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Your credit score and credit file are a key tool in obtaining mortgage finance. Here are some ideas on how to manage your file and score. 
Tip 1: Get on a roll 
The electoral roll is one of the key sources of information for credit agencies and lenders – and vital to verifying your identity. To find out how to register, go to the About My Vote website. To check if your details are correct on the electoral roll, contact your local council. 
Tip 2: Know your credit every time you apply - Check Equifax AND Experian 
Before you apply for any form of credit, make sure that you know whether there is anything in your credit rating that might cause you to be rejected.  
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will check your credit file. so make sure all the information on your file is up to date and accurate. If it isn’t, request that the agency correct it.  
A lot of credit applications in a short space of time could be interpreted as evidence that you are struggling to keep up with your obligations, so even if you are shopping around for options, try to space out your applications for credit.  
Some companies will agree to do a “soft search” or quotation-only search, which doesn’t appear on your credit file, and this can be useful for protecting your rating. Make sure you know what type of search they will be conducting – and avoid unnecessary full searches if you can. 
Incorrect information could down-grade your status, you really do need to know about it and get it changed if you can. 
This is essential before making any mortgage application. 
TIP 3: Play your credit cards right (and don’t hold too many of them) 
If you have credit cards (including store cards) that you don’t use, the lines of credit will still be shown on your file – and some lenders may worry that you have too much potential credit available to you. 
Cancel cards you no longer use. 
Don’t overload your credit cards though, as lenders also look at the percentage of your available credit that you use.  
Keep address registered up-to-date. Having different addresses on your credit file can be a risk factor for lenders. 
Tip 4: Build up your reputation 
A mortgage lender needs to look at how you have used credit in the past., so manage credit responsibly and stay within agrered limits. 
Make certain that you never miss a payment on credit cards, loans and utility bills. 
Use direct debits to help you pay on time, although you will still need to ensure that there is enough money in your account. 
Avoiding credit altogether won’t give you a positive credit rating, since it means loan providers don’t have access to information about your reliability.  
If you are considering applying for a mortgage with a lender, then it can help to build up a relationship with them beforehand. Having a current account can help to give them a first-hand view of your cash flow and your reliability, as can making regular payments to a savings account to build up a deposit for your home. 
Tip 5: Get a landline phone 
We all use mobile phones but they do not give the same sense of stability and reliability as a landline number. When you apply for any credit, make sure to use your landline number if you have one. 
Tip 6: Never Never Never use Pay-Day Loans 
Lenders view someone who has recently used a pay-day loan as unable to manage their finances.  
They are toxic to your credit rating and lenders will probably reject your mortgage application outright if you have used one recently.  
If you have used one, you will need to demonstrate that you have not used a payday loan for up to 6 months before applying for mortgage finance. The rule is never use a payday loan before applying for a mortgage. 
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