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How your credit score impacts your ability to get a home loan

What your credit score means for your dreams of homeownership.

Updated

How credit score affects your home loan application

In 2014, the way Australians’ creditworthiness was measured changed significantly. Changes to the Privacy Act introduced Comprehensive Credit Reporting, or positive credit reporting. This meant that lenders now had new information with which to assess borrowers. This means more positive information, such as your repayment history, would affect your credit score.

What is my credit score?

Credit scoring provides a measure of your risk of future default based on your credit history. Each credit reporting body measures credit scores differently. If you get your free credit score from finder it will be delivered from Experian and will be a number between 0 and 1,000. The higher the number, the better your credit score is.

What credit score do I need to get a home loan?

Unfortunately, this question is difficult to answer. Lenders in Australia don’t make their credit criteria public. Moreover, most lenders don’t rely solely on your Experian score to determine whether or not you’re at risk of default. Instead, they use their own internal credit assessments along with your score.

While it’s tough to definitively state what the cut-off point is for a home loan, Experian scores do have benchmarks that can be useful in getting an idea of how likely you are to be approved for a home loan.

  • Excellent: A score between 800-1,000 is considered Excellent. This means you are at extremely low risk of defaulting in the next 12 months. If your score is in this range, you’re unlikely to run into any trouble getting a home loan.
  • Very Good: A score from 700-799 is considered Very Good and puts you in the second-top tier of creditworthiness. Most lenders would look very favourably on you.
  • Good: A score from 625-699 is classified as Good. This still puts you in good standing and the likelihood of an adverse event occurring on your credit file in the next 12 months is considered below average.
  • Fair: A score from 550-624 puts you in the Fair category. This means you’re likely to suffer an adverse event on your credit file in the next 12 months. Keep in mind, though, that lenders will still take into account their own assessments, as well as your income and liabilities.
  • Weak: Any score below 549 puts you in the Weak category. Lenders consider the likelihood of an adverse credit event high. You may have trouble obtaining finance from traditional lenders.

Credit scores for bad credit borrowers

A credit score in the bottom two categories isn’t necessarily a death sentence for your dreams of homeownership. There are lenders who specialise in offering home loans to borrowers with bad credit. They’ll take a more hands-on approach in assessing your credit history, taking into account extenuating circumstances. You’ll end up paying more in interest, but you’ll also have the opportunity to begin rebuilding your credit history.

Read more about home loans for borrowers with bad credit

How is my credit score calculated?

Your credit score consists of a variety of factors from your credit history, including:

  • Number of credit enquiries. Applying for a lot of credit cards or loans can adversely affect your credit score.
  • Defaults. If you’ve defaulted on a debt, this will impact your credit score.
  • Type of credit applied for. Your credit score will be different depending on the type of credit and the size of the loan you’re after. Mortgages are calculated using a different risk profile than something like a personal loan.
  • Court writs or judgements. Any writs or default judgements will negatively impact your score.
  • Payment history. This is where the “positive” in positive credit reporting comes in. Your credit file will also reflect your on-time payments, which can help balance out some negative marks.

How do I find out my credit score?

You can access your Experian Score for free through finder. You’ll get a copy of your score as well as your full credit report. You can also get tips on how to improve your credit score.

Remember, a low score may limit your options, but it doesn’t necessarily close the door on your homeownership ambitions. Even with a less-than-perfect credit history, there may still be home loan options available to you.

