How to understand your Experian score

What to know about your Experian credit score.

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Up there with your income and your age, your credit score is one of the most important numbers you have in your life. It's a numerical representation of the information in your credit report and shows where you stand in terms of your finances. Your credit score from credit bureau Experian is a number between 0 and 1,000.

This guide will take you through what affects your score, what your Experian credit score means and a few ways to improve it.

What is your credit score?

Your credit score is a number from a credit bureau that sums up your credit position. It is calculated using the information on your credit report. Your Experian score is a number between 0 and 1,000; the higher the number, the better your score.

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What's a good Experian credit score?

Experian has five credit score bands that your score can fall into. These score grades range from "excellent" for scores that are closer to 1,000 down to "weak" for scores that are lower. Here is how the scores work:

  • Excellent: 800-1,000
  • Very good: 700-799
  • Good: 625-699
  • Fair: 550-624
  • Weak: 0-549

What affects your Experian credit score?

Your Experian credit score is affected by anything that is listed on your Experian credit report. However, this information affects your score in different ways. For example, a credit report that has a long history may result in your credit score being higher than one with a shorter history.

Here are some credit activities and the effect they can have on your Experian credit score:

Credit activityDetailsIncrease or decrease credit score?
Defaulting on a credit accountWhen you fail to repay a credit account it's listed on your report for 5 yearsDecrease
Negative data (such as defaults) removed from your credit reportListings only appear on your report for a limited period of timeIncrease
Multiple credit applications in a short space of timeApplying with several different lenders or for several different types of creditDecrease
Repaying a defaultPaying a default will update its status from "outstanding" to "paid"Increase
BankruptciesIf you are declared bankruptDecrease
Adding a new credit accountOpening a credit card or loanIncrease or decrease
Making repayments on time2 years of your repayment information is listed on your reportIncrease
Having excessive open credit accountsAll of your credit accounts are listed on your reportDecrease
Having too much unsecured creditToo many credit cards or unsecured loans can appear riskyDecrease
Having a combined credit limit that's too highThe credit limits of all of your accounts are listed on your report but not what you owe on those accountsDecrease

How can I improve my Experian credit score?

If you've checked your Experian credit score and there is room for improvement, there are a number of things you can do.

  • Make credit card and loan repayments on time. If you have a credit card or personal loan, make sure you are making repayments on time. Your ongoing repayments are listed on your credit report and on-time repayments can improve your score. Making additional repayments can also be a good option to consider because you will pay off your loan ahead of schedule, and your score will improve when the account closes.
  • Space out credit enquiries. Every time you apply for credit it is listed on your credit report. It will be listed whether or not you are approved. To avoid these enquiries building up and negatively affecting your score, double check you are eligible for any product before you apply. If you aren't approved for your first choice you can still apply with an alternative lender, but don't make this a regular occurrence. A general rule is one application every six months won't negatively affect your score.
  • Keep an eye on your credit report. Check everything on your credit report to make sure all of your information is correct. You may find a listing that hasn't been updated or something that is wrong which could improve your score.
  • Make sure all your providers have your contact information. Many defaults occur because banks and lenders aren't able to contact their customers. Make sure you redirect mail if you move and check that all your banks and credit providers have your contact details.
  • Consider consolidating your debt. As you can see from the table above, too much unsecured debt or excessive open credit accounts can decrease your credit score. If you are in this position you may want to look into your debt consolidation options. This can not only increase your credit score but also help reduce what you're paying in interest and fees.
  • Check your credit score regularly. Your credit score gives you an idea of what your credit position is. By checking it monthly you can see if your behaviour is good or bad for your credit score.

Have more questions about your Experian credit score?

What is Experian?

Experian is one of the three credit bureaus in Australia that collect and provide credit data.

Why don't I have a credit score?

You may not have a credit score for a number of reasons. It may be because you have held no credit accounts in the past or no details from your credit accounts have been sent to Experian.

Why do I have a low credit score but no negative listings?

Your credit score is affected by a number of factors including how old your credit report is, the type of credit accounts you have and your activities with your credit accounts. While you may not have done anything that falls in the "bad credit" bracket, such as defaulting on an account or declaring bankrupt, there may be insufficient credit information to show you are a low-risk borrower, hence the low score.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JohnMarch 16, 2019

    With a score of seven hundred, how much would I be able to borrow?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 17, 2019Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      I’m afraid I can’t provide a specific answer to your question, John. While it is true that having a very good credit rating, lenders use their own internal credit assessment procedures and credit rating is just one of the criteria they take into consideration.

      However, if you are trying to get a home loan, please check out this page. On that page, you’ll be able to get an estimate of how much you can borrow by using our free calculator.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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