What is a good credit score?

Published Sun, Sep 9, 2012 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021

This is a very subjective question and whilst you can probably consider yourself to have good, bad or average credit the real question is whether your credit file is sufficiently good that you can access whatever credit you need.

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In reality there is no unified credit ‘score’ per sae. There are a number of companies who track your credit worthiness and they all have different ways of scoring you which they will identify as being either good or not so good.

When a potential creditor considers an application for credit they will generally retrieve your credit file from whichever of the credit agencies they prefer to work with. They will certainly look at the overall score given but they will consider your application based on several criteria such as what types of credit you have taken previously and even which types of credit you have had a better or worse track record with.

For the reasons above, it is very difficult to say what is good or bad as a credit score.

For instance:

  • If you are applying for an overdraft then previous history with unstructured (such as credit cards and short term loans) debt might help your application even if you have struggled in the past with structured debt (such as a personal loan).
  • And by the same token if you have had and paid off structured debt in the past (for instance buying a car on hire purchase or buying furniture on finance) you may find you can get a personal loan in spite of a relatively poor credit score (possibly due to a few mishaps with unauthorised overdrafts).
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Rather than worrying about whether or not you have a good score it is perhaps more productive to regularly check your credit file from at least one of the major agencies and ensure that your overall score is increasing over time; since whatever you might consider a ‘good’ score, improving your score is always beneficial.