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6 July 2021 | By Lending People

How to improve your credit rating in two steps

Credit score looking a little low? We’ve got some tips to get you back on track. Learn about your loan options and try our free personal loan calculator.

Simple steps to improve your credit rating.

Concerned about the state of your credit rating? The good news is that credit scores aren’t everything. It’s entirely possible to get a loan with bad credit – we can talk you through your options here. That said, a healthier credit score is a good thing to work towards. Not only does it make getting loan approval easier, but you’ll also get lower interest rates. Here’s how you can get things moving in the right direction.

What’s the damage?

It’s helpful to know what your starting point is. You can request a copy of your credit report online at Centrix, Dun and Bradstreet and Equifax. Credit reports are free, although your credit score is only included in paid versions. Your credit score will sit somewhere between 0–1000. To find out what the different scores mean, check out our guide here.

Read through your credit report and see what could be helping or hurting your score. You’ll see details of your credit enquiries, regular payments as well as defaults, court judgements, and any overdue payments where the lender has attempted to recover the money. If you see any incorrect details, you’ll have an opportunity to dispute them.

Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can start making steps towards improving your credit rating.

Tip 1: Pay your bills on time

Your credit score takes a hit each time you default on a bill payment. Repayments on personal loans, car loans and credit cards all count towards your rating. Utility providers are also technically credit providers, which means that your phone, gas and power bills all impact your credit report too.

Setting up automatic payments and payment alerts is a good way to keep on top of your bills and ensure nothing slips through the cracks. If you have multiple debts that you’re paying off, a debt consolidation loan might be an option to consider. This pulls all of your debts together so that you only have one payment to make. You may even be able to get better loan terms than you currently have.

Tip 2: Don’t max out your credit card

While having a credit card that you use and pay off can actually help your credit score, a constant maxed-out balance suggests to lenders that you’re unable to get on top of your debt.

If your credit card is nearly always at its limit, it might be time to step away from the card. Take it easy on the online shopping for a while, put the card away and create a repayment plan for yourself. Don’t forget; credit cards also have a minimum payment due each month. Take note of the date and refer to tip 1.

We work with a range of trusted lenders and find the fairest terms to suit each person’s unique circumstances. Our online personal loan calculator can give you an idea of the kind of terms you might be looking at. If you like what you see, you can apply for a loan online. Our process won’t affect your credit score, and you’ll have an answer within 60 seconds. Easy as that.

This blog is provided for general information purposes and is not a recommendation you enter into or exit any particular loans or insurance policies. Information on the blog does not take into account your particular circumstances, including your objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend you seek advice from a financial adviser before taking any action as appropriate. The Lending People Limited (FSP240365) is a licensed financial advice provider and can provide advice on some types of personal loans, insurance. Find out more about The Lending People and how we may be able to help you.

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¹Fees: We do not charge a fee to use our service (commonly referred to as a platform fee, broker fee, or referral fee) if you do not enter into a personal loan arranged by us. A fee to use our services is applicable in all other cases. See our Terms & Conditions for the applicable fees.

²Annual Interest Rate (AIR): The AIR offered by our Personal Loan providers ranges from 8.95% p.a. to a maximum of 28.95% p.a.

³Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Also known as the 'comparison rate', the APR is calculated by adding together the AIR plus any additional fees that may apply (like establishment fees charged by providers). New Zealand law does not require APR disclosure, but doing so can better highlight borrowing costs. The APR offered by our Personal Loan providers ranges from 9.80% p.a. to a maximum of 29.91% p.a. The APR is accurate only for the representative example given below and may not include all fees like early repayment fees (if any). Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different APR.

⁴Minimum and Maximum Repayment Terms: Repayment terms offered by our Personal Loan providers range from 12 months to a maximum of 84 months.

Representative Example of the Total Cost of a Loan: If you borrow $20,000 over a repayment term of 36 months at an AIR of 8.95% p.a., your total repayments will be $22,493 (made up of $20,000 principal, interest charges of $2,243, and an establishment fee of $250). This example assumes monthly repayments and does not include premiums for any optional insurances, fees for using our services (if any) or default fees.

⁵Terms and Conditions: Our services are provided in accordance with our Application Terms & Conditions. All approvals are subject to provider credit criteria and responsible lending requirements. The loan amount and interest rate offered will depend on your circumstances, the type of lending required, and the security (if any) provided will reflect the loan amount and interest rate offered by the provider. Provider establishment fees, terms, and conditions apply.