26 Nov What Is A Good Credit Score In The UK? How to Increase Yours
A credit score is a way for lenders to assess how reliable you are with your money and how likely you are to repay borrowed money. In the eyes of a creditor, the higher your score is, the more likely you are to receive a loan or mortgage.
Because you’re viewed as reliable by creditors, you’ll also receive more perks regarding interest rates and generous loan offers.
On the other hand, a bad credit score can affect your chances of getting a mortgage, as well as increase your interest rates.
So, how do you know if you have a good credit score in the UK? And what if you don’t? We’ll discuss an ideal credit score and how you can increase yours.
How is credit score calculated?
A credit bureau will calculate your credit score based on your credit history and reports. While each bureau has a unique way of calculating your score, they generally take into consideration how you pay your bills and the period between each payment, how much debt you have, and how your financial track record compares to other active credit consumers.
Your credit score is only one aspect of your credit report. Bureaus will also note your employment position, your financial history and any information the organisation already has about you.
Based on all of the information above, the bureau will translate its findings into a score. This is known as the credit score.
What’s a good credit score in the UK?
When it comes to accessing a good credit score in the UK, you need to take into account the fact that there are three leading credit reference agencies (CRAs), each of which provides you with varying credit scores categorised as very poor, poor fair, good and excellent. A credit score of 881-960 is considered good.
Below you’ll find credit scores from each of the agencies. Any score that falls below the ‘fair’ range may be considered bad credit.
Experian credit score range
Experian, the largest CRA in the UK, credit score ranges from 0-900.
- Fair: 721-880
- Good: 881-960
- Excellent: 961-999
Equifax score range
Equifax credit score ranges from 0-700.
- Fair: 380-419
- Good: 420-465
- Excellent: 466-700
TransUnion, formerly known as Callcredit, credit score ranges from 0-710. It’s also the UK’s second-largest CRA.
- Fair: 566-603
- Good: 604-627
- Excellent: 628-710
What is the average credit score in the UK?
Establishing an average credit score in the UK can be complicated because of age groups and demographics. Each postal code in the UK has varying credit scores. However, if we assess the average score from Experian UK, the UK’s average score reached 797 in 2021. This is an improvement from 792 in 2020, yet it is still seen as a fair credit score.
What is a good credit score to buy a house in the UK?
When a lender is considering offering you a loan, they will review your credit score, and based on their own requirements, they will assess whether you approve of a mortgage or not. Ideally, your credit score should sit between fair and excellent in order to receive higher perks, like lower interest rates and larger loans.
What impacts your credit score?
As you start interacting with financial institutions, like banks and credit unions, you’ll start to develop a financial portfolio and history. The following factors have the potential to affect your credit score:
- The length of your credit history – have you just started using a credit card and applying for loans?
- Too much debt – have you accumulated too much debt that you can’t pay back?
- Negative information – have you appeared in court for blacklisting?
- Missing payments or not paying promptly
- Going over your credit limit
- Moving houses too often – lenders assume you are less stable
- Having a joint account with someone who has a had credit score
- Frequently withdrawing cash from your credit card
How can you get a good credit score?
Having a good credit score is not only important for buying a home or car, but it can even affect what you pay for insurance. However, if you currently have a low credit score, some factors can help improve your score.
- Keep your credit card balances low – If you tend to spend over your credit limit, only then consider extending the limit
- Consider closing old and unused credit accounts
- Catch up on past-due accounts
- Apply for credit only when you need it
- Build your credit file – you need to build a credit score through various active credit accounts
- Don’t miss payments – an ideal solution is to set up automatic payments, such as with gym memberships and subscription services