How to check your credit score
Determine your borrowing power and get your finances under control by checking your credit score.
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Keeping tabs on your credit score can help keep your financial reputation in check and improve the chance of an application being approved. Checking your report regularly also ensures you always have a comprehensive understanding of your credit history. You can use this guide to find out how you can check your credit score for free, understand what is considered a good or bad score and more.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a numerical representation of the information on your credit report. There are a few different credit reporting bureaus in Australia that offer credit scores and each have different credit score ranges, also called credit score bands. Scores from Experian are between 0 and 1,000 and scores from Equifax are between 0 and 1,200. The higher your score, the better a borrower you are determined to be. You can compare the breakdown from weak to excellent below:
|Fair / Average||550-624||510-621|
|Weak / Below average||0-549||0-509|
How do I check my credit score?
You have a few different options to check your credit score:
- Finder. We offer a free credit score and credit report service powered by Experian. Head to this page to check your full credit report and score. You'll also receive updates when anything on your report changes and get an updates score every month.
- Equifax. Equifax will give you a free copy of your credit report once every twelve months. Other circumstances for which you will be granted a free report are if you've been denied credit in the last 90 days, or, if you've had an error on your Equifax report corrected. You can also sign up for monthly subscriptions with Equifax that offer more reports and other features.
- ilion (formerly Dun and Bradstreet). ilion will provide you a copy of your credit score and information at no cost when you provide your full legal name, address, birth date and proof of identity documentation.
Do I need to check my credit report as well as my credit score?
It's important to keep an eye on your credit file as well as your credit score. As mentioned above, you can check your full credit report and score with finder. You're also entitled to one free credit report check per year from a credit bureau and you can also order a copy if you've recently been denied credit. Keeping an eye on your credit file can help keep the following things in check:
- Checking for incorrect defaults. In some cases, erroneous listings are a reason for a bad credit score. Checking your credit report can reveal incorrect accounts, debts wrongly listed as defaults or debts listed twice, which can then be removed to improve your score.
- Looking for incorrect personal information. Incorrect information about your current address can be detrimental to your credit reputation. This would mean that bills and other notices from credit providers would not reach you, leading to more default listings on your credit file.
- Monitoring instances of identity theft. Check your credit file regularly to ensure that there are no foreign credit applications or bills not known to you, as these might indicate that you have been a victim of identity theft.
If you do find incorrect listings on your credit report, check out our guide to removing incorrect defaults and black listings for tips on what to do next.
Have more questions about your credit score?
Does everyone have a credit score?
No. You will only have a credit score if you have a credit report, and you'll only have a credit report if you've held a credit account that has been reported to a credit bureau. This can include credit cards, loans or utility accounts.
How can erroneous credit applications be corrected?
Credit applications made by fraudsters or credit accounts that are not yours but are wrongfully listed on your credit report can only be removed by the credit provider who listed them. You should get in contact with the credit provider to remove the listing or follow up with the Credit Ombudsmen if the issue is not resolved.
How can I improve my credit score?
You can do this by spacing out or limiting your credit enquiries, paying all your debts on time and clearing your credit card debt in full every month. Utility bill payments and rent payments should also be made on time. See Finder's guide to improving your credit score for more tips.
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