If you’re been trying to refinance, secure a new loan or even a credit card and been unsuccessful, chances are this may be due to your credit score.
Let’s start with the basics of what a credit score is and what it’s designed to capture. Your individual credit score is your rating designed to convey to the lender how well you’ve managed your debts and finances in the past. This effectively captures your previous credit history to allow the lender to assess your financial health and determine whether they wish to approve your application for finance. The higher your credit score is, the more likely your application for finance will be approved.
The credit reporting agencies will consider the following factors when it comes to determining your credit score:
- Your previous debt repayments and any issues you’ve experienced with making repayments such as late fees, penalties or defaults.
- Both your existing loans, past loans and any general loan enquiries that you’ve made.
- Current credit limits across finance facilities and any current credit and store cards that you have.
- Past bank accounts that you’ve opened or closed
You can access a free copy, typically once per year, from a range of credit reporting agencies, including the following:
If you’re seeking to obtain finance, it’s always sensible to check out your credit report as you’ll then be able to view the information as the lender will and address any concerning areas before making a formal application.
If your credit report does show defaults or other areas of concern, it’s important to understand that most minor defaults will remain on your report for up to 5 years, and any clear-outs or bankruptcy issues, where the lender is unable to contact you, can remain on your report for up to 7 years. This can be an issue particularly for Australian expats who may not have updated all of their credit card providers of their new address, which can lead to missed payments and penalties.
If you feel that there are any issues on your credit report that shouldn’t be there, feel free to contact our team and we will explore your options with you.
Below we’ve outlined some of the options you have to improve your credit score over time:
- Pay your bills on time
With the help of technology these days, it’s become very easy to automate the payment of most bills. Whether via direct debit, GIRO or credit card facilities, most of your regular bills can be pre-programmed to be paid on time. It’s an easy way to ensure that no bills are missed and that you aren’t faced with any late payment penalties or issues on your credit report.
- Avoid new credit cards and facilities
If you’re seeking to improve your credit score, it can be a sensible idea to avoid applying for new credit cards, store cards or other finance facilities. This may lead to an increase in your overall debt facility and make you a higher risk to a financial institution you’re looking to obtain funding from.
- Pay off your credit cards on time
Keep the balances on your credit cards low and paid off, preferably in full, every month. This will demonstrate to a potential lender that you’re managing your finances and cash flow sensibly and that you do not have an unsustainable level of current debt.
- Boost your savings
If you can boost your savings balances, this can also work to improve your overall credit score. This will provide you with flexibility to ensure that all of your bills are paid on time, even if they’re unexpected, ensuring that you don’t face potential penalties and late payment fees.
- Don’t get behind with your debt repayments
If you’re behind on repaying your current debt, it may be a worthwhile idea to speak with a mortgage broker, or even your current lender to work out an achievable repayment plan for you. This may mean refinancing your current debt to ensure that it’s manageable to you can keep on track.
LoanSuite Pty Ltd is your lending partner for all of your home loan, investment property, business and commercial financing needs. With our wide range of lending solutions, expertise in financial planning and investment strategies, and extensive experience in working with both Australian residents and Australian expats, we are your partners for your lending needs.
Book a obligation-free, complimentary consultation here today.
LoanSuite Pty Ltd is an Authorised Credit Representative (Credit Representative Number – 494608) of My Local Broker (Australian Credit License – 481374). Important Disclaimer: Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product.