Since we bought our bigger forever house we have had to get loans, credit cards and an overdraft just to get the house in a fit state to live in, its stressful taking on so much debt but it was a necessary evil to make sure the house was habitable for the boys and water tight! We always seemed to be handing over our card to pay for something...
Fortunately our credit rating was okay so we were in a position to do this, if we had been rejected for finance then we would have been in a pickle! No maintenance would have been scheduled and our house would have been deteriorating further, rain continuing to pour down the inside walls and the resistant woodworm keeping comfortable in the rotting beams!!!
TSB have a great section on their site dedicated to managing debt and explaining more about your credit rating. The first bit of advice they suggest which we have already done ourselves a few times is head to Experian. They handily have a free credit check if you have not used them before. Normally it costs £14.99 a month after your free trial for unlimited access, so its worth signing up having a good look through all the information, learning what you can, then cancelling before you have to pay anything!
If you see any mistakes with your record contact them straight away to let them rectify them. The reports are very easy to read through highlighting positive and negative score factors so you can quickly make sense of what is going on and what you can do to improve matters. If you are managing your finances well (paying your bills on time and not applying for excessive amounts of credit) then you should have a favourable credit rating. At this moment in time ours is not so good because we did have to stretch ourselves financially sorting the house but in a couple of years we should have cleared a chunk of debt and be back on track.
Another tip is to make sure you are on the electoral roll we did this pretty much straight away so we could apply for credit for the renovations. It’s a simple check against fraud so if you have not bothered to do some financial institutions might be weary of borrowing to you. If you can think of any thing else to improve credit ratings please leave a comment, as ours will need all the help it can get now its maxed out!!!