Does your credit score follow you to other countries?
Published Sun, Sep 9, 2012 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021
The simple answer is yes; or at least, it can do. Remember that your credit score is not a universal thing. In the UK we have three main credit agencies; Experian, Equifax and Call Credit. Each of these credit agencies track your credit information separately and they come up with a score based on their own scoring systems.
In the USA, for instance, there is a different credit rating agency who have their own credit scoring algorithm, and most other countries have their own ways of handling people’s credit histories.[cta]
In that respect your credit score with Experian (or any other agency) is entirely independent of where you live. If you move to France that won’t change what information is on your file with Experian. The real question of course is whether your credit information follows you
In principle, your credit history shouldn’t follow you overseas. If you go and live in Europe for a year and then come back, there is no reason why credit agencies need to find out.
If you want to get credit while you are living in Europe, potential creditors will of course want to check your financial history, just as lenders in the UK would do. If you refuse you obviously won’t get credit – which might mean you can’t rent a house or pay your bills.
When you do apply for credit while living abroad lenders will know that you are from the UK (unless you lie on the application, but that’s fraud, so it’s not recommended) and they will be able to check your credit file with Experian.
As soon as you apply for your first bit of credit, the link is made and the credit reference agencies will then ‘know’ where you are, and more to the point the lender will have seen your credit history and will make their decision just as a UK lender would have done.
Yes you can leave the country without Experian (et al) finding out; but no you cannot escape your credit history and if you have poor credit you cannot stop lenders in other countries from finding out.