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How to Improve Your Credit Score

If you’re planning to get a new mortgage or remortgage, it’s worth starting to manage your credit file at least a year in advance of any applications. The world of credit scoring and lending can be a confusing one, so it makes sense to get your head around what lenders are looking for first. In short, think about your credit file vs a set credit score – which doesn’t really exist as each lender has a different means of ‘scoring’ you. Same goes for making the distinction between being ‘wealthy’ (not needing credit) and being a responsible borrower. Try to see your financial position through the eyes of a lender – they want proof that you can borrow responsibly and, ultimately, make them some money. Here are a few tips below to help improve your credit score.

Regularly check files

Make a habit of doing this annually and most definitely before any lending applications. You’re looking for errors on your file that may severely and unfairly impact on the success of your application. The credit reference companies to check are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and since the new GDPR rules came in, it’s now always free to make these checks and receive the financial information held on you.

Register to vote

You need to be on the electoral roll so that lenders can check and trust you are who you say you are. Make sure you register as soon as possible. If you’re worried about your personal information, you can always opt-out of the open register, which can be used for marketing. If you aren’t eligible to vote in the UK, send all three credit reference agencies proof of residency via utility bills or driving license.

Make timely payments

Setting up direct debits for utility bills, mobile phone contracts and credit cards can help make sure regular monthly payments are made on time. You want to avoid missed payments at all cost as these can give a very negative impact when it comes time to borrow, particularly missed payments in the last 12 months. If you are in difficulty, contact your lender who will hopefully try to help manage your repayment schedule.

Keep finances separate

The credit file of those who you are linked with financially – via a joint mortgage, joint loan, joint bank account, even joint utility bills – can impact on your own file too. If your partner has had trouble in the past, it might make sense to keep finances separate until back on track. If your relationship ends, make sure to close joint accounts and write to credit agencies for a notice of disassociation.

Consistency and stability when it comes to applications

For example, it’ll be easier as a homeowner vs a renter, employed vs self-employed, to gain credit – the more stable your circumstances, the more stable your financial position. However, there are other simple ways to make yourself appear more consistent, such as using the same job title and phone number, can minimise the potential for you to be flagged up by fraud scoring.

Time applications carefully

Every time you apply for credit, it leaves a footprint on your file for a year and too many in succession can leave you looking like an undesirable applicant, desperate for credit. It makes sense to prioritise credit applications ie. the mortgage application before a new credit card. Same goes for waiting until old marks on your file will have clearer ie. 6 years post-bankruptcy or applying before a major life-change that will put strain on your finances such as having a child and going on maternity leave.

Clean up old accounts

Make sure to cancel any old store cards, even if they are unused, as too much available credit can be a negative on your file. Old utility and mobile phone contracts with previous addresses on them, that are still active despite you not using them, can be a nightmare as they throw a spanner in the works when it comes to verifying your ID, so make sure to tidy up old business.

Credit card management

Even though you feel responsible, having never had a credit card and never having to borrow money, for lenders this only means you are a too much of a mystery to trust! A better idea is to build up a credit history, responsibly, by making regular payments on a credit card. If you’re in a cath-22 where you struggle to gain a credit card in the first place, there are credit rebuild cards available, albeit with sky-high interest rates, that can help you build up a decent credit history if well-managed. Avoid withdrawing cash on credit cards – a major red flag to lenders!

Avoid payday loans & credit repair companies

These are bad news, as they are a direct example to lenders that you have poor money management. People can find themselves in a desperate financial state at times but there are better ways to manage this, for example by approaching a non-profit debt counselling agency, for example.

After a rejection…

Avoid a vicious cycle of application and rejection by trying to understand as best possible why you might have been rejected by checking your credit file again for clues. Any errors you can try and dispute with the bank or utility company directly. If you don’t get anywhere with this approach, time usually heals the damage done, so make sure you wait the appropriate length of time according to the offence before making another, hopefully successful, application.

At The Mortgage Hub we can help you with your mortgage application and advise you on what to do if your credit score isn’t as high as lenders’ requirements. We’re here to help.

The Mortgage Hub is an independent mortgage advisor serving the greater Glasgow area. Whether you are planning to buy your very first home and need the right first time buyer mortgage, or are looking to re-mortgage due to a house move or to growing family – we understand your journey is so much more than a financial process, it’s a journey to achieve your dreams, improve your lifestyle and achieve your true potential.

House Prices and Letting – Glasgow Bucks the Trend!

Homeowner confidence

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to Zoopla confidence in the housing market remains high with property owners expecting prices to rise by 4.8% during the rest of 2019. In addition, 81% of people think that the value of property in their area will increase.

However, it appears that there is significant regional variation with homeowners in the northern regions feeling the most optimistic with over 90% of homeowners in Scotland expecting house prices to increase. In contrast, those in southern regions were much more pessimistic and expected a downturn in prices.

In addition, home owners in Scotland were expecting the biggest gains on 5.5% over the next six months. This is followed by homeowners in the North East and the Midlands.

The least pessimistic homeowners are in London, where just 32.8% believed that house price rises would stop in the next six months and actually fall by 6.7% with people in the south east also feeling very downbeat.


In other news announced this week, rents in the private rented sector (PRS) rose in Q1 of this year despite other sectors being impacted by Brexit uncertainty. The average property to rent in Scotland rose by 1.7% and in Glasgow, although tenants have been shopping around before renting a property, rents are up 2.9% with three bed properties rising 8.6% compared to last year. The demand for one and two bedroom properties posted strong growth at 5.3% and over half of all of Glasgow’s properties were let within just one month.

