You cannot escape your credit history, and it is there for everyone to see if you are attempting to come to any financial arrangement. If you have not handled your finances well, or have suffered some misfortune that left you unable to meet your agreed payments at some time, it will be recorded.
Thanks to the internet, which is watching your every move, that information is accessible instantly. Computer systems are often linked to those of the credit reference agencies permanently, so automatic searches affect the outcome of any applications you make.
If you have seen the property of your dreams in the window of a letting agents in Cobham, and want to apply for it, check your credit history first. There may be something there that will prevent you from qualifying for it.
The best way to check your credit history is to ask for a report from the three main reference agencies; Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit. You can get your reports online for a reasonable cost of two pounds, or they will post them to you.
If your history is in a shocking state, there is little you can do about it in the short term. In England, all of the payments you missed or that were late will stay on your history for six years, after which time they will no longer be a part of it. If you take care of your finances for that period and never delay or miss a commitment, there will be no black marks against you.
If there are only one or two negative points on your credit report, maybe you owe a couple of hundred pounds on a mobile phone contract that you thought was clear; pay it off. It will show on your report as settled within the next twenty-eight days. Through the reference agencies, you can then put a note of explanation on your report.
If the report shows a debt that you do not acknowledge, ask the agency to remove it from your report and leave a note on there that you dispute it.
A problem can arise when a person has no credit history. That is to say that they owe no money, but have no recorded payments either, so the letting agent has no idea about your financial competence. Build up your credit history with a credit card. The first card will come with a very high APR, but that does not matter if you pay the whole balance off every month. You must use it, however, or it is worthless to you. Pay for your weekly shop with it instead of cash; that is enough to build a credit profile. Alternatively, take out a loan. Again, since the lender knows little about you, the APR will be very high. Payday loans are great for building a profile, as long as you pay them back within a week.
It is more important than ever before to manage your money well and never miss a payment. If you do, it can affect you for a very long time. Be wary of unscrupulous lenders who make it their mission to get you into more debt than you can handle, so that they can charge you even more when you begin to struggle. They are out there whether they will admit it or not. I hope you have found this useful and will get the home of your dreams; many people do in the end.