Experian credit score, rating and report

Everything you need to know about your Experian credit score and report.

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When you apply for a mortgage, personal loan or credit card, lenders will check your credit report and credit score to help them determine whether or not to offer you credit, how much to offer you and how much interest to charge you.

Experian is one of three main credit reference agencies in the UK. It’s used by lenders when deciding how much of a risk you are as a potential borrower and how much money they can make from you. A number of factors detailed on your credit report are used to calculate your credit score, which ultimately places you in a rating group, ranging from “very poor” to “excellent”.

What is an Experian Score?

Experian takes everything it knows about you (whatever is in your credit file) and boils it down to a number. If you have a good score, you can usually be approved for a loan, credit card or mortgage.

It’s also worth noting that although all lenders will look at your credit score, they also have their own qualifying criteria when approving customers.

What does an Experian credit score look like?

Each credit reference agency has its own scoring system.

  • Experian: 0–999
  • Equifax: 0–700
  • TransUnion (formerly Callcredit): 0–710

Experian’s scores range from 0 to 999: the higher your score, the better your chances of obtaining a loan. Depending on your score, you’re said to have excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor credit.

Experian credit scoreExperian credit ratingWhat this means for you
0–560Very poorIt’s highly likely that your credit application will be rejected.
561-720PoorYou have a chance of being approved for credit but are likely to be charged a high interest rate and receive a low limit.
721-880FairYou have a good chance of being approved for credit and you should be offered a reasonable interest rate, but you’re likely to receive a low credit limit.
881-960GoodYou’re likely to be approved for credit and will be offered a reasonably good – but not the best – interest rate.
961-999ExcellentYou’re very likely to be approved for a competitive credit offer.

If you want to find out what your credit score is, you can do so for free with all of the credit reference agencies. If you want to access your credit report, you’ll usually have to pay, although some agencies offer a free one-month trial subscription.

All you need to know about credit scores and reports

How to improve your Experian credit score

You may have had a loan, credit card or mortgage application rejected because of a low credit score.

If you’re failing to be approved for a credit application because of your credit history, there are ways you can improve it. You need to be patient as it takes time for your good financial decisions to improve your score.

  • Pay your bills on time and ideally clear the balance if possible.
  • Close any unused credit accounts (eg, old unused credit cards) as these could be viewed negatively by some lenders.
  • Register on the electoral roll. Lenders can be wary if you move home frequently or haven’t registered your current address.
  • Don’t max out your credit limit. You want to keep your credit utilisation ratio low. If you have a balance of £1,000 and a credit limit of £2,000, your credit utilisation ratio is 50%. A low credit utilisation ratio is preferable and shows that you’re not maxing out your credit.
  • If you have no credit history at all, open a credit builder card to help build up your score.
  • Check your credit report for errors. An administrative mistake could result in you wrongly being rejected for credit. Your partner or flatmate’s bad credit decisions could also impact on yours if you have any joint accounts.

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Read about how different factors can affect your score

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