How I have improved my credit score

Since starting my financial journey I have learned a lot of tips and tricks that I would like to share. And one of those tips is how to improve my credit score. Now, i’m no Martin Lewis but I do know what has worked for me.

I never realised how important it was to have a good credit score especially when looking to buy your own home but now I do. And I have worked hard over the last few years to improve mine as much as possible.

If you are interested in learning how I improved my credit score then keep reading as I share the 4 things I have done to improve mine!

!Quick disclaimer: I am not trained in Finance coaching or credit scores, this what I have done to improve my credit score and research I have found!

Paying off my debt

This may seem like an obvious starting point but unfortunately, paying off debt can effect your credit score.

According to Experian (click on the link if you would like to read the whole report)if you pay off your debt in installments this can effect your score, and if you pay off a low balance before a bigger balance can also effect your score.

“For some people, paying off a loan might increase their scores or have no effect at all. It all depends on your overall credit profile and the type of credit score you’re checking.”

Check Your Free Credit Score | Experian

I only had £4,000 worth of debt and I was paying this off in installments over 5 years, this meant that my credit score dropped by a lot! So I saved up and made a big payment to clear it and my credit score went up.

On Instagram I have seen people paying off thousands of pounds worth of debt and their credit score drops.

If you have a lot of debt always start off by paying off the lowest balance. Yes this will effect your credit score but it is always better starting with the smallest as this will be more manageable.

Be patient when paying off debt, it takes time and your credit score will move around but it is worth it in the end!

Get a credit card and spend on it

I know, I know, I just spent all that time paying off debt and now I am getting a credit card which could get me into more debt.

But hear me out, improving your credit score isn’t all about paying off debt its also about showing the banks you are able to borrow credit.

UK banks plan to hike cost of credit card borrowing | Money | The Guardian

As I had a small amount of debt, I was showing the banks that I am not able to borrow credit which doesn’t look good for buying a home.

So in November 2019 I took out a credit card and started spending on there. I took this advice from Martin Lewis’s Money saving expert site. On there he explains that having a credit card and using it to spend a small amount on there and paying the balance off in FULL on the due date will improve your credit score.

Every month since then I spend between £50 -£100 and pay it off in full and my credit score has improved. I buy petrol and occasionally online purchases.

A quick disclaimer, if you are someone who has credit card debt then this might not be for you. But as someone who only uses this for small amounts each month I am able to control my spending.

Never go into my overdraft

Since being on a budget I have never gone into my overdraft, I always make sure I have complete control over what money leaves my bank account.

I do have an overdraft arranged with my bank account but I have never used it. Just because it is there doesn’t mean I will use it. As according to Experian an overdraft will count as debt on your credit score.

Why overdraft charges are overdue an overhaul

An arranged overdraft is unlikely to have a major impact on your credit score as long as you don’t go beyond your overdraft limit or have payments refused. In fact, if you use your overdraft sensibly and regularly pay it off it could improve your credit rating.(Link to this website)

And having a a current account with the same bank for a umber of years can also improve your score.

Pay my bills on time

Before I started my budgeting journey I used to miss my due dates on my bills. I forgot to pay my car insurance and car tax which left me in bad credit.

I now have a lot more control on my bills and when they are due.

How often do you check your utility bills? – Which? Conversation

When starting your budget make sure you know when your bills are due, that way you wont go into your overdraft, which in turn effects your credit score.

HOW TO BOOST YOUR CREDIT SCORE - Octane Finance

I hope this post has been helpful and you can find some ways in which you can improve your score.

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram for all the latest updates on my journey.

My favourite saving challenges for 2020.

Hello and welcome back to my blog!

In this blog post I will be sharing 5 of my favourite saving challenges 4 of which I have done or I am still completing.

There are so many saving challenges out there that you can do to save money.

Saving challenges are a great way to start your savings journey. If you are new to saving or paying of huge amounts of debt but want to have some savings then hopefully at least one of these challenges will help you get started.

! Quick disclaimer I did not create any of these challenges I have credited where I found the challenges and creators!

1p challenge

The 1p challenge is a great place to start. In 365 days you can save £667.95!

You save 1p for every day you do this challenge for example day 1 you put away 1p, day 2 you put away 2p and so on for 365 days.

I found this tracker online which shows you how much to put away each day.

https://www.playpennies.com/features/the-playpennies-1p-saving-challenge-169894
https://skintdad.co.uk/skint-52-week-saving-challenge/

Above is the tracker that I use, this tracker is great for adding amounts weekly, it is from The Skint Dad Blog please check out his page to download all his trackers.

I started this challenge last year when I was new to savings and I love it, I have nearly £400 saved and I don’t miss this money. The only downside to this challenge is that it takes 1 year to reach your goal. But if you are paying off debt this is a great place to start.

