How to understand your Equifax Score

Learn how your Equifax Score works so you know where you stand before you apply for credit.

Your credit report contains a summary of your financial history, and your credit score is a reflection of how reputable that history is. Equifax (formerly Veda) is the country's largest credit reporting bureau and scores you with its Equifax Score, a number between 0 and 1200. The guide below takes you through everything you need to know about this score, how it is calculated and how to know if your score is "good".

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What's a good credit score?

In Australia, your Equifax Score (formerly VedaScore) will be a number between 0 and 1200. A "good" credit score is between 622 and 725, a "very good" score is between 726 and 832 and an "excellent" score falls between 833 & 1200.

What is an Equifax Score?

There are a number of different credit scoring systems used by credit bureaus. These scores factor in the information listed on your credit file and reflect your ability to repay credit. An Equifax score is calculated by Equifax, Australia’s largest credit bureau. Your score helps lenders assess your credit application when you apply for a loan or line of credit. Similar to a tool that ranks your risk, all credit information is used to predict the outcome of your loan within the next 12 months.

In addition to your Equifax Score, lenders will apply their own lending criteria. This is why you shouldn’t completely rely on your score as an indicator of whether you should apply for the credit or not.

The difference between good and bad credit

Understand your credit score

Your Equifax Score is displayed as a number and indicates the likelihood of an adverse event being recorded on your credit file in the next 12 months. An adverse event can be a range of "bad credit" listings such as a default, a bankruptcy or a court judgement.

The higher your Equifax Score, the less likely it is an adverse event will be recorded on your file and the less of a risk you will appear to lenders. The lower your credit score the riskier you will appear as a borrower. We've broken down the Equifax score bands and what they mean in more detail below:

  • Below average to average (0-509). It's more likely an adverse event will be recorded on your file in the next 12 months. You are in the bottom 20% of Equifax's credit-active population.
  • Average (510-621). This score suggests that it's likely that you will incur an adverse event in the next 12 months. Your score places you in the bottom 21-40% of the credit-active population.
  • Good (622-725). Adverse events are less likely to be recorded for the next 12 months. You fall in the mid-range (41-60%) of Equifax's credit-active population.
  • Very good (726-832). Unfavourable events are unlikely to be recorded in your credit file within the next 12 months. Your score places you in the second-highest percentile range of the credit-active population (61-80%)
  • Excellent (833-1200). Adverse events are highly unlikely to happen within the next 12 months when compared to the average Australian. The odds of no adverse events occurring on your credit file in the next 12 months are five times better than the population average and you are in the top percentile range (81-100%).

How is your Equifax Score calculated?

Your credit score is calculated using the information on your credit report and there are a number of factors that take into account your risk as a borrower. These include:

  • Type of credit provider. There may be different levels of risk when approaching different lenders. A non-traditional lender may have a different level of risk than a bank or credit union.
  • The size of credit requested. Both the type and size of the loan or credit limit you’re requesting can affect your Equifax Score. Mortgages have a different level of risk compared to credit cards.
  • The number of credit enquiries. Every time you apply for a credit product, the credit provider obtains a copy of your file and the application is noted. If you've shopped around for credit and applied at a number of places in one space of time, it flags you as a higher risk. The pattern of credit enquiries over time also affects the level of risk.
  • Directorship information. If you’re a director or proprietor, it may impact your Equifax Score so it’s important to check both the individual and commercial sections of your credit file.
  • Age of credit file. The date your credit file was created. A new file may indicate a different level of risk compared to an older file.
  • Personal details. Your VedaScore will consider your age, length of employment and how long you’ve lived at your current address.
  • Default information. Any personal or business credit such as overdue debts, serious credit infringements or clearouts could negatively affect your VedaScore.
  • Court writs. Default judgements or court writs may convey you as an increased risk and negatively impact your VedaScore.

How to repair your credit

Frequently asked questions about your Equifax credit score

How can I improve my Equifax Score?

There are a number of ways to improve your credit score and it depends on what your current credit position is. However, limited your credit applications and making sure your repayments are on time will help improve your credit score. If you are able to, you can also consider cancelling or reducing the limit on your credit cards. Find out more ways to improve your credit score here.

How does my Equifax Score impact my credit application?

Your Equifax Score ranks the level of risk you are compared to the rest of Australia. It could be used to help credit providers assess your ability to pay the loan back and whether or not to approve your application.

