Living with a less than perfect credit rating is not ideal and will almost certainly affect the ability to obtain future credit. Nobody just gets a good credit rating – it has to be earned.

That’s why it’s important to keep your file as clean as possible and to not just accept a poor rating but look to improve and repair your credit.

Credit does not just mean loans … mobile phone contract, monthly direct debits for the car insurance, the council tax, store cards, credit cards … all these and more represent credit agreements hence why it’s so hard to retain that perfect rating these days.

Anything less than a perfect credit rating can affect options when it comes to future borrowing. Any misdemeanors are recorded on your credit file and are there for any potential lender to see. Arrears, defaults, late payments, CCJs are all recorded as a black mark on your credit report and any application that is declined is also there for all to see.

You may not even realise that your file is raising questions about your credit worthiness – very often the first anyone notices is when a credit application is declined and, as we said, this rejection will compound the problem.

A bad credit rating may not prevent access to credit but it’s likely to be through the sub-prime market which automatically means higher interest rates and limited choices.

Of course, mistake do happen and sometimes an error is recorded on your credit file which can also adversely affect you.

It’s therefore in your interests to keep an eye on your credit file and take any credit repair steps necessary to give you that perfect credit rating once again. The more you understand your credit file, how it woks and how any potential lender uses it, the easier you will find it to take control of your credit rating which, in turn will mean increased options when it comes to future borrowing and improved interest rates!

Whatever your credit status it is possible to repair it but it may not happen overnight. There are companies you can enlist to help you rebuild your credit rating but it’s also possible to do it all yourself.

There are just three main credit agencies in the UK who hold your official records, these are your files and you have access to the information contained within them. These agencies are:

Equifax plc: http://www.equifax.co.uk/

Experian Ltd: http://www.experian.co.uk/

Callcredit Ltd: http://www.callcredit.co.uk/

For a very small fee you are able to access these files, analyse the information held, check the accuracy, identify any problem areas and then get to work on putting everything right.

We hope that the pages in this section help you to understand and restore your credit rating – Good Luck!