If you have a bad credit history you need to give your finances a makeover to be in with a chance of passing a credit check and getting your credit applications accepted.
See if you are likely to get a credit card - it's quick, free, and won't affect your credit score.
Your credit report gives you a snap shot of your financial history and will show you what you owe and how well you're managing your repayments, which could help you to identify problem areas.
You can check your credit report online with many different providers and most offer a free trial period. Some credit cards designed for people with bad credit may include this, so it's worth shopping around.
1. Identify which debts are costing you most and look for ways to reduce them.
2. Close down any credit accounts you aren't using, register to vote at your current address and correct any errors on your credit report – it could help to improve your rating.
4. Sign up for an online credit check (see table) to see what's causing you to have a bad credit report.
A bad credit report could come as a shock, but there are products such as credit builders that aim to improve how your credit rating appears to credit reporting agencies. It's important to stay on top of it and make sure it doesn't get any worse. Learn more about credit-builder credit cards in our dedicated guide.
Check your credit report to make sure you're in good shape to apply for loans, credit cards, overdrafts, mortgages and mobile phone contracts