What is a credit score?
A credit score is a tool often used by lenders to help them decide whether you qualify the product or service that they are offering. When you make an application for credit a lender may use the information on your credit file and any additional information you supplied as part of your application to calculate a score that represents your credit history. This score helps to indicate what kind of borrower you are, and how likely it is that you will effectively manage your repayments.
Throughout your life, your credit score will play a key role in the financial products you take out. For example, when applying for a credit card or mortgage, it will determine whether your application is accepted and what interest rate you end up paying. People with a higher score are often seen as lower risk, which means lenders are more likely to give them credit.
Your Equifax Credit Score is included as part of your Equifax Protect service. The Equifax Credit Score is grouped into five bands from very poor to excellent and can be used as an indication of how lenders may view your creditworthiness if you applied for credit today.
It’s worth remembering that every lender follows a different policy for credit scoring. So, if you don’t meet the criteria of one lender, you may still be able to get credit from someone else. It’s important if you are refused credit to find out why you were turned down before making another application. You should also be aware that too many credit searches in a short time period may be viewed negatively by lenders.
What factors can affect your credit score?
Your Equifax Credit Score is based on your Equifax Credit Report. Various different factors on your credit report can cause your credit score to change, including:
- Information on your credit report such as how much of your available credit you’re using and your total debts
- Your history of credit account payments including late or missed payments
- Credit searches (when a credit application is made)
- Public records (electoral roll and county court judgments (CCJs))
Simple steps to help you manage your credit score
- Review your credit report regularly to ensure the information held is correct
- Ensure you make all your payments on time and don’t miss any
- Close any unused credit accounts, as having a large overall credit limit may be viewed negatively by lenders
- Make sure you are registered on the electoral roll