If you have any cloned credit cards uk accounts now, or have ever borrowed from the bank to buy a car, or if you ar paying on a mortgage, there is credit information on you. Up until a few years ago, you could only guess at what your credit rating was, because the credit bureaus who keep track of borrowers wouldn’t tell the borrowers anything! But that’s been changed through several laws, and now the bureaus have to send you your credit file when you request it.
If you’ve been denied credit on the basis of their record, they will send you a copy of that record without charge, if you request it within 30 days of the credit denial. If you haven’t been denied credit but just want to know what your file says, you must pay a small fee to find out.
It is well worth your trouble to obtain your report. You may well find (because thousands do) that there is a piece of misinformation that is injuring you without your knowing it, which you can straighten out by submitting copies of documentary proof (never mail originals of anything important – it may get lost in the mail) of bills paid, payments made, etc. If, for one reason or another, you are not listed, or they have insufficient information on you to “rate” your suitability for credit, you must take steps to correct this.
If you have no record because you hold no cards and have no charge accounts, or because you have just come in from out-of-town, then you’d better start assembling one. It may sound a little ridiculous, but nobody will lend money to someone’s who’s always paid cash! You have to have borrowed money or run up charges and paid them back to be able to borrow larger sums as time goes along.
Start with the local merchants in your immediate area, the ones that already know you.
Even if you don’t need it right now, ask them if you can set up a charge account with them. In most cases they’ll be glad to oblige you, they already know you’re local, and that you patronize them regularly. when you get the credit, charge a few items each week, and pay your account promptly when presented. In this way, you’ll build up a good credit record with these merchants in a short time.
Go to the bank where you keep your checking account, and ask to borrow a nominal sum (say $500), which they are unlikely to refuse you. Do this even if you don’t need the money, because you do need the repayment record on their books. Repay the loan on a regular basis when due. Do not accelerate, and pay it all back the next month. Strangely enough the banks do not like that, because to them that indicates a “feast or famine” situation, rather than a steady payer.
The interest cost on this loan, even if you have no need for the money, will be well worth paying to build up your credit record. Besides, you can minimize this interest cost by depositing the money you have borrowed (assuming you do not immediately need it), in a savings account, and collecting the interest, which will defray a good part of the cost of the interest you are paying.
Once these charge accounts and the loan have been operating for a while, proceed to stage two, and ask a large local department store for a charge account. Most likely they will be happy to give you their charge card. Build up your rating with them by occasional purchases and prompt payment, and then you proceed to stage three, and apply for the less selective national credit cards, Master Charge and Visa, which you should a this point be able to get without too much difficulty.