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72 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    May 15, 2019

    I checked my score on a whim and was surprised to see 1150! Seeing as it is soooo close to 1200, I was wondering if there is anything I can do to push it the extra 50? A different type of credit perhaps?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiMay 16, 2019Staff

      Hi Oscar,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder.

      It’s great to know that your credit score is 50 points close to 1200! There are a multitude of factors that influence your credit score and being in the know may help you control the uptrend and the downtrend. This page shows how a credit score is calculated and you may want to take note of how your activity dictates your score.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    HaysApril 4, 2019

    Hi,

    I have a credit score of about 560 from your report. My question is, if this score is good enough to get me a credit card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniApril 6, 2019Staff

      Hi Hays,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Since you mentioned that the score of 560 is the result when you tried to obtain the free credit score from our page, that is under the bracket of FAIR. You may use this page as guide on Experian score. Please note that every credit provider like the credit card company you’re thinking to apply for a credit card with sets their own lending criteria as well as credit score standard that we have no info about. Since there are 4 credit reporting bureaus in Australia, credit providers also choose the CRA to partner with. I suggest that you contact your chosen provider to discuss your chances of being approved.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  3. Default Gravatar
    JohnMarch 16, 2019

    Hi there, further to Tim’s comment below (21 Nov 2018) and the response from John (23 Nov 2018), I think that the information about credit score ranges in your article above (dated as at 27 Feb 2019) is still inaccurate.

    My credit score on Equifax website shows as ‘807 – Good – 41%-60% range’. According to the information contained in the above article, I should be in ‘Very Good – 61%-80% range’.

    It would be great if the information in your article could be amended (if necessary) after checking with Equifax about their ranges etc.

    Cheers

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaMarch 18, 2019Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      I will have this forwarded to our publishing team to verify the information and amend this.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

  4. Default Gravatar
    MelissaNovember 26, 2018

    My current score is at 498. When I pay off my last remaining debts, will my score go up? I have noticed it slowly climbing up each month when I check. And I’ve gone from 4 debts down to only 2 debts now, which will be paid off next year.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezNovember 27, 2018Staff

      Hello Melissa,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, when you pay off your debts on time, your credit score will definitely go up. I’d like to refer you to the tips on how you can improve your credit score here.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  5. Default Gravatar
    TimNovember 21, 2018

    Just as a addendum to this, the credit score range you list and it’s associated score range is not accurate. I’ve got a score or 900+ but on my Equifax score on their system, my risk grade is still only ‘Very Good’. When I called them to ask why it wasn’t showing ‘Excellent’ they stated that they do not advertise any specific score range and only calculate based on the % range…

    Even late last year, my score was 760+, but my risk grade was still only ‘Good’ instead of ‘Very Good’. So while the range is a good info, it is not accurate and Equifax does not go by this score range mapping nor do they display this score range on their site, but ‘only’ show the % range.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnNovember 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Tim,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Thank you for sharing us your experience with Equifax’s credit rating. I will have this forwarded to our publishers to validate and correct the article as needed. Thanks again!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  6. Default Gravatar
    September 19, 2018

    How does cancelling a credit card improve your credit score if it doesn’t result in an entry on your credit file (i.e. the issuer does not advise nor notify any other entities or organisations of the cancellation)?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 19, 2018Staff

      Hello Caesar,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If the issuer did not report your credit card application to any credit reporting bodies, this may not have an effect on your credit score. Best that you verify by ordering a free credit report.

      Please note that (given that this is reported to a credit reporting body by your card issuer) cancelling a credit card doesn’t mean that its payment information comes off your credit report right away. One way to build credit fast is to make a large lump sum payment on your credit card debt. Your score will increase as your balances go down. If you pay off a maxed out card, your score can improve in a few months.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  7. Default Gravatar
    StuartAugust 22, 2018

    Hi,

    I got personal loan with NAB and the payment history in my credit file is showing from 8/2016 but no payments reported from that date till November 2017. They started so from November 2017 until July 2018. I had 8 missing repayments because there was over limit loan. I missed 3 repayments early 2017 because I lost job and I was catching up since then but they started to sent report from November 2017 till July 2018 and I made all my repayments during that period. Just want to know when will this update off missing repayments will be removed from my Equifax account. Isn’t 24 months and from which date it’s starting in my file it’s showing from 8/2016?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Stuart,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Sorry to hear your trouble. I can understand how tough it was to catch up with monthly repayments if you lost your source of income.

