How To Pass a Credit Check With Bad Credit

Updated: December 13, 2023 Author:

Quick Answer: There is no foolproof way to pass a credit check if you have bad credit, but you can hedge the odds in your favour by being honest about your finances. On top of this, taking additional steps like offering collateral, getting a co-signer, or even exploring the marketplace to find a lender that is more lenient can also boost your chances of success.

    What is a Credit Check?

    A credit check is a check that potential lenders and landlords may conduct to check your trustworthiness and assess whether or not giving you or loan would be a good decision. There are a plethora of different factors that play a role when you get your credit checked, but the main aspects are your credit score as well as other factors such as your payment history and outstanding debt

    While having a lower credit score may be seen as a negative by potential lenders, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t pass a credit check. This is especially the case if you also utilise certain techniques and strategies. 

    Understand Your Credit Score

    Knowing that your credit score plays a role in a credit check is all well and good, but what exactly is a credit score? Well, credit score is simply a number that suggests how well you have paid back loans in the past. Scores range from 0-999 in the UK, with the higher your score being, the better.

    If you have a low credit score, this is probably because you either very rarely use credit or have a history of being late on payments.

    Disputes About Your Credit File

    Before you take any other steps, the first course of action you should take is to have a look at your credit file for any problems. Disputing your credit report is very straightforward, and you would be surprised at just how much amending your credit file can affect your chances of getting through a credit check if there are any real issues stopping you from passing. 

    Errors aren’t very common, but they have been known to happen. Luckily, if there is an error on your file, you can go straight to the provider or creditor with whom the issue in hand was associated and get any problems hashed out quite quickly. 

    Tips to Pass a Credit Check With Bad Credit 

    If you want to go above and beyond to increase your chances of passing a credit check, there are a few extra steps you can take to try and impress lenders. Here are a few tips that may help you:

    • Get a Co-Signer: Having a co-signer with a good credit score can do wonders when it comes to improving your chances of being accepted. This person vouches for you and makes lenders more lenient. 
    • Offer Collateral: Offering collateral can make lenders much more comfortable with you as it gives them a safety net to fall back on. 
    • Highlight Your Income: Highlighting that you have a stable income and a good debt-to-income ratio can showcase your ability to pay off your debts and loans.
    • Explore Your Options: You may want to compare lenders to see if you can find a lender that is more lenient to those with bad credit. 

    What is a Bad Credit Score?

    A bad credit score is usually considered to be a credit score that is 700 or lower. This varies between different evaluators, so it could be a good idea to check what score is considered to be low depending on who you are going through. 

    Nevertheless, a bad credit score isn’t that big of a deal, and there are countless steps you can take to improve your credit score.

    How to Improve a Bad Credit Score

    If you have some time to improve your credit score before a credit check, you should do so. Fixing a bad credit score isn’t that arduous once you know the right tools & techniques, and there are likely numerous things you can begin doing right now that can make a difference. 

    Here are some of the best tactics you can use to improve your credit score: 

    1. Check your credit score

    2. Pay your bills on time

    3. Pay off down debt

    4. Avoid new hard inquiries

    5. Boost your credit

    How to Maintain a Good Credit Score

    The most reliable way to make sure you never have any problems with credit checks is to maintain a good credit score. Improving credit can take time, but once it is at a satisfactory level, you will want to maintain it as much as possible.

    The best way to go about this is to simply automate things. Make sure the money for any loans and debts you may have automatically comes directly out of your paycheck each week/month – this will ensure you never miss a payment accidentally. You’ll also want to try to get a better hold over your finances by setting budgets and ensuring you can pay your loans on time. 

    Additionally, don’t be afraid to take out more credit if you can afford it and if it is for a good reason, especially if you diversify your payments by having different types of loans and credit. 

    The Bottom Line

    To conclude; having bad credit can negatively affect your chances of passing a credit check, but there are multiple steps you can take to give yourself a better chance. 

    Be honest about your finances, and if you feel like you need to take some extra steps, you might want to get a co-signer or offer collateral. 

    If you have a little more time to get your affairs in order, you can implement some longer-term strategies. Simple things like paying your bills on time, diversifying your credit, and paying your down debt can have a huge impact on how likely you are to get accepted – it may even make the difference.