Your credit report or history is a detailed record of your borrowing history, with information such as the loans you have held and applied for. It also includes personal information such as your name and address.
Your credit score is a number that is calculated using the information on your credit report. Your score determines your credit rating which could be “very poor”, “poor”, “fair”, “good” or “excellent”.
When deciding whether to take you on as a customer, lenders will usually look at your more recent financial history to determine their decision. However, your financial decisions, both good and bad, will remain on record for up to six years.
There is no single, definitive credit score for an individual. Each credit reference agency (CRA) uses a different scale. Lenders will normally check with one or more of these agencies when assessing your application for credit. These are the scoring ranges employed by the main UK CRAs (the higher the number, the better the score).
Experian: 0 – 999
Equifax: 0 – 1,000 (formerly 0 – 700)
TransUnion (formerly Callcredit): 0 – 710
Depending on your score, you’re said to have excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor credit:
Having a decent credit score will make it easier to get approved for credit cards and is also likely to affect the credit limit and interest rate that you’re offered by lenders.