Why is my credit score so low?

Last Modified 16th of February 2021

When you first apply for a loan or some sort of credit you might be surprised to find out that you are not considered credit worthy and in most cases this will be down to having a low credit score or at least having a credit history that doesn’t fit the criteria of the lender.


There can be plenty of reasons why your credit rating is so low. Some of the more obvious reasons include adverse credit history such as defaulting on a debt or even just having late payments on an account.

Another thing to keep in mind is that credit ‘mishaps’ can affect your borrowing ability for a few years, so even if you are relatively good with your money now you might still be being affected by a checkered past.

In reality though, if you have been good for the last year or so that should be sufficient to outweigh most small tarnishes such as the odd late payment or unauthorised overdraft. So if you are struggling to get credit there may be another reason. Here are some things to consider:

A very bad past

Chances are you know about it already, but if you have had good credit for the last few years you could still be being affected by things that happened before then such as a major default, CCJs or just a string of poor credit incidents.


A string of credit checks

If you are trying to get more credit than your income will support then you will probably be declined even if your credit score is good. Overstretching your credit like this and putting in many applications will leave a footprint on your credit file and make it look as though you are desperate for credit, which can itself harm your credit rating.

You just don’t have any history

Finally of course, to have a good credit score you need to have a history of good credit. If you have had little in the way of credit up until now then you might have a poor credit history even if you have never missed a payment. Banks like to see a track record, so if you are in this situation you should start small by getting a credit card with a low limit and building up your credit profile ready for when you need it.