Build your credit history with your rent
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Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed
How to build credit with no credit history
If you’re just starting out with building your credit, you won’t have a credit history yet — which is fair enough (we all start somewhere).
It can, however, feel like a bit of a catch-22 that you have to have a good credit history to build credit… but here’s a list to help you get there in the simplest way:
✔ Become a household bill payer
If you’re not already, adding yourself as a named bill-payer can be a great first step on your credit history journey. If you live in a house of three or more adults, simply adding yourself to the council tax bill is a fast and easy way to begin your credit history.
Always aim for no more than one hard-check every six months, so spreading time between adding yourself as a bill payer would be smart! Also, you will be declaring your financial connection with the other members of your household. This is something to think about if one of you has poor credit behaviour as it could negatively affect the others in the home.
✔ Pay your phone bill
If you’d rather not be financially associated with the other members of your household, there are other ways to start building credit history. Getting a mobile phone contract, or paying your car insurance in monthly instalments both improve your credit history.
✔ Consider a credit-building credit card
There are some credit cards that are specifically designed to help you build your credit history if you are just starting out or need to rebuild your credit history, but they typically have high interest rates. However, any credit card will help you build your history. Just follow this simple rule: spend on it with just a little money and pay it back in full before you start incurring interest.
✔ Get started with Loqbox Rent
For just £2.50 a week, we can securely track your rent payments and make regular reports of them to Experian. There’s no hard checks and no hassle! Simply make your membership payments and connect to your bank account every 90 days (we’ll send you a reminder). Not to mention the access to our other great credit-building features Loqbox Grow and Loqbox Save. Here's how it works.
Once you’ve built your credit history, these things can keep it healthy:
✔ Always make your payments
Missing payments can have a negative impact on your credit history. Missed payments can show up for six years (yikes!), although with time they become less important. As a rule, always be sure to pay on time.
✔ Keep your credit file neat and tidy
Check your credit report with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion occasionally. We recommend at least once a year. If you see any errors or fraudulent activity happening under your name, let them know urgently (especially for fraud issues!). Remove any old partners or housemates that you are no longer linked to and confirm your address is correct across all three reports.
You can check your credit report without damaging your credit file by using these sites:
ClearScore (uses Equifax data)*
Credit Club (uses Experian data)
Intuit Credit Karma (uses TransUnion data)
*Full transparency: If you decide to sign up to ClearScore using the link above, we’ll get a small commission.
✔ Keep your oldest credit account going!
If your only evidence of credit is with a mobile phone provider, don’t be too quick to change to another company. Having a good relationship with one provider over many years can look good on your credit file!
Use this as a rule of thumb for the long-term: “keep your longest credit account going”.
✔ Building credit without a credit history is a long game
There’s no fast fix (as much as we’d like there to be) but improving your credit history isn’t unachievable — it just takes time. Have some patience and persistence, because you’ve got this!
What is a credit history?
Your credit history is what it says on the tin — it’s the history of how you use credit. If you’ve ever purchased a car, phone or laptop on finance, or taken out a personal loan, then there’ll be a history of how much you borrowed and when you paid it back.
If you’re just starting out, Loqbox Rent can help you build a stress-free credit history by reporting your rent payments. Easy!
There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They each gather your financial information from the companies who you deal with (like your bank or utility suppliers) to create a personalised credit file.
What lenders use:
Lenders will use your credit file information, and run it through their own algorithms to decide whether to approve your request to take out their financial product. They aren’t looking at your credit score (that’s for you to have an estimate of how healthy your credit information appears to be). But they will be looking for things like missed payments.
What are the benefits of improving your credit score?
Better credit scores mean you’re more likely to be offered better deals on credit products in the future. Mortgages, loans, credit cards — whatever your next big financial goals are, you deserve to have the best chance of getting the best interest rates. Having a better credit score could seriously save you thousands of pounds in interest.
A 70 point increase could save you...*
A 300 point increase could save you...**
credit card balance
** Based on the difference in interest rates achievable with Poor and Good credit ratings
Why is it important to build a credit history? Why do I need to build my credit?
It is really important to build up your credit history, because it has a ripple effect on your finances and borrowing power.
With a healthy list of evidence under your belt that proves you have been paying your financial commitments responsibly, you can have confidence that lenders will be looking at your credit report feeling confident that you’ll pay them back as you promise to.
Lenders want to see stability, and building a good credit history shows them just that!
What if my credit history isn’t in the UK?
The bad news is that you can’t transfer your credit history from another country into the UK’s financial system.
But the good news is that you probably already know how to build a credit history and what to avoid doing to negatively impact it. Make a fresh start by following our ‘Golden rules of credit building’ (specific to the UK) to find out what you can do over here to start building yours in the UK from today.