A lot of people do this challenge to save for holidays and Christmas.

20p Challenge

I love this challenge! I am doing this challenge at the moment I love it.

This one doesn’t take as long as the 1p challenge, in just 31 days you can save £99.20!

It’s the same principle as the 1p challenge every day you put 20p away. So day 1 you put away 20p, day 2 you put away 40p and so on.


https://www.satsumaloans.co.uk/tools-and-tips/20p-savings-challenge

This is a picture I found online however I have made my own version as I started this challenge on 19th May 2020.

I have over £20 saved already. I will continue this challenge for the rest of the year. I should have over £600 saved by the end of the year which I will save for the fees of moving next year.

Lottiebudgets Money Monday

This challenge comes from Instagram and from a lovely lady’s page called @lottiebudgets. This challenge is by far my favourite and I am on my second run of this challenge.

Every Monday tick of a box with different amounts of money you have saved.

There are two versions of this challenge:

Money Monday Save £450 in 21 weeks I have already done this challenge once and I am on week 3 of round 2!

https://www.instagram.com/lottiebudgets/?hl=en

LottieBudgets Money Monday Quarterly Challenge

Money Monday Quarterly Challenge Save £500 in 13 weeks. I haven’t done this challenge but I would like to do this challenge at the end of the year.

https://www.instagram.com/lottiebudgets/?hl=en

Head over to @lottiebudgets instagram page to download her money Monday trackers and please give her a follow her page is full of saving motivation!

Doing this challenge makes Monday my new favourite day of the week.

Metro.co.uk Fiver savings challenge

I found this fiver savings challenge on the website Metro.co.uk and it looks amazing. Each week you put some money away, the amount you put away will increase by £5 each week for 52 weeks and at the end you should have saved £6,890 which is an huge amount of money!

Week 1 you put away £5, week 2 you put away £10 and so on.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/metro.co.uk/2020/01/02/try-2020-fiver-saving-challenge-put-away-6890-end-year-11991344/amp/

I haven’t done this challenge but it’s one I’m going to consider for next year. Check out the tracker below, download it to your phone and get started.

I hope these challenges will give you some inspiration to start saving. They are fun, easy to do and will increase your savings.

Make sure to follow my twitter and Instagram account for updates on my savings journey and the tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

Hannah xx

Paid online surveys apps (Side Hustle)

Hello and welcome back to my blog.

In this post I will be talking about paid online survey apps that I use for my side hustle income.

Not sure what a side hustle is? Check out my post from yesterday where I explain all.

Why do I use online survey apps?

I use online survey apps to earn some extra money that I can add towards my moving house savings.

I do online surveys at different times throughout my day, I even do some whilst I’m at work on my break. For me its an easier way to earn extra cash whilst going about my everyday life.

Survey apps that I use:

I use many different apps, in fact I have 21 apps downloaded on my phone to help me earn extra money. I know a bit excessive!

But some of these apps take too long to earn a decent amount of money for me to be able to cash out. So I made a list on my top 5 apps that I use daily and that allows me to cash out after only earning a couple of pounds.

I have added links so that you can check them out if you wish. I have never had to pay a penny to use any of these companies for downloading them. They pay you by transferring the money into a PayPal account, so if you do not have one I would get one as you need it in order to be paid.

The downside of survey apps:

Unfortunately, with every good point about survey apps there are some bad points.

A lot of these apps can decline you from taking part in surveys, it took me a few weeks to even be accepted for a survey. But I stuck with it and now I am earning more money then ever. My advise would be check in a few times a day, when you first download the apps and you will start to get accepted.

If you rush through the questions in the survey it will decline you as well, take a little bit of time when answering the questions as they do monitor the way you answer.

There may be times when your job title, age, gender, spending habits etc may not be what that survey requires. So they will decline you, but do not worry the app will update itself and will make sure that in future it asks you questions related to your life.

Is it worth doing paid surveys?

I love doing paid surveys, on my nights off I sit with a glass of wine, whilst watching TV and I answer some question whilst relaxing. Sometimes I do them for a few hours and other times I only do an hour a day. For me it is worth spending the time doing them as its extra money towards my house deposit savings.

‘DISCLAIMER’ you are not going to earn hundreds of pounds doing these paid surveys as some websites suggest. Most apps/sites pay 50p to £1 per survey, depending on the length you can earn much more. In a month I can earn an extra £50 -£100 depending on how much time I have invested completing them.

So if online paid surveys sound like something you would like to try, click on the links attached to each app and download them and give them a go! What have you got to loose?

I hope this post has explained a little bit more about how I use surveys to help me save money.

As always if you have any questions please ask 🙂

Make sure you follow me on social media as I often post about my earnings and any new apps that I have found and like.

Instagram

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Pinterest

Hannah xxx