Understanding Your Credit Score

The more you know about your credit score, the better. Familiarise yourself with how credit scores work, what you can do to improve yours and increase your chances of getting the credit you need.

What is a credit score?

Your credit score is a snapshot of your entire credit report, captured in a three-digit number (from 0 to 999). To calculate this number, a credit reference agency will analyse the information in your credit report using a complex mathematical model.

Lenders use this number to decide how likely it is that you will repay them on time. People with a higher score are usually seen as lower risk. Each lender will have different acceptance criteria when looking at credit scores.

What information is included?

A credit report contains information on things such as:

  • your name, address and date of birth.
  • how much you currently owe lenders.
  • whether you’re on the electoral roll at your current address.
  • any late or missed payments on existing or past credit card or loan accounts.
  • whether you’ve had any CCJs made against you in the last six years.
  • whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy or entered into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement.
  • your past applications for credit.

Smaller details such as having a landline telephone will make you appear more ‘stable’ to lenders.

Things that impact your credit score

While each credit agency will score you slightly differently, here are some of the main things that may influence your credit score:

  • Payment history: Do you pay your bills on time? Lenders like to see that you’re punctual with your payments.
  • Open accounts: How much do you owe, compared to how much you’re allowed to borrow? Do you already have multiple loans and credit cards? Are you using credit responsibly? Lenders will consider your use of credit.
  • Length of credit history: Are you new to the world of credit? How long have your accounts been open? In general, a longer credit history will increase your score.
  • Multiple searches: Have a number of lenders made inquiries into your credit recently? The more recorded searches and credit applications you’ve made, the more desperate for credit you can appear to lenders. For particular groups – especially people who have no credit history yet – the importance of these factors may vary, but they’re always worth keeping in mind.

marbles helps protect your credit score by allowing you to check your eligibility before applying with FastCheck.

Representative Example:

Interest rate for purchases34.9% P.A.(variable)
With a representative34.9% APR(variable)
Assumed credit limit£ 1,200