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When you apply for personal loan, mortgage or credit card, lenders will look at your credit report and score to help them decide whether or not to offer you credit, how much to offer you and how much interest to charge you.
Equifax is one of three main credit reference agencies in the UK used by lenders when determining how much of a risk you are to lend money to and how much they can make from you. A number of factors detailed on your credit report make up your credit score, which ultimately places you in a rating group, ranging from “poor” to “excellent”.
Equifax takes everything it knows about you (what’s in your credit file) and boils it down to a number. If you have a good score, you can usually get a loan, credit card or mortgage.
It’s important to know, while lenders will look at your credit score, they also have their own criteria for potential customers.
Each credit reference agency has its own scoring system. Equifax scores range from 0 to 1,000: the higher your score the better your chances of obtaining credit.
Depending on your score, you’re said to have excellent, very good, good, fair or poor credit:
|Equifax credit score||Equifax credit rating||What this means for you|
|0–438||Poor||It’s likely your credit application will be rejected.|
|439–530||Fair||You have a chance of being approved for credit, but are likely to be charged a high interest rate and have a low limit.|
|531–670||Good||You should be offered credit at reasonable interest rates, but may have a low initial credit limit.|
|671–810||Very good||You’re likely to be approved for credit, but won’t necessarily be offered the very best interest rates.|
|811–1,000||Excellent||You’re very likely to be approved for competitive credit offers.|
If you want to find out your credit score, you can do so for free from all of the credit reference agencies. If you want to access your credit report, you’ll normally have to pay, although some offer a free one-month trial subscription.
You may have had a loan, credit card or mortgage application rejected because of a poor credit score.
If you’re struggling to borrow money because of your credit report, there are steps you can take to improve it. Be aware it takes time to build up a history of good financial decisions and hopefully improve your score.
As part of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018, you’re legally able to request a free statutory copy of your credit report at any time from credit reference agencies like Equifax. However, this version of your Equifax credit report will not contain all the elements included in the paid version, such as your Equifax credit score. It is just intended to provide an overview of all your financial history and personal details that are included in your credit file.
You will be able to view your Equifax credit report online for 30 days, or have a paper copy sent to your address within seven working days. When you receive your statutory report, you should make sure to check that all information is correct, and if not, you should contact Equifax to update your file.
You can apply for a copy of your Equifax statutory credit report here.
According to customer feedback sites like Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs, Equifax currently has mixed-to-poor reviews from customers (updated on 19 August 2020). Over 90% of Trustpilot customer reviews gave Equifax a “bad” rating, and many reported having bad experiences with customer service, as well as issues with getting information updated or corrected on their credit file.
In April 2021, Equifax changed its scoring scale from 0–700 to 0–1,000, and adjusted its rating bands.
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