House prices

Glasgow posted the strongest gains in the UK with property values rising by 5.1% during the last year. Compared to the rest of the UK, house prices growth has fallen to its lowest level in seven year with the average property selling for 3.9% under the asking price, according to Zoopla.

In London homes are selling for 5.7% less than the asking price, but in Glasgow and Edinburgh homes are still being sold for more than the original asking price.

Talk to us at The Mortgage Hub if you would like independent advice on the best mortgage product for your needs.

The Mortgage Hub is an independent mortgage advisor serving the greater Glasgow area. Whether you are planning to buy your very first home and need the right first time buyer mortgage, or are looking to re-mortgage due to a house move or to growing family – we understand your journey is so much more than a financial process, it’s a journey to achieve your dreams, improve your lifestyle and achieve your true potential.

Our Tips for a Successful Buy-To-Let

Buying property to let has proven to be a wise investment for many, especially when carefully planned and researched. Here we take you through the key steps to consider when getting into the property investment game and becoming a landlord.

Researching buy-to-let mortgages

Have a look at all the different deals available at present. Borrowing rates in recent times have been historically low but it’s always good to remember and prepare for mortgage terms changing in the future and you need to be confident that any rental income will comfortably cover the cost of your mortgage. Many lenders require that rental income will in fact cover 125% – 145%, giving you a comfortable buffer. As with any mortgage application, you will need to prepare to give a lot of evidence of your current financial situation as well as having a decent sized deposit, usually between 20-30% of the property value. Take to our experts at The Mortgage Hub and we can guide you on the best available buy to let mortgage for your circumstances.

Finding the right letting agent

Working with a reputable and experienced letting agent in the area you are looking to invest will help from the get-go. You could develop a great working relationship that could see you through all stages of the process, from finding the right property, marketing your property in order to find the right tenants to the management of the rental property in the longer-term. Online agents can look costs-effective, but remember they may not have that all-important local knowledge or presence.


As this is likely to be one of your biggest investments, it makes sense to plan it out carefully and thoroughly. Calculate whether now is the right time to invest and what your long term aims are. Are you looking to increase monthly income, or put your money into bricks and mortar to watch it grow? If you can only afford a smaller property right now, prepare for a higher turnover of tenants who will potentially outgrow your property more often. This could also mean more instances when the property is empty and you are short on paying tenants. Larger HMO properties ideal for students are usually always easier to fill and give great returns as you can proportion the cost per room, this can be more costly to set up and there are many restrictions to factor in with HMO’s. This will all be shaped by your location…

Deciding on location

If you live near to a college or university, a flat suitable for students could be a great investment. You may not need to spend as much doing up a property, as it will only need to be comfortable and safe rather than a more permanent home. Smaller properties in central, urban locations could be ideal for professionals or young couples. If you are more rural, you might be able to rent out a larger family-sized home but pay attention to things like good schooling and amenities that all impact desirability and your potential for a successful let. Speaking to your letting agent about areas that are up-and-coming can help establish where people are increasingly looking to live and whether property value is likely to increase long-term.

Property type

Are you open to an older property that might need updating? You can pick up this type of property for an attractive price but go in with eyes wide open on what any renovations will mean in terms of time and budget. It’s important to not get carried away with renovations as you will not be living in the property yourself. Rental properties need not always have the latest most attractive kitchens and bathrooms, but should be clean, fresh, and safe for tenants. Newer, ‘walk-in’ condition properties will be easier to get on the market from the get go, but may cost more and perhaps have fewer unique selling points.

Work out your monthly rental income

Remember that rental price is often the key factor for tenants, so trying to recoup the costs of a newly installed kitchen by hiking up rent will only drive many potential tenants away. Be clear on how much you will be able to realistically charge for rent per month by speaking to your letting agent and doing research in the area – ideally before you buy. This will help you keep on track financially and ensure the best outcomes for your buy-to-let investment in the long run.

Talk to our experts and see if becoming a landlord is a viable option for you and your goals.

Easter Wishes from The Mortgage Hub

For many, Easter is a time for celebrating new beginnings. With spring officially here, winter receding and the days getting longer and warmer, it finally feels like a fresh start. It’s not surprising then, that a lot of us can find our minds wandering to thinking about our wishes and hopes for the future, and how we can make a new beginning in a new home. Continue reading Easter Wishes from The Mortgage Hub

More First Time Buyers Than Ever Ask Advice from a Mortgage Expert

In the last year, first time home buyers came to the market in unprecedented numbers to find out more about the accessibility of mortgages. Because of the historically low-interest rates and the relatively higher approval rates, many wishful home buyers are in a position to move one step forward on the property ladder. Continue reading More First Time Buyers Than Ever Ask Advice from a Mortgage Expert

Find and Finance Your Dream Home in the Next Year!

At The Mortgage Hub, we know that getting your mortgage in place is only one big step in securing your dream home. And while we do our best to secure the most suitable finance arrangement for each and every one of our clients, we take great pride in going above and beyond in helping you secure your dream home.

Here are three aspects we help our clients with to make sure they secure their perfect home!
Continue reading Find and Finance Your Dream Home in the Next Year!

The Benefits of Working with an Independent Financial Advisor

It goes without saying that buying a property is one of the biggest financial decisions you are likely to make, so it’s important to get the right mortgage to best suit your needs. Unsurprisingly, the mortgage market is highly competitive and, with so many providers offering different products and rates, it can be really difficult to understand. Most first-time buyers, as well as home owners who are looking to remortgage or move up the property ladder, simply don’t know where to start. That’s why it can be incredibly beneficial to have an independent financial advisor (IFA) to research the whole of the market and recommend the most appropriate mortgage and insurance products for you. Continue reading The Benefits of Working with an Independent Financial Advisor