Are you a renter? It's highly likely you are considering that the number of private renters has more than doubled since 2001 and this is projected to continue over the next decade. It's clear that 'Generation Rent' is here for the long term.
Recent research from Noddle, the free-for-life credit reporting service, found that two thirds of renters believe they will never own their own home and around one in eight think their finances will improve by the time they have to worry about looking after their long-term financial health. However, not building up a credit history now can cause problems further down the line and not looking after finances while renting is having a wider impact on renters' financial situation than many realise.
With this in mind, Noddle has created a report on how to improve your credit rating (and in turn bolster your long-term financial future), which includes these top tips:
Spring clean your financial track record
As well as a regular refresh of your wardrobe, it's also important to give your finances a spring clean now and again too. Here are three ways to give your financial record that refreshing glow:
Register on the electoral roll. If you can't access your credit report, this indicates that not enough information is held about you. One way you can give your record a lift is by ensuring you register on the electoral roll for each property you rent. As well as giving you the ability to vote, this is also a major significant piece of information that is used to validate and verify your identity; without it you could simply be invisible. It's also really important to re-register on the electoral roll every time you move.
Take stock of your finances. Do you have any old credit cards or perhaps a Selfridge's store card that you have never really used residing in an old wallet or in the back of a drawer? It's important that you close them. Doing this means you're not risking them going into the red without you realising.
Have a utility bill in your name. It's worth having at least one utility bill in your name, if you're sharing with flatmates. It makes it much easier to prove you live at your property when applying for any financial products.
Check your credit report: If you aren't sure of your credit rating, it's worth checking it to make sure the information held about you is correct - otherwise, the result may not be as accurate as it should be and you could be missing out when it comes to trying to secure credit. It's really simple to do, and free for life with Noddle.
Check your financial links
When renting, it's easy to end up with financial 'links' to other people you live with - whether it's a partner, a friend or someone you met on SpareRoom who steals your milk and plays heavy metal music until 6am. Here are two ways to keep check on your links:
Be wary of who you are creating a financial link with. The most common way people create financial links with each other can come from having a joint account, even if it's just set up to pay bills. Once you are no longer living with your housemates, regardless of if they are friend or foe, ensure the account is closed and the link dissociated on your credit report so you minimise the risk of any future credit issues on their part affecting you.
Talk to your partner about finances: It's not just housemates you need to be careful of - even your partner could be hiding financial secrets which could affect your credit rating. Noddle research found that 1.9 million married couples actively try to keep their finances secret from their partner and more than half of Brits in a relationship don't know how many debts their partner has - consider having an open and honest conversation with your partner about your financial commitments.
To get your free-for-life credit report visit www.noddle.co.uk.