If you are thinking about getting a credit card then make sure you are prepared to manage your finances responsibly and take the steps to ensure a perfect record.

It will take around 6 months to build a decent score to obtain credit and for a credit score to be calculated.

From here you should keep building up the score so that lenders will accept any applications, it will take longer to build a great score for lenders to consider.

If you have a low, negative or no credit score then you will be unable to take out a loan or mortgage which can affect you if you need to make large financial moves such as buying a house to get onto the property market.


Tips to start building your credit score

If you want to get a credit card there are things you can do before and once you get it to help build your score as quickly as possible. Make sure you are financially responsible and using your card as effectively as possible.

  • Get on the electoral roll as lender will use this to confirm your identity.
  • Open a bank account to show you are financially responsible, before trying to get a credit card. If this account has an overdraft, try not to use it.
  • Apply for a credit card!
  • Limit your credit applications and spread them out as this will be recorded on your account and too many will lower your score.
  • Get your household bills added to your credit history, if you pay in full and on time.
  • Use your credit card for varied uses to show you can be responsible for multiple different purpose.
  • Keep credit usage ratio to under 30% of your limit.


When should I get a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card when you turn 18 and it could be a good decision to get one as soon as you can to start building your score as it could take years to build a good enough score for lenders to accept you.

If you think you will struggle to handle a credit card then it might be best to avoid it so you don’t get yourself into debt which can easily happen if you aren’t careful. Make sure you know what you can financially handle.

If you are entering the country, unfortunately your score from outside of the UK will not be transferred and you will have to start again, if possible follow the steps above to start building your credit history and give yourself a chance early