There are several reasons why your credit rating might not be as good as you’d like it to be. It’s difficult to build up a great credit rating, but really easy to ruin it.
One mistake, like missing a payment on a loan or credit card or even applying for too much credit that you’re not eligible for can leave your credit rating lower than you’d ever hoped it would be, and it can stay like that for some time.
But rest assured that even if you have a poor credit rating, getting the credit you need isn’t completely impossible. While you might not yet be able to get a large loan from the bank or a brand new car on finance, there are some things that you can do to improve your credit rating, figure out what you can borrow, and work out what needs to be done to make sure that you don’t find yourself in this situation again. We’ve put together some top tips to help you borrow money with a poor credit score and improve your rating to make future borrowing endeavours easier.
Pay Off Any Money You Owe
First of all, you need to make sure that you don’t currently owe any money that could be harming your credit score. While having some credit that you are able to easily manage can improve your credit score, borrowing too much can mean that you run into problems. Brokers look at your credit score before deciding whether or not to approve your application and if you already have a lot of debt, they are more likely to decline you. So, the first thing to do is look into managing any debt that you already have. If you are struggling to repay, avoid borrowing any further money as this will only worsen your situation. There are several methods that you can use to repay current debt, including debt management plans and the debt snowball method. If you need to make reduced payments, contact your creditors as soon as possible and come to an agreement with them.
Bad Credit Loans
If you’ve paid off any debts that you had but your credit rating is still not looking great, don’t worry. It can take some time for your credit rating to improve after repaying your debts, as any missed payments or defaults will stay on your file for up to six years. However, since you are no longer in any debt, some brokers may be more lenient when it comes to approving you for a loan or other form of credit. Loans for people with bad credit can be a very useful tool here, as they tend to take your individual circumstances into account more than your credit rating, giving you a better chance of approval. Poor credit loans tend to be short-term and, therefore, easier to manage if you are responsible. And, taking out loans for bad credit and paying them off in full and on time will leave a positive mark on your credit score. Check out these loans for people with bad credit from New Horizons, a broker with a variety of options for all circumstances and needs. You can get a quote in minutes and if accepted, money is paid into your account very quickly.
Understanding Your Credit Rating
It’s hugely important that you are aware of and understand your credit rating when trying to improve it. You can use a variety of both free and paid credit score services to check out your credit score and see what brokers see when you apply to them for finance. Checking your credit score regularly will help you get a better understanding of where you stand and what you need to do in order to improve it. Some credit checking services also offer helpful advice and tips to follow to help you boost your credit score. You should also check your credit score for any errors that might be bringing your rating down needlessly. For example, an error in reporting when you made a payment could mean that you are listed as missing or being late on a payment when you were not, which can negatively impact your score. You can apply to have any errors that you find removed from your credit score.
Your Regular Expenses
Bear in mind that it’s not just loans and credit cards that have an impact on your credit score. Your regular expenses, such as utility bills, can also have an impact. This is often true for bills for utilities such as your smartphone contract or broadband, which tend to work similarly to a loan. Your water bill might also show up on your credit score. Because of this, it’s important to ensure that these bills are paid on time. Being late with payment might not seem like a big deal at the time, but it can cause damage to your credit score that can be difficult to repair. If you are struggling to pay your priority bills, the best step to take is to contact the companies and let them know your situation so that you can come to an agreement that works well for everybody. Most will be happy to accommodate reduced payments if needed.
Check Your Eligibility Before Applying
If you’ve paid off all your debt and are hoping to borrow a small amount of money in order to start rebuilding your credit rating, it’s important to be realistic with what you apply for. Chances are, if it’s taken you a while to pay off your debt and your credit rating suffered as a result, you are not going to be approved for a £10k loan from the bank even if you’re debt-free right now. And, applying for too many loans and other lines of credit that you are declined can harm your credit rating in the short-term. In fact, rejection can stay on your credit file for 2-3 weeks and impact any applications you make during that time, so if you are rejected for credit, don’t apply for anything else for at least a few weeks to avoid this happening. The best way to make sure that you don’t get turned down for credit is to use an eligibility checker tool beforehand. These tools will not impact your credit score at all and will let you know how much of a chance you have of being accepted for a certain loan, credit card, or another form of finance. You can then use this information to make an informed decision regarding what to apply for.
