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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 “very 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 700: the higher your score the better your chances of obtaining credit.
Depending on your score, you’re said to have excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor credit:
|Equifax credit score||Equifax credit rating||What this means for you|
|0–279||Very poor||It’s highly likely your credit application will be rejected.|
|280–379||Poor||You have a chance of being approved for credit, but are likely to be charged a high interest rate and have a low limit.|
|380–419||Fair||You should be offered reasonable interest rates, but are likely to have a low credit limit.|
|420–465||Good||You’re likely to be approved for credit, but won’t necessarily have the best interest rates.|
|466–700||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.
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