Get your free credit score now

Compare today's home loan rates

Data indicated here is updated regularly
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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR<=90% Incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.78%
2.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get one free online redraw per month and pay no ongoing fees. Application fees are waived for loans above $150,000. Refinance to an eligible Suncorp loan and get a cashback of $2,000 or $3,000, depending on your loan amount. Other conditions apply.
St.George Basic Home Loan - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.64%
2.66%
$500 (waived for loans above $150,000)
$0 p.a.
80%
Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get up to $3,000 cashback (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply). A low variable interest rate for home buyers and refinancers. Application fee waived for loans above $150,000.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount Offer for Owner Occupiers, Variable P&I Rate
2.49%
2.49%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
Athena Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier, P&I
2.59%
2.55%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Owner-occupiers with 20% deposits can get this competitive variable rate mortgage. $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees.
Bankwest Complete Home Loan Package Variable - $200k to <$750k LVR <=80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.73%
3.18%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
A low variable rate loan with a 100% offset account and package discounts.
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)
2.65%
2.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online.
Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan - 2 Year (Owner occupier, P&I)
2.22%
2.34%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
A low fixed mortgage with an optional 100% offset account. Not available for construction purposes.
Bank of Melbourne Basic Home Loan - Special Offer (Owner Occupiers, P&I) LVR above 60% up to 80%
2.64%
2.66%
$500 (waived for loans above $150,000)
$0 p.a.
80%
Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get up to $3,000 cashback (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply). A low variable interest rate for home buyers and refinancers. Application fee waived for loans above $150,000.
IMB Budget Home Loan - Special LVR <=90% (Owner Occupier, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.78%
2.84%
$449
$0 p.a.
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. You can get an interest rate discount for a limited time with this competitive variable mortgage.
Yard Variable Home Loan - LVR 80% Special (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.39%
2.42%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A very low variable rate loan for home buyers with an optional offset account ($10 monthly fee). 20% deposit required.
BankSA Basic Home Loan - Owner Occupier, P&I
2.64%
2.66%
$500 (waived for loans above $150,000)
$0 p.a.
80%
Refinancers borrowing $200,000 or more can get can get up to $3,000 cashback (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply). Buyers and refinancers can get this competitive variable interest rate. A low variable interest rate for home buyers and refinancers. Application fee waived for loans above $150,000.
Well Home Loans Balanced Variable - LVR 80% (Owner occupier, P&I)
2.32%
2.35%
$250
$0 p.a.
80%
A very low interest rate for home buyers with 20% deposits saved. Add an offset account for a small fee. Not available for construction purposes.
Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan - Up to 110% LVR
2.94%
2.95%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Pay no deposit or LMI and get a discounted rate with this family pledge loan. Requires a family member to act as guarantor. NSW, QLD and ACT only.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (LVR 90% Owner Occupier, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.39%
3.14%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. 2 years fixed interest terms and free access to redraw facility online. Available with a 5% deposit.
Hunter United No Regrets Home Loan - Owner Occupier
2.79%
2.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Home buyers can get a competitive variable rate loan with a 100% offset account and low fees.
Bluestone Prime Direct (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.59%
2.63%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Bluestone's Prime Direct is a competitive variable rate home loan for borrowers with 30% deposits.
Athena Variable Home Loan - Investor, P&I
2.99%
2.95%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Athena offers a competitive variable rate for investors. No ongoing fees and no application fee. Principal and interest repayments.
Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan - 3 Year (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.27%
2.34%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
A low 3 year fixed rate for home buyers. Add a 100% offset account with a $10 monthly fee. Not available for construction purposes.
UBank UHomeLoan - 3 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.14%
2.41%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive fixed interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit.
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer LVR 90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.80%
2.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive value home loan with no ongoing fee.
Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤80% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
2.09%
3.53%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get one of the lowest rates on the market with this fixed rate mortgage. Available with just a 10% deposit. Guarantor option available. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed - 2 Year Fixed Rate Special Offer $150k+ LVR ≤90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
3.32%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
A low fixed rate loan available for borrowers with 10% deposits. Refinance to an eligible Suncorp loan and get a cashback of $2,000 or $3,000, depending on your loan amount. Other conditions apply.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed (LVR 90% Owner Occupier, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.39%
3.08%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. 3 years fixed interest terms and free access to redraw facility online. Available with a 10% deposit.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.14%
2.46%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Fix your mortgage for 1 year with a very competitive rate and no ongoing fees.
Athena Variable Home Loan - (Owner Occupier, IO)
3.09%
2.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Owner occupiers can refinance to one of the most competitive interest-only rates in the market. No application fee and no ongoing fees. Refinancers only.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Years Fixed (LVR ≤90% Investor, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.74%
3.59%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. A 3 years fixed rate investor which allows extra repayments to be made.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Investor, P&I)
2.29%
2.84%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
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Important Information*
Logo for Athena Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier, P&I
Athena Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier, P&I

Owner-occupiers with 20% deposits can get this competitive variable rate mortgage. $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees.

Logo for UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount Offer for Owner Occupiers, Variable P&I Rate
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount Offer for Owner Occupiers, Variable P&I Rate

Take advantage of a low-fee mortgage with a special interest rate of just 2.49% p.a. and a 2.49% p.a. comparison rate.

Logo for HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)

Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online.

Logo for Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR<=90% Incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR<=90% Incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)

Get one free online redraw per month and pay no ongoing fees. Application fees are waived for loans above $150,000. Refinance to an eligible Suncorp loan and get a cashback of $2,000 or $3,000, depending on your loan amount. Other conditions apply.

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