Five top tips on how first time buyers can boost their credit score

Thursday, 4th July, 2013

At the time of writing, much is being made of how first time buyer mortgages have increased by 50% compared with the same time last year.

This is obviously great news and the mortgage market is certainly freer than it was only six months ago.

However, this doesn’t mean that first time buyers looking to get their feet firmly on the property ladder shouldn’t do all they can to make that crucial mortgage approval all the more achievable – particularly when a few small things can make a huge difference.

Here are five tips to help first time buyers find a mortgage and ensure that every viable range of mortgage is open to them.

1. Roll on

A really simple way to boost your credit score is by ensuring that you’re on the electoral role.

Identity verification is the cornerstone for credit agencies and lenders looking to make sure that the people they are considering lending to really are who they say they are.

If you want to make sure that you’re on it or that your details are correct then get in touch with your local authority. If you know that you’re not registered then you can do so by visiting Directgov.

2. Cut your plastic, not your chances of borrowing

Do you have any unused credit cards sitting at the back of your wallet or purse? Whilst you may feel slightly righteous that you’ve not racked up a balance, lenders may interpret this as you having too much credit at your disposal. If you do have any ‘empty plastic’, we’d suggest that you cut them, cancel them and then check your credit file to make sure that the changes have been logged.

3.  Use your landline

Pretty much everyone now has a mobile phone. In fact, can anyone remember what we did before they became an everyday essential? But do you have a landline, too? When it comes to credit, landlines provide greater reassurance to lenders than mobile phones for obvious reasons. When you apply for credit, simply use your landline on any documentation or application and not your mobile.

4.  Know how credit scoring works

As we touched on in a previous article, the process of credit checking is often misunderstood. Essentially, the more times your credit record is checked over a short space of time, the more imprints are left on your file and the more likely it is that you will be perceived as a) struggling to find credit, or b) finding it difficult to meet your existing arrangements. If you are going to have your file checked then make sure it’s up to date. If there is anything in there that could negatively influence a lender’s decision then ensure that there is a ‘notice of correction’ – a brief explanation as to why a record has been logged – so that your prospective lender has a full picture.

5.  Build your reputation, build your credit

Do you have a strong track record when it comes to credit? If you have a history of missed payments then start building up a good credit history and creating a good financial score for yourself. This doesn’t mean avoiding credit – after all, lenders need something to base a decision on. Equally, applying for multiple products at once will have a negative impact on your score for the reasons outlined in the previous point.

There are many factors that influence a lender’s decision however if you ‘sweat the small stuff’ then you’re helping to build yourself a better credit portfolio and ensure that you’re closer to owning your first property.

Complete Mortgages is a whole of market broker so if you need independent mortgage advice on any aspect of finding a mortgage then contact us on 01483 233014 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.