There are currently three credit reference agencies in the UK - TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. All three use various methods to calculate your credit score, meaning there isn’t a universal credit score.
TransUnion uses a rating of one to five (one being the worst and five being the best) to organise credit scores.
Score 0-550 (Rating 1)
Score 551–565 (Rating 2)
Score 566–603 (Rating 3)
Score 604–627 (Rating 4)
Score 628–710 (Rating 5)
Experian provides scores out of 999. They define a good credit score as anything that’s 881 or above.
0—560 (Very Poor)
Equifax’s credit scores are out of 700. A good score is defined as anything that’s 420 or above.
0—279 (Very Poor)
What does my credit rating mean?
While each credit reference agency may have their own score ratings, they generally mean the same thing.
Poor – With a poor rating, you might not be approved for a loan or unsecured credit card. If you’re accepted, it’ll probably be at a very high interest rate.
Fair – You’re more likely to be accepted for credit and should be able to shop around for better deals.
Very good and excellent – You’re likely to be offered a low-interest rate and will probably have the best options when it comes to choosing repayment schedules or other terms.
Why is a credit score important?
A good credit score will improve your chances of being offered credit in the future as well as reduced rates, better offers, and improved payment schedules.
If your credit score is poor or you have a short credit history, it doesn’t mean you won’t be accepted. You just might have to settle for higher interest rates.
How can I improve my credit score?
If you’re disappointed by your credit score, it’s important not to panic. While there isn’t a quick fix, there are a number of simple strategies that will improve your score.
- Register on the electoral register
- Stop applying for credit cards
- Keep up to date with payments
- Close any old accounts
While lenders may set their own criteria and credit ranges when it comes to approving credit applications, if you know roughly where you stand on a credit score range, you’ll be able to make educated guesses on whether you’ll be accepted or not.
Are there any alternatives?
Yes. FriendlyScore is a modern credit score which enables you to check your score without leaving a footprint on your credit bureau account. By sharing your own financial data, FriendlyScore is able to calculate a credit score which can then be used by lenders to get you the best price on a mortgage. By not relying on credit bureaus, this puts you in control and won’t affect your chances of getting credit in the future. FriendlyScore also suggest ways of improving your score to enable you to get even better deals in the future. Best of all, it’s free.
FriendlyScore’s credit scores are out of 1000. A good score is defined as anything that’s 800 or above.
- 0—519 (Very Poor)
- 520—669 (Poor)
- 670—799 (Fair)
- 800—899 (Good)
- 900—1000 (Excellent)
To check your FriendlyScore today, simply download the app from either the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.