BELFAST CITY CENTRE: 028 9013 7392 | EAST BELFAST OFFICE: 028 9560 9410 | ORMEAU ROAD, BELFAST: 028 9521 9349 | LISBURN RD BELFAST: 028 9521 9351 | DROMORE: 028 9210 6060 | LISBURN: 028 9279 4300 | GLENGORMLEY: 028 9072 7636 | ARMAGH: 028 3743 0770 | LURGAN: 028 3898 4004 | DUNGANNON: 028 8747 0270 | COALISLAND: 075 6180 7334 | COOKSTOWN: 028 8673 1055 

Contact Your Local Branch

BELFAST, CITY CENTRE: 028 9013 7392
BELFAST, EAST OFFICE: 028 9560 9410
BELFAST, ORMEAU ROAD: 028 9521 9349
BELFAST, LISBURN ROAD: 028 9521 9351
DROMORE: 028 9210 6060
LISBURN: 028 9279 4300
GLENGORMLEY: 028 9072 7636
ARMAGH: 028 3743 0770
LURGAN: 028 3898 4004
DUNGANNON: 028 8747 0270
COALISLAND: 075 6180 7334
COOKSTOWN: 028 8673 1055

First-Time Buyer Hacks to Boost Your Credit Score

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you’re ready to buy your first home, your goals are clear: find the perfect house, negotiate a fair price, and secure an excellent interest rate. Achieving that great rate largely hinges on your credit score. No matter where your credit score stands today, whether it’s lower than you’d like or needs a significant boost, your trusted mortgage broker in Belfast City Centre, is here to help. Discover these effective strategies to enhance your credit score and move one step closer to owning your dream home.

Why Is Your Credit Score Important?

Your credit score is a critical factor that lenders consider when deciding whether to grant you access to any form of credit, including loans, credit cards, or mortgages.

A higher credit score increases your chances of receiving preferential rates from lenders. These better rates can save you hundreds of pounds in interest, especially when borrowing large sums of money.

This is particularly valuable during a cost-of-living crisis and in times of rising interest rates. Savings from lower interest rates can help free up more of your disposable income for other expenses, providing financial relief and stability.

How to Improve Your Credit Score Quickly

If your credit score is lower than you’d like, here are some quick steps to help boost your ratings:

Review Your Credit Reports

Understanding your credit status is a fundamental aspect of personal finance, especially when planning to secure a mortgage. At The Mortgage Clinic, your expert mortgage advisor in Belfast City Centre Office, we recommend regularly reviewing your credit reports for accuracy.

Once you have your reports, scrutinise them carefully for any errors. These mistakes could range from significant issues, such as a car loan that still shows as unpaid despite being settled years ago, to minor inaccuracies like an incorrect address. If you spot an error, highlight it. After reviewing each report, dispute any inaccuracies directly with the relevant credit reporting agency. Even minor errors can negatively impact your credit score, so rectifying these mistakes is a straightforward way to improve your credit rating.

Visit our city centre office for more personalised advice on boosting your credit score and securing a favourable mortgage rate.

Get Caught Up on Your Bills

Maintaining a consistent budget can be challenging, and it’s not uncommon to fall behind on bills. Unfortunately, any missed payments are reported to the credit agencies, which can negatively impact your credit score. At The Mortgage Clinic, your dedicated mortgage broker in Belfast City Centre, we emphasise the importance of staying current on your bills.

If you find yourself behind, make it a priority to get caught up. Start by listing all overdue bills and create a plan to pay them off as quickly as possible. Addressing late payments not only improves your credit score but also strengthens your financial stability. For personalised strategies and support, visit our city centre office, where our experts are ready to help you navigate the path to better credit health.

Limit Credit Applications

If you aim to secure the lowest mortgage rate possible, it’s crucial to apply for credit only when absolutely necessary, particularly in the months leading up to your house hunting. At The Mortgage Clinic, your reliable mortgage advisor located in the heart of Belfast City Centre office, we advise caution with credit applications to maintain a strong credit profile.

Frequent credit applications can make lenders uneasy, signalling potential financial instability. For instance, if you receive an enticing credit card offer but don’t need a new card, refrain from applying. The same principle applies to other types of credit, such as auto loans, personal loans, or any consumer loans.

Not only does limiting credit applications present a more stable financial picture to lenders, but it also prevents the reduction of your credit score due to multiple inquiries. For tailored advice on managing your credit and preparing for a mortgage, visit our city centre office where our experts are ready to assist you.

Don’t Withdraw Cash on Your Credit Card

Whether it’s your new credit builder card or an existing card in your wallet, avoid making frequent cash withdrawals.

Cash withdrawals on a credit card are not only costly but can also harm your credit score. Lenders often view excessive cash withdrawals as a sign of poor money management and treat them as “cash advances.” These transactions are recorded on your credit file similarly to other borrowing activities, making them visible to future lenders. Consequently, this can negatively impact their decision when you apply for credit.

Good Habits to Build Your Credit Score

While quick fixes can boost your credit score, maintaining and improving it over time requires good financial habits. Here are some practices to help you achieve and maintain a near-perfect credit score:

  • Pay Bills on Time: Consistently paying your bills by their due dates is crucial.
  • Keep Credit Utilisation Low: Aim to use less than 30% of your available credit.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Credit Applications: Limit the number of new credit accounts you apply for.
  • Regularly Check Your Credit Report: Monitor your credit report for any errors or suspicious activity.
  • Maintain Long-Term Credit Accounts: Longer credit histories can positively impact your score.
  • Mix of Credit Types: Having a variety of credit types, such as credit cards, mortgages, and personal loans, can improve your score.
  • Set Up Payment Reminders: Use automatic payments or calendar reminders to avoid missing payments.

By incorporating these habits into your financial routine, you can steadily improve your credit score and maintain it at a high level.

Visit Our City Centre Office in Belfast to Speak with a Mortgage Broker

Are you ready to take the next step in securing your dream home? Visit our city centre office in Belfast to speak with an experienced mortgage broker. At The Mortgage Clinic, we offer personalised advice tailored to your unique financial situation, and we don’t charge for our initial mortgage advice.

Before you start viewing or bidding on properties, it’s essential to understand your borrowing power and monthly costs. Our initial planning consultation and first-time buyer mortgage advice are designed to help you set a realistic budget, saving you time by focusing on homes within your price range. We provide a comprehensive overview of how much you can borrow, the associated costs and fees, and the deposit required.

We do the hard work for you. There’s no need to check first-time buyer mortgages with all the banks and building societies yourself; we handle it all under one roof. Working with all major UK lenders, as well as local ones, we offer independent advice best suited to your needs. Each lender has unique criteria, but our expert knowledge ensures we find a solution tailored to your specific circumstances.

We also review your credit report, the first hurdle in borrowing money, whether it’s a mortgage, credit card, or personal loan. We’ll secure a mortgage ‘Agreement in Principle’ for you, giving you confidence in your ability to obtain the mortgage you need.

After our planning consultation, you’ll leave knowing exactly how much you can borrow, the likely costs, and the documents you need to gather. Our team of expert mortgage brokers in Belfast City Centre are here to help you navigate the complexities of securing a mortgage. 

Helmut Elstner

Managing Director – Independent Mortgage Broker and Insurance Advisor

Helmut started working in financial services in early 2012 and founded The Mortgage Clinic in Belfast in early 2015. He specialises in all types of mortgages from First Time Buyer, Co-ownership, Self Build, Home Movers, Remortgages, Debt consolidation, to Buy to Let.

Three Best Rated Winner 2021
Winner Mortgage Broker of the year 2020
Top Rated Advisor 2021 on Vouchedfor