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In the Netherlands, people don’t really have a credit score the way you have one in other countries. It really only has an effect on trying to get a loan from the bank if you’ve had a lot of bills that you paid really late.
But, in England, you need a credit score for nearly everything. And when I moved here, I didn’t have one. This is the case for most people that move abroad – credit scores usually can’t be transferred between countries. It’s not easy to build a credit score from nothing because you need one to get approved for a credit card.
So what can you do to build a credit score from scratch?
- Sign up with Experian to keep track of your credit score
- Get on the electoral roll at your current address. This proves where you live, making it easier for credit agencies to check that you are who you say you are.
- Get a cheap mobile phone subscription – these are easier to get approved for and they will help improve your score.
- Apply for a high-interest credit card. You’re more likely to get approved for those. Even if you only get a small amount of credit, it will still help you build that credit score.
- Always pay your bills on time. This doesn’t just apply to your credit card bills but also to your phone bill, utility bills, even your gym membership may have a negative effect on your credit score if paid late.
- Use your credit card for small purchases and pay them off in full every month. This shows credit lenders that you are responsible and manage your debts well.
I’ve used all of these tips to build my credit score after moving to the UK. It took me less than a year and I now have a perfect score!
If you have any other tips for building a credit score, please leave them below in the comments.