, are valued much higher on your credit report. So even if they’re more forgiving in their late payment terms, you should focus on paying these first if restoring your credit is your goal.

We know this is all easier said than done, of course. If it was that easy, no one would have bad credit.

That’s why, at hiya!, we do things a bit differently. We do check your credit report, but we’re not that bothered about the score. All that matters is your recent payment history over the last five months.

Bad credit shouldn’t stop people accessing tech if they can afford it, so our hire agreements are based on what you can actually afford now – not what you’ve done in the past. Learn more about how TV rental with no credit score check works.