New research by credit check provider Experian has revealed that 24% of their credit card searches last year were for credit builder cards. Clearly, people are recognising the variety of uses that credit cards have.
A low credit score makes it more difficult to be accepted for a mortgage, or to get the best deal on a credit card or loan. Sometimes, people get a low score without even realising it, simply by not having any credit history for the provider to check.
If you've never had a credit card or loan (other than a student loan), you may think that you won't need to run a credit check before applying for a mortgage, for instance. However, your score may be lower than you think – as our guide on improving your credit score explains – and if your application then gets rejected, your score will sink even lower.
Maybe that's why the research found the average age of those looking for a credit repair card is 34 – older than many may assume. Of course, these customers have had longer to lower their credit rating through loans, overdrafts and credit card debt, but they are also now in the age bracket that is most likely to be looking for a first home.
Anyone who's struggling to get a deposit together will know that it takes a while, but it could then take even longer to get your credit rating in the green. Starting with a credit repair card before your deposit is ready to go could save time down the line.
Similarly, 33% of those shopping for a loan are looking to consolidate their debts, according to Experian, with the average borrower looking to get a £10,915 loan over five years to clear their assorted debts. This is another important step anyone looking to buy their own home or simply improve their credit score should give careful thought to.
There's no point in having a credit repair card if you've still got debt to pay off, since the detriment of one would cancel out the benefits of the other. That's where our loan charts could come in, showing the best unsecured loans at £10,000 over five years.
Once you've cleared all your debts and built up your credit score using a credit card, you'll be able to apply for the best mortgage out there that fits your needs without worrying about being rejected (provided your application, job history and other necessary aspects are also in order).
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.