There is always a way.

“I want to improve my credit score” is one of the New Year’s resolutions most often made. A better credit score will make you more attractive to lenders, which means you’ll get better deals on credit and have more opportunities. You won’t then need to pay the high interest rates typical on loans for people with bad credit or no credit check loans. Whether you’ve got a bad credit score as a result of past decisions, or because you simply don’t have any credit history yet, there are ways to make 2018 the year your credit score improves.

Be a model debtor

Whether you have a bad credit score or no credit score you can start creating positive payment history by borrowing and repaying on time. Even if you’re using a high interest card or one with a very low limit, pay off the balance every month and your credit score will reflect your trustworthiness as a borrower and improve as a result.

Avoid judgments against you

Getting to the stage where a creditor has been forced to take you to court to get a debt repaid does serious damage to a credit score. So, if you’re struggling to make payments, contact the creditor well in advance and look for a way to manage the repayments that won’t leave you with a long-term credit issue.

Reduce some balances

Pay off what you can – even a small reduction in your balances every month will have an impact. If you’re paying off a credit card or overdraft than make sure you don’t re-spend what you have repaid if you really want to reap the benefit in terms of your score.

Be alert to fraud

If you’re not really sure how your credit score has taken a tumble then you need to get a copy of your credit report and look for fraudulent activity. This could occur at any time e.g. someone using your identity to apply for multiple credit cards. If you find that this has happened then contact the credit agency, alert them and ask them to correct the information in the credit report. This will almost instantly improve the score that you have.

Financial disassociation

If you were once married or even shared bills with housemates at university then you might find that their credit score is linked to yours. If they aren’t doing so well on the finances front then their black marks could be affecting your credit score. So, check to see whether your credit history is still linked to someone from your past. If that’s the case the seek a financial disassociation so that the link between your two credit scores becomes severed for good.

Correct mistakes on your credit file

Mistakes happen but they can have a big impact. Something as simple as the wrong address – or no address – could be dragging your credit score south. Check your credit report and apply to have any mistakes corrected if you find them.

Don’t apply for more credit

If your credit score is already dismal then the priority should be repayment. Cut back where you can so that you don’t have to make new credit applications and try to avoid taking on new debt as far as possible.