You’ve repaid your debt, taken out and repaid a bad credit loan, and your credit rating is improving a little – what next? The best way to boost your credit score is to borrow some money and show that you are able to pay it back responsibly. But at this point, you might not be eligible to borrow a huge amount of money. So, start small – catalogue accounts, credit building credit cards, and SIM only phone contracts are small credit lines that you have a bigger chance of being accepted for and will be easier to manage in order to improve your credit score. Only apply for credit that you are certain you will be able to repay.
Borrowing money and repaying it responsibly is essential for building your credit score, but your bad credit score might be holding you back. Keep these tips in mind to improve your chance of being accepted for credit that you can use to repair your credit rating.
What To Do When You’re Rejected For A Mobile Phone Contract
By Harriet Meyer
Many mobile phone contracts don’t require you to pay a penny upfront – even for the latest smartphone. Instead, you commit to regular payments over, say, 18 or 24 months.
But, just like other credit applications, such as for a mortgage or loan, you could be rejected for a mobile phone contract if you have a bad credit rating.
Here, we consider why you might find yourself in this frustrating position and – most importantly – what you can do about it.
Why was my contract application rejected?
It’s usually the first question on everyone’s lips when they have been turned down for credit. And the answer is that, essentially, the provider has checked your credit report and determined that you’re a high-risk customer who may fail to pay off your debt.
Providers use the information on your credit file to assess your history of managing money. So, if you’re rejected, this could be for one of the following reasons, or a combination of these:
- A history of late or missed bill payments, causing providers to see you as financially stretched, or someone who struggles to manage money
- Holding an account in joint names with someone who has a poor credit history
- You’re not registered on the electoral roll, so a provider may not be able to verify your identity and address
- County Court Judgements (CCJs) against your name, or Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) on your credit record, indicating that you could face financial trouble
- Lack of credit history – you need some history of making regular payments to build up your credit history, and show that you can manage regular debt payments.
How can I check my credit score?
If you genuinely have no idea why you have been rejected, it’s worth checking your credit report. This way, you can find out what the provider was looking at when it decided not to offer you a contract.
You can do this at one of the three main credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion (formerly Callcredit). Experian offers a free service that enables you to sign up and check your credit score for a general overview. ClearScore is another free service that uses Equifax data.
The way credit scores are calculated varies between the different agencies, but they give providers an idea of how reliable you may be when you’re signing up for a contract.
What can I do if I’m rejected?
Remember that any financial contract is a commitment – so if you’re rejected, consider if it’s sensible to be signing up at all, particularly if you’re battling with other bills.
But whatever you do, avoid applying for a string of mobile phone contracts in the hope of being accepted. Each one will involve a credit search and leave a mark on your file, which could impact on your ability to get future credit, such as a mortgage.
The good news is there may be other options available which means you can still get a new phone or upgrade.
Find out more about your credit report with our guide.
Pay a deposit. The network provider may get around you having a poor credit history by asking you to pay an upfront deposit for the contract to offset any risk that you fail to make payments.
The amount of deposit will vary depending on your credit status, the package and the provider. You typically receive the deposit back once you’ve made several months’ worth of payments – typically ranging from three to 12 months.
Choose a SIM-only tariff. If you’re willing to buy a handset upfront, or already have an old phone you can use, you could opt for a pay monthly SIM-only deal. These are cheaper than full-blown contracts as you’re not receiving and paying for a phone as part of the deal.
You will still have a credit check, but you’ve got a greater chance of being accepted as payments are typically lower for these contracts, so there’s less risk for the provider.
Also, paying your monthly SIM-only bill on time will help show that you can sensibly manage a contract, which may boost your credit score over time.
Opt for a pay-as-you-go deal. If you want a phone for occasional use, then a pay-as-you-go deal might suit. Once you’ve bought a phone upfront, you pay for credit as and when needed. You won’t be tied into a contract, and will not be subject to a credit check.
Get a ‘bad credit’ contract. There are specialist companies which supply phone contracts to people with bad credit. You can do an online search to get an idea of what’s available, or speak to an adviser in a mobile phone store.
However, you may not be able to get the phone model you want, and your monthly payments may be substantially higher than for a standard contract. This is not an option to be taken lightly.
Check out family deals. You may want to ask a family member with a good credit rating to sign up to the contract. That’s if you’re opting for a family deal, when several lines may be connected to a single contract – but only one person pays the bill and undergoes a credit check.
Get a guarantor. Alternatively, you could ask someone to essentially guarantee your contract by co-signing it. But, of course, they must be comfortable being liable for any missed payments, thereby offsetting the risk for the network provider in case you default. Provided you make payments on time, this option can also gradually improve your credit rating.
