There are three main credit reference agencies (CRA) in the UK, and each one uses a slightly different scoring system and scale.
This means that you can’t directly compare scores between the different CRAs- a score of ‘700’ could be considered excellent with one agency, and poor with another.
Your credit score is a number published by credit reference agencies, which lenders use to check how well you have managed your money in the past.
CRAs- a score of ‘700’ could be considered excellent with one agency, and poor with another.
At a glance, here is the minimum score needed with each of the main providers to achieve a ‘good’ credit rating:
- Experian: 881
- Equifax: 420
- TransUnion: 604
Although having a healthy credit score is important if you’re looking to borrow, there is no magic number that guarantees you success with lenders.
Every lender has their preferences or requirements to take into consideration, which can stretch beyond just having a ‘good’ rating from the CRA.
Compare How the UK’s Credit Agencies Measure Credit Scores
|Rating||What it means||Experian||Equifax||TransUnion|
|Max Score||The Highest Score you can get||999||700||710|
|Excellent||You will almost certainly be approved for credit and should have access to competitive interest rates and generous credit limits||961+||466+||628+|
|Good||You should have no problem being approved and getting access to reasonable interest rates and good credit limits||881 – 960||420 – 465||604 – 627|
|Fair||You are likely to be approved for credit face quite high interest rates and low limits||721 – 880||380 – 419||566 – 603|
|Poor||There is a chance you could be approved for credit, but you could be charged a high interest and have a low limit||561 – 720||280 – 379||551 – 565|
|Very Poor||You are unlikely to be approved for credit||0 – 560||0 – 279||0 – 550|
How Can I Check My Credit Score?
If you haven’t checked your credit score for a long time or are about to make a new credit application, it could be a good idea to check your credit score. To get a full picture and make sure that everyone has the correct details on file, you’ll need to inquire with each of the three main credit agencies
If you’re about to make a credit application with a specific lender, you might not have to check all three CRAs. Many lenders use only one credit reference agency (although others may use all three or a combination), so if you know which one your lender uses, you can check your file with that one.
Experian is the biggest and most commonly used credit agency in the UK. To check your credit score with them, open a free account directly with them here.
If you want to see your full, detailed report you can request a statutory copy of your credit report for free here. You can view this once a year free of charge and pay for a subscription service if you would like to see your report more often
Clearscore is a third-party agent which emails you a copy of your Equifax score for free every month.
Alternatively, you can request to view a copy of your full Equifax report for free, directly with the agency here. If you would like to view your report more than once every 12 months, you’ll need to pay for their subscription service.
For regular updates on your TransUnion credit score free-of-charge, you can subscribe to Credit Karma, a third-party agency that works with the company.
You can access a free copy of your TransUnion credit report for free here. This is a statutory report, meaning you can only access it for free once a year. If you would live to view it more often, you can pay for a subscription service.
The Importance of Having a Good Credit Score
Your credit score affects what kinds of borrowing are available to you and how much it costs you to borrow money. If you have a bad credit score, lenders perceive there is a risk in lending you money.
When a borrower doesn’t pay back their loan or is late in making repayments, it costs the lender more. To offset this risk, lenders charge higher interest rates to people with bad credit scores. If your credit score is particularly bad, you might not be accepted for credit at all.
Since the credit crunch, lenders have become pickier about who they take on for loans, and credit scores have become a more important part of the screening process.
In short, having a good credit score means that you will be able to access the best interest rates and have a better choice of products and lenders available to you.
All kinds of borrowing are affected by your credit score, including;
- Credit cards
- Personal loans
- Deals on vehicles and mobile phones
How Can Love Debt Free Help?
Here at Love Debt Free, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Debt help companies.
They have already helped thousands of people reduce and manage their debts, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these debt help companies, click on the below and answer the questions.