Check your credit ratingIf you’re relying on a loan or finance deal to help pay for your car, it’s important you boost your credit score.

A credit report contains history of your credit accounts, including any credit cards you may have, your mortgage and repayment history – even your mobile phone or other payment contracts.

Finance lenders calculate a credit score based on details you and external agencies provide. If you don’t meet their criteria, they could refuse your loan package application, or offer you finance at a higher rate.

• Your credit score is affected by your outgoings, bills, outstanding debt, electoral roll data, court records, fraud and account data
• Check your credit rating online – this can sometimes reveal incorrect information which can be rectified
• Build a good credit history by always repaying on time and staying within credit limits
• Home owners and those in full-time employment are more likely to be granted loans than those who rent and are self-employed
• If you’re not on the electoral register you’re less likely to be accepted for loans or finance

How Auto Trader can help:

Car loans and finance
Free credit check

More in-depth buying advice:

How to choose the right car:
Buying a used car | Buying a new car | Setting your budget
Comparing new and used cars | Choosing the right car
Buying an imported car | Buying a classic car

How to buy a car:
Contacting the seller | Inspecting a used car | Test driving a car
Haggling with sellers | Doing the paperwork

How to pay for your car:
Understanding car loans and finance | Checking your credit rating
Returning a car