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What is Credit Scoring?

Credit scoring is extremely important, and can be the difference between being accepted or denied for a loan. Discover how a credit score can impact life, with Consolidation Express.
A credit score and a big question mark.

Credit scoring is a statistical method used by lenders to assess the creditworthiness of an individual borrower. This assessment is based on a range of factors, including the borrower’s credit history, current income, and employment status, in addition to their overall debt-to-income ratio.

Lenders use credit scoring to determine whether a borrower can be trusted to repay their debt in a timely manner and in full. A high credit score indicates a low risk, which means the borrower is more likely to be approved for a loan with favourable terms and conditions. Conversely, a low credit score signals a higher risk, which means the borrower may be offered a loan with less favourable terms or may not be approved for a loan at all.

Credit scoring is extremely important in Britain today, and can have an impact on everything from taking out a mobile phone contract to being accepted for a credit card or a mortgage.

With the cost of living going up, and more people having to resort to larger amounts of debt, you need to ensure that your credit score is as high as possible in case you ever need an emergency loan, or if you aspire to purchase a house, new car or even take out a loan in the future.

What is meant by credit scoring?

Credit scoring is simply a way for lenders to assess how likely you are to repay a loan on time. This assessment is based on information in your credit report, including your payment history, the amount of debt you have, and any financial events such as bankruptcies or foreclosures.

The credit scoring system standardises the information that credit companies and credit reference agencies see, allowing them to quickly understand whether or not you’re eligible for a loan, or whether an existing loan can be extended.

What's an example of credit score?

There are many different credit scoring models used by lenders, but the most common is the FICO score. FICO credit scores range is 300 to 850, with anything over 720 considered excellent and anything under 580 considered poor. Another example of credit scoring includes the Vantage Score, which ranges from 501 to 990.

While all credit scoring methods appear slightly different, they all use the same metrics for analysing whether you’re a potential risk for a lender.

If you have a positive credit score on one, it’s likely you’ll have a similarly positive score on other credit score algorithms.

What is a good credit score?

The definitive number of a good credit score is dependent on the credit score system you’re looking at. As an example, a good Experian credit score is said to be anywhere between 881 and 960. If your Experian credit rating is in this range you’re seen as a low-risk borrower and are more likely to be approved for a loan with favourable terms and conditions.

What's a bad credit score?

It is hard to say what a bad credit score is. This is because a bad credit score is completely dependent on the credit reference agency you are using This means you’re seen as a high-risk borrower, and are less likely to be approved for a loan, or may only be offered one with unfavourable terms and conditions.

What is the average Credit Score in the UK?

The average credit score fluctuates on a regular basis, so it is hard to say an accurate average.

What things affect credit score?

According to Experian, there are several different factors that can affect your credit score, both positively and negatively.

Some of the things that can have a negative impact on your credit score include:

  • Missing loan or credit card payments
  • Defaulting on a loan
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Having court judgments against you
  • Making too many applications for credit in a short period of time

Meanwhile, things that can have a positive impact on your credit score include:

  • Paying your bills on time
  • Keeping your credit card balances low
  • Only using a small portion of your available credit limit
  • Maintaining a diverse mix of different types of credit
  • Having a long history of responsible credit use

What affects my credit score the most?

In general, the things that will have the biggest impact on your credit score are missed or late payments, as well as bankruptcies or foreclosures.

Why is a credit score important?

Your credit score is important because it is one of the main factors that lenders will look at when considering you for a loan. A higher credit score means you’re seen as a low-risk borrower and are more likely to be approved for a loan with favourable terms and conditions. A lower credit score, on the other hand, means you’re seen as a high-risk borrower and are less likely to be approved for a loan, or may only be offered one with unfavourable terms and conditions.

In short, credit scoring systems are important because they can make the difference between being approved to borrow money and being denied. It’s therefore crucial that you do everything you can to maintain a good credit score.

Which credit score is most important?

There is no single credit scoring model that is more important than the others. All of the main credit scoring algorithms – including FICO, VantageScore and Experian National Risk Score – are used by lenders to assess your creditworthiness.

That being said, some lenders may place more emphasis on one score over the others. For example, a mortgage lender may place more importance on your FICO score than your VantageScore. It’s therefore important to check with the lender beforehand to see which score they place the most emphasis on.

In general, though, all of the main credit scores are important and should be kept in mind when trying to maintain a good credit rating.

How does credit affect your life?

Credit affects your life in several ways. Firstly, it can impact your ability to get approved for a loan. If you have a low credit score, you may be denied a loan entirely, or only offered one with higher APRs or other potentially costly terms and conditions.

Secondly, it can affect the interest rate you’re offered on a loan. Typically, the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’re likely to be offered.

Lastly, it can affect your ability to rent an apartment. Many landlords will run a credit check on prospective tenants and may refuse to hire or rent to someone with a low credit score.

A person’s credit score has the potential to affect a number of different aspects of their life. It’s therefore important to maintain a good credit score.

What credit score is needed to buy a car?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the credit score needed to buy a car will vary depending on the lender you’re using.

To get the best terms and conditions on a car loan, you’ll need a credit score that is considered good or higher by a credit reference agency.

If you’re not sure what your credit score is, you can check it for free on a number of websites, including ClearScore, Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.