Does having little or no credit history affect my credit score?
Yes. And this is because here in the UK, the evidence built up in your credit history over time is a key factor for building your credit score.
Without much of a credit history, the credit reference agencies aren’t able to see how you’ve managed credit in the past. Meaning your credit score will be lower than someone who is actively using credit agreements and is paying those off responsibly.
Does paying your rent on time build credit?
Until now, renting has been frustrating. (Especially for people who dream of owning their own home, who spend all that money paying off their landlord’s mortgage, instead of their own.)
And traditionally, rent payments don’t even help to build your credit history, helping you get a good mortgage deal (UGH)! But improving your credit history can save you £1,000s on mortgages, credit cards and loan rates.
If you’re a renter, you can finally put your rent money to good use! Build your credit history without the hassle, with Loqbox Rent.
Securely connect your bank account with clever Open Banking technology — then tell us how much your rent is, when it’s due (don’t worry, there’s a buffer in case your rent day falls on the weekend) and we’ll report those regular payments to Experian.
We won’t see or use any other information in your bank account. All you have to do is meet your weekly £2.50 membership payments, reconnect your bank account every 90 days, and let us know if your circumstances change. Read more about how it all works here.
Does everyone have a credit history?
If you’ve ever used credit — with a credit card, a personal loan, or even a phone contract — then you have a history of that credit use.
It’s best to think of your credit history as a record of how you used your credit over time, how much you borrowed and how well you paid it all back ( hopefully with no missed payments).
If you haven’t used credit, then you won’t have a credit history. Banks and lenders sometimes call this a ‘thin file’ — which means your credit file is pretty empty due to there not being much evidence of credit use.
We know that many people handle their money brilliantly, but there does need to be a paper trail of that evidence. And that’s what credit histories are all about! It shows what lenders like to call ‘creditworthiness’.
Having a credit history matters because when a bank or lender considers lending to you, they are going to look for some evidence that you can pay them back). If there isn’t any evidence of how you use credit, then they may be wary to lend to you. And their wariness could mean you’re offered poorer rates on mortgages, loans and credit cards.
If you want to make a difference to your credit history today, don’t be shy — the sooner you start building your credit history, the more of it you’ll have. And getting started with Loqbox for just £2.50 a week, can help you build yours without hard credit checks or hassle.
How to find out your credit history
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the UK’s three main CRAs (Credit Reference Agencies). They each hold a report of your credit history and this helps them to generate your credit scores. Psst — they each have their own scoring system, so you have three credit scores, not one.
Legally, they must offer you a basic statutory credit report (although it won’t contain your credit score).
However, if you’d prefer to check your credit report freely and as frequently as you’d like to (plus find out your credit score), then you can use these links:
ClearScore (uses Equifax data)*
Credit Club (uses Experian data)
Intuit Credit Karma (uses TransUnion data)
*For transparency, we wanted to let you know that ClearScore pay us a small commission if you sign up using this link.
How do credit scores work? How is your score calculated?
Take one look at a statutory credit report and you’d be forgiven for feeling like the face melt emoji. How are the public supposed to understand them, let alone feel confident that their credit application was going to go through? This confusion is exactly why credit scores were created!
Largely made up by your credit history, but also things like whether or not you’re registered to vote, your financial connections, and whether there are any missed payments, defaults or County Court Judgments.
You can compare your three scores to the chart below to see how you’re getting on:
The data in this table was last reviewed in June 2023.
Keep in mind
Credit scores exist to give you an indication of how a lender may view you. It won’t be what a lender looks at directly.
They will want to see how you’ve managed money in the past though. So it’s worth putting the effort into building your credit history because it is a core part of how your credit scores are generated too (win-win).
Boost your borrowing power with your regular rent payments
Credit history is the evidence using credit, over time. So what happens if you don’t have much of that?
The best thing to do is to make a start! The sooner you start building credit history, the better it’ll be for applying for things like mortgages, credit cards and loans in the future.
In the UK, rent doesn’t traditionally contribute to your credit history — but with Loqbox Rent it can! Put your monthly rent payments towards building a brighter financial future, today.
It doesn’t matter if you pay rent to a private landlord, letting agent or to your local council. Loqbox Rent can securely identify the rent payments leaving your bank account and report them to Experian to build your credit history.
“The App synchronization with my bank in noticing when I paid my rent is superb”
- Marcus, L
"It is easy to use and helps me reach my goal"
- Ben, S
"Because it's simple to use, easy to manage and records rent accurately"
- Alex, F
Build your credit history with Loqbox Rent
Loqbox makes your rent do the work! Start building your credit history today
Our mission is to help you live a richer life — whatever that looks like for you. Join us now to get on your way to a brighter future.
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