Find out what a credit score is and what it can do for you.Read more…
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|Equifax||Experian||Illion||Average credit score in Australia(1)|
|725+ for a good score||700+ for a good score||700+ for a good score||695.6|
Experian, Illion and Equifax are the leading credit score providers in Australia, but you can also get your score through a bunch of other providers (like us!).
Each bureau uses a different scoring system, so what is considered a "good" credit score will be different with each. As a rule of thumb, an Experian or Illion credit score over 700 is "very good" and an Equifax credit score over 726 is "very good".
Your score can vary between 0 and 1,000 or 1,200, depending on the credit bureau, but no matter which bureau you use, the higher the score, the better it is.
What is the average credit score in Australia?
According to our research, the average credit score in Australia is 695.6(1). We've also found that it varies by your age and gender(2):
- Highest average credit score: males over 60 (788.3).
- Lowest average credit score: females between the age of 21 and 30 (671.7).
You can get a free copy of your credit report and credit score through the free Finder app. You'll also receive notifications whenever something changes in your report, so you can always keep your finances in healthy shape.
Credit score ratings explained (From weak to excellent)
|Credit score rating||Why do you have this score?||What do lenders think?|
|1,000 or 1,200 (perfect score)||You'll likely be able to negotiate lower rates and better terms for borrowing than most.|
|800–999 (excellent)||You can also land good rates and terms.|
|700–799 (very good)||The same great rates as someone with an excellent score might not be on the table, but you'll still secure a reasonable deal.|
|500–699 (average)||Securing a big loan will depend on the lender's specific criteria and other individual factors like your current employment and debts.|
|300–499 (fair)||You're probably in a younger age bracket too, which lenders tend to view as riskier.|
|0–299 (low)||This score means you'll struggle to land a big loan.|
What is a bad credit score?
Credit scores between 0 and approximately 500 are considered bad. If you're applying for a credit card in Australia, you'll usually need a good or better credit score to receive approval. If you do have a low credit score, there are steps you can take to increase it and improve your financial history.
What is a good credit score according to lenders?
Lenders will favour people with an average, very good or excellent credit score. Generally anything 620 or above will be looked at favourably by lenders.
What can cause a bad credit score?
From late payments and numerous credit card applications to defaults and bankruptcy, here are some of the factors that can lead to a low credit score:
- Numerous credit accounts and applications. Having too many loans to your name isn't a good look because it puts in question your ability to manage and repay all of them at once. All loan applications stay on record for 5 years.
- Credit enquiries. Every time you apply for credit, the lender makes an enquiry on your credit history. This enquiry itself is then recorded on the report going forward, leaving a trail of credit enquiries that other future lenders will not look favourably upon. These stay on record for 5 years.
- Late or skipped payments. Poor payment habits can be a warning sign to potential lenders, so it is always better to make a repayment on time, even if it's a small or partial amount. It's also important to remember that loan repayment history stays on your record for 2 years.
- Credit defaults. This happens when a lender takes action to retrieve an outstanding payment and stays on your record for 5 years.
- Court writs and summons. These legal blemishes stay on your record for 4 years.
- Serious credit infringement or clearouts. If you fail to make payment and the creditor is unable to contact you for more than 6 months, a serious credit infringement will be marked on your record for 7 years.
- Bankruptcy and insolvency. These will stay on your report for 5 years after the start of insolvency, or 2 years after the insolvency ends, whichever is longer.
Having a good credit score matters because it's a factor that determines whether you can borrow money. If you've checked your credit score and found it falls into one of the higher credit bands, there are ways you can use it to your advantage.
- Ask for a home loan discount. Your good credit score indicates a steady financial position, so you may be able to negotiate a better rate with your home loan provider or even get certain fees waived.
- Increased borrowing capacity. You may be able to borrow more money with a good credit score.
- Easier approval for rental properties. If you have a good credit score and are renting, you're likely to be at the top of the list for landlords and real estate agents, who often check credit as part of their tenant screening process.
- Consider a peer-to-peer loan. This is a relatively new type of lending where your interest rate is based on your credit score. The better your credit score, the lower your rate, which can be as low as 4% p.a. for an unsecured personal loan.
- Choose a credit card with rewards. If your financial situation is stable and you're considering getting a credit card or upgrading your current one, why not consider one with rewards? If you repay your balance in full each statement period, you won't have to pay any interest.
How to improve my score
If you want to give your credit score a bit of a boost, you can improve it by following these 5 easy steps:
- Get your credit score and credit report. You can get both of these for free via the Finder app.
- Remove incorrect information. Occasionally you might be mistakenly credited for the debt of a family member or a stranger with a similar name to you. Ensure you have these removed by contacting the credit reporting agency.
- Identify where you can improve. For example, if you have a credit card with high limits and you aren't using it all, consider reducing it. You should also avoid making multiple credit applications in a short period of time.
- Repay your bills on time. This helps ensure no defaults land on your credit report.
- Continue to track your score and your credit. By getting your free credit score through the Finder app, you'll receive notifications any time something changes in your credit report so that you're always on top of your finances.
How do I check my credit score?
You can check your credit score for free with the Finder app. It's a secure way to find your credit score and your credit report so you know exactly where your finances are at. We'll update it automatically every month, let you know if your score has changed and will give you handy tips to improve it. Getting your credit score through the Finder app also unlocks additional benefits like finding out how likely you are to be approved for a personal loan or credit card.
1. Average credit score in Finder's member database from June 2018 to February 2021.
- 2. Average credit score by age and gender in Finder's member data (All-time).
Dig in deeper with our credit score guides
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