"I’m in the UK and my finances were in really bad shape a year ago, but I’ve been one of the few lucky people continuing to work from home during the pandemic. I decided straight away to try to sort out my credit score, and I’ve just moved out of the 'very poor' bracket into the 'poor' bracket with Experian. It might not seem like a big deal but seeing that difference has been really motivating. The pandemic has shown me just how much money I was spending on things I didn’t need. Look at your bank statements and add up all those little transactions under £10 to see how much you’re spending on frivolous things. It may surprise you.
The first thing I did was pay off my credit cards. They have a high interest rate so the longer you leave them, the more you’re spending; pay them off first. Pay as much as you can each month and it doesn’t have to be in one payment. I paid what I knew I could afford on payday. Then through the month if I had anything extra, it went toward the credit card.
I registered with a company to include my rent payments on my credit report. If you know that you always pay your rent on time and you are unlikely to have payment gaps, get it on there.
Once my credit cards were clear, I took them out of my purse and gave myself a strict rule that I could only use them in an emergency or if I ran out of money during the month I could use them for food — that’s it. If I did use them for food, I then paid them off in full as soon as I got paid as it would be a smaller amount."
Heads up: Experian Boost is a service you can use to get your monthly, must-pay bills (like your utilities, phone bill, and even streaming services) included on your Experian credit report — similar to what this Community member did with their rent payments. Adding this information to your report might give your credit score an instant bump up, especially if you don't have a lot of payment history information on file. It's totally free, so all you have to do is sign up and connect the bank account you use for paying those bills.