Improve your credit score. To improve your chances of being accepted for a mobile phone contract or any other form of credit in the future, you can take time to improve your credit score by, for example:
- Registering on the electoral roll with your local authority
- Ensuring you don’t fall behind with monthly repayments on any bills (set up direct debits to pay them automatically)
- Sticking within your credit limit on any cards that you use and clearing the balances every month
- Check your credit report (see above) and if you find any errors, ask the agency to amend them with a ‘Notice of Correction’
Upstart vs. Sofi: Which Personal Loan Is Right for You?
Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders, all opinions are our own.
If you’re looking for a personal loan, you’ll likely come across Upstart and SoFi. Both companies offer flexible loans for a variety of purposes, but there are some differences to keep in mind when deciding between them.
Here’s a comparison of Upstart vs. SoFi to help you choose. Both Upstart and SoFi are Credible partners.
|Fixed rates||8.13% – 35.99% APR4||5.99% – 18.83% APR|
|Loan amount||$1,000 to $50,0005||$5,000 to $100,000|
|Loan terms||3 to 5 years4||2 to 7 years|
|Min. credit score||600
(in most states)
|Does not disclose|
|Time to fund||As soon as 1 – 3 business days6||3 business days|
|Origination fee||0% to 8% of loan amount||None|
|Income||$12,000||Check with lender|
|Residency||Available in all states except IA and WV||Available in all states except MS|
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Upstart personal loans
Founded by ex-Googlers, Upstart’s artificial intelligence platform fully automates 58% of its personal loans. It has originated $6.9 billion in loans and notably offers loans to those with less-than-perfect credit.
Upstart offers personal loans for a variety of uses — including debt consolidation loans, wedding loans, and more. You can borrow as little as $1,000 or as much as $50,000 and can expect fast loan funding.
Learn More: Personal Loan vs. Credit Card
- Lower minimum credit score: Upstart offers personal loans to borrowers with credit scores as low as 600. If you’re looking for bad credit personal loans or fair credit personal loans, Upstart could be a good choice.
- No prepayment penalties: You don’t have to worry about any fees if you pay off your loan early.
- Fast funding: If your application is accepted, you’ll likely get your money within just a few business days. In fact, Upstart says that 99% of applicants get their money after just one business day.
- Low minimum borrowing amount: You can borrow as little as $1,000 with Upstart, which could be helpful if you only need a small loan.
- Lower maximum loan amount: With Upstart, you can only borrow up to $50,000. This could make it harder to fund larger debt consolidations or bigger home improvements.
- High origination fees: With Upstart, you might pay an origination fee of up to 8% of the loan amount.
- No options for visa holders: Upstart doesn’t offer personal loans for visa holders — you must have a Social Security number to borrow with this lender.
Check out our Upstart personal loans review to learn more.
SoFi personal loans
SoFi offers a variety of financial products, including credit card consolidation loans and other types of personal loans. It also provides several perks to its members, such as unemployment protection, career coaching, and networking events.
With SoFi, you can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. Plus, SoFi personal loans come with no fees.
Learn More: How Personal Loans Impact Your Credit Score
- Large loan amounts: You can borrow up to $100,000 in unsecured funds with SoFi. This can be useful for home improvement loans, wedding loans, and other large borrowing needs.
- Discounts available: If you sign up for autopay, you can get a discount on your SoFi personal loan. You might also qualify for a discount if you’re using other SoFi products.
- Member benefits and perks: As a SoFi member, you’ll have access to additional resources, including financial planning, career coaching, and networking events. SoFi also provides unemployment protection in case you lose your job.
- Options for visa holders: If you’re a visa holder without a Social Security number, you might still qualify for a SoFi personal loan.
- Higher credit score requirements: You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan through SoFi. If you have poor or fair credit, you’ll likely need to consider other lenders.
- Higher minimum loan requirement: You’ll need to take out at least a $5,000 personal loan to borrow through SoFi. If you need a smaller loan, SoFi might not be the right choice for you.
- Longer funding time: SoFi personal loans typically take a few business days to fund. If you need a faster loan funding time, you might need to look elsewhere.
See our SoFi personal loans review for more details.
Choosing a lender for a personal loan
A personal loan could help you cover large or unexpected purchases. Before you borrow, it’s a good idea to shop around and consider as many lenders as possible to find a loan that fits your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can compare multiple lenders, like Upstart and SoFi, in two minutes.
Keep Reading: Where to Get a $10,000 Personal Loan
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