      Now, in relation to your query, there is no set frequency with which/when your credit report is updated. Your consumer credit report may be updated monthly, every time account repayment history information such as if you have paid a credit card, or other personal credit, on time is added, as well as if it has not been paid on time this will be recorded. Your credit report may also be updated whenever you apply for credit, open or close an account, change your credit limit or agree to act as a guarantor for someone else.

      Credit providers like NAB may also update your report when they list any overdue debts you may have incurred and they may also add certain information obtained from third parties, such as default judgments, court writs and Bankruptcy Act information. It is best to contact NAB about those months that you mentioned are not reflecting on your credit report or if you see something wrong that they have listed then. Credit providers also have their own credit report team that check every consumer’s account and help update your record with the CRA or credit bureaus e.g. Equifax. Please note that repayment history information stays on your credit report for two years.

      As per Equifax’s page, details regarding overdue debts are not removed from your credit report just because the debts have been paid. They’ll still remain on your report for five or seven years (depending upon the type of overdue debt); however, your credit report will be updated to reflect the fact that the debt is no longer overdue.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  8. Default Gravatar
    KathApril 28, 2018

    Hi,
    Just an enquiry I have made 2 personal loan and 4 credit card enquires last year as my mother had passed away and I was concerned as to how I would pay for her affairs. My credit score is 656 and in the last few days I have paid a 6k credit card off in full with no outstanding debts.
    It is my intention to go for a home loan with my partner in the next 6 months. I have an inherited investment property currently rented out as Im not working as im a SAHM. Will the banks even consider me?

    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoanneApril 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Kath,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Purchasing a property with your partner provides you with the distinct advantage of increasing your borrowing power during the home loan application. You may check this guide to learn about how to prepare for a joint property purchase.

      The same page will allow you to compare lenders and their offers, you just need to carefully evaluate your strategy and the type of home loan and features that will suit your financial situation. As we do not represent the companies featured on our pages, you may need to check on the lenders’ eligibility requirements to make sure that you qualify.

      Alternatively, you may speak with a mortgage broker for you to get specialised advise.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

  9. Default Gravatar
    JodieMarch 26, 2018

    How long after you have had applications do you leave it to get a better score

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMarch 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Jodie,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.
      For any credit enquiry, the time frame that it stays in your credit file is 5 years. There are two main types of credit enquiries: “soft” enquiries and “hard” enquiries. A soft enquiry is recorded any time you request a copy of your credit file, and doesn’t really have an impact on your credit score. A “hard” enquiry refers to any request for your credit file that’s made by a third party, such as a lender. For instance, every time you apply for a line of credit, such as a card or personal loan, the lender you’ve applied to will submit a request for your credit file. This request is recorded on your credit history as a “hard credit enquiry”. While a few of these enquiries is usually fine, too many hard enquiries on your credit file can suggest to lenders that you are not able to manage credit accounts responsibly, and may lead to a declined application.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    • Default Gravatar
      JodieMarch 27, 2018

      So I have a score of 225 when will that score get better as I have no defaults but can’t credit I have 5 credit enquiries

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMarch 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Jodie,

      Thank you for bringing that questions up here in finder.
      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice. To find out when the score get better, I suggest that you check it with Equifax. You may have no defaults but there are other factors that may pull down your score like type of credit provider, the size of credit requested, directorship information, age of credit file, personal details and court writs.
      You may want to know ways to improve your credit rating by checking out this link.

      I hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  10. Default Gravatar
    shaeFebruary 6, 2018

    credit score 400 & currently receiving Centrelink..no chance anywhere correct??

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Shae,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are looking for a personal loan given your circumstance, you may like to check out this guide – https://www.finder.com.au/loans-for-people-on-centrelink-payments.

      So even when you have bad credit, some lenders will still consider your application. They would be taking into account your overall financial situation aside from your credit history when considering your application.

      On that page, you can see lenders with green checks. Those are the possible lenders you can contact to discuss your options/eligibility.

      Meanwhile, in case you want to know what else you can do to improve your credit rating, please go to this page – https://www.finder.com.au/improve-your-credit-score

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua Infantado

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