Credit Score

What is a Credit Score?

A Credit Score is generated from the information found on your Credit Report. Generally, ‘positive’ information (such as being registered to vote and a good history of borrowing and making repayments on time) add to your score, while ‘negative’ information (missing payments, defaults & CCJs) will lower your score. Most credit scores range from 0-1000, with the exception of Equifax, which has a score range of 450-650.Credit Scoring was developed to help speed up the application process and reduce the possibility of errors and as such they are usually more reliable than processes that rely on Underwriters.

checkmyfile was the first company in the UK to provide consumers with online access to their credit scores.

Each Credit Reference Agency and lender has their own scoring system, and as such there is no universal score in the UK. Even the credit scores that the credit reference agencies sell to lenders bears no relation to the credit scores they sell to consumers.

The scores generated by lenders are based on their own assessment criteria, so the score you see on your credit report and the scores used by lenders are not the same thing. For that reason, even if you have the highest score possible on your report, you could still be turned down for credit if you don’t meet the lender’s specific requirements.

Every credit score card is different, as each is developed specifically for a particular type of lender. What works well for a credit card company might not work as well for a mobile phone supplier for instance.

Most commercial score cards are produced by US company Fair Isaac. The UK credit reference agencies also sell their own generic scores (known as bureau scores to lenders). Experian`s is called Delphi, and TransUnion’s bureau score is called Callscore. Equifax’s is simply called the Equifax Bureau Score.

Q: If I have a high credit score does that mean I’m guaranteed a loan?

A: Not necessarily. The credit score shown on your report is not the credit score that lenders use, so a high score doesn’t guarantee you’ll be granted every mortgage, loan or credit you apply for. If anything, the credit score on your report can be used as a handy tool to let you see how healthy your credit history looks like at a glance.

Q: Why is my score different for each credit reference agency?

A: Even though reference agencies get their information from many of the same sources, they work out their scores differently. Their opinions may differ about how many ‘points’ a default should impact a score, what the range of the score should be and what counts as something that determines points against your score.

Q: How is a credit score calculated?

A: Your credit score is calculated as the probability of you defaulting on a payment based on the information on your report, but Credit Reference Agencies and lenders never disclose the exact formula they use to determine this.

Q: How can I check my credit score?

A: You can see your credit score based on data from 4 Credit Reference Agencies along with the rest of your credit report when you sign in to checkmyfile. If you haven't already, you can try us FREE for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel online anytime.

Find out more about using checkmyfile to see your Credit Score

Jargon Buster

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