What credit score do you start with?

You don’t start with a credit score. People aren’t assigned a credit score at birth, or once they reach a certain age. Instead, your credit score will naturally develop as you take on loans, make repayments, etc.

That being said, there are a few things you can do to help ensure you start off on the right foot. Firstly, make sure you’re registered on the electoral roll, as this will help lenders verify your identity.

Secondly, avoid taking on too much debt in the early stages of your credit history.

Thirdly, make sure you make all of your repayments on time and in full. By doing these things, you’ll help to build a strong credit history from the start, which will stand you in good stead when it comes time to apply for a loan or credit card.

Why is my credit score going down when I pay on time?

There are a few possible reasons for this. Firstly, it could be that you have a high credit utilization ratio. This is the amount of debt you have compared to your credit limit.

If you’re using a large percentage of your credit limit, it can hurt your score, even if you’re making all of your repayments on time.

Can I improve my credit history and credit scores?

Yes, you can improve your credit score by taking steps to improve your credit history and credit utilization ratio.

If you have a poor credit history, you can try to improve it by making all of your repayments on time and avoiding missed payments.

You can also reduce your credit utilization ratio by paying down your debts and increasing your credit limit.

Finally, you can also try to get a mix of different types of credit, such as instalment loans and revolving credit, to show lenders that you’re a responsible borrower.

How can I quickly raise my credit report?

If you’re looking to boost your credit score quickly, so you can buy a house, get a car or take on any other type of debt, here’s what you need to do:

  • Check your credit report for errors
  • Ask to remove negative entries you've already paid off
  • Increase your overall Credit Limit - Be aware this will likely come with a hard credit check, which can have a short-term negative impact on your credit score.
  • Pay down revolving Credit Balances

How do I fix my credit to buy a home?

If you’re looking to buy a home, there are a few things you can do to help improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

Firstly, make sure you check your credit report for any errors and dispute them if you find any.

Secondly, try to improve your credit history by making all of your repayments on time and maintaining a good credit utilization ratio.

Finally, increase your overall credit limit to help improve your debt-to-income ratio.

Unfortunately, these aren’t a quick fix, and will take several months before you’ll start to see a noticeable uptick in your credit score.

Can I pay someone to fix my credit score?

There are a lot of companies which will claim to fix your credit score, but they have limited control over your finances. The only real way to improve your credit score is to take on positive spending habits.

If you’re struggling with debts and a low credit score, a debt consolidation loan could be the perfect solution. These simple loans are a lifeline for people in debt who can’t get any other type of loan.

While you aren’t paying someone to fix your credit score, you’re taking control of your finances, and setting out a long-term plan to recover your credit score.

What are 5 ways to improve your credit score?

If you’re looking to improve your credit score, here are five things you can do:

  • Check your credit report for errors and dispute them if you find any.
  • Make all of your repayments on time, and try to avoid missed payments.
  • Take on a debt consolidation loan to help you overcome serious debt.
  • Keep your credit utilization low by paying down your debts and increasing your credit limit. Avoiding becoming overly reliant on credit is a great way of improving your credit score in a short space of time.
  • Try to get a mix of different types of credit, such as instalment loans and revolving credit.
A man sitting on a credit score dial.


Key points to take away:

  • Your credit scoring is extremely important and can impact your ability to borrow money from potential lenders through credit applications.
  • The credit scoring system is designed to provide statistical analysis for a credit expert to understand a consumer's creditworthiness extremely quickly.
  • Higher credit scores are better if you're looking to borrow money, take on a mortgage, or purchase a new vehicle.
  • Lower credit scoring in credit searches can seriously impact credit decisions and can even be used to deny credit.

To stay on top of your credit file, make sure that:

  • Credit reports are accurate and include your current address.
  • You check credit reports regularly, including the free credit score from Equifax, ClearScore and more.
  • You use credit wisely, whether it was for a car purchase, home improvements, or debt consolidation.

If you’re struggling to get a higher credit score, due to high credit utilisation, multiple debts, credit cards, and more, you may find it beneficial to consolidate your debt with a debt consolidation loan.

Here at Consolidation Express, we can act as a debt consolidation loan broker, even for those with bad credit. Apply now to see if you qualify.

Apply for Debt Consolidation
An advisor pointing to a screen displaying Rep APR.

APRs from 5.8% to 89.9%

We are a broker, not a lender.

Unsecured Loan Representative 69.9% APR

Borrowing £7,500 over 36 months, repaying £502 per month, total repayable £18,083. Total cost of credit £10,583. Interest rate 69.9% (variable). The lenders on our panel offer loans for 12-60 months, with rates from 5.8% APR to 89.9% APR. The Representative Example is based on all loans paid out by lenders between 19th Apr 2022 and 23rd Dec 2022.

Secured Representative 11.7% APR

If you choose to add fees to the loan: Assumed borrowing of £25,000 over 120 months, plus a broker fee of £2,500 and a lender fee of £250 would result in monthly repayments of £345.55, the borrowing rate is 8.6% (variable), the APRC is 11.7% (variable), total charge for credit £16,466.00 and the total amount payable £41,466.00. You can opt to pay the lender and/or broker fees upfront, your adviser will discuss these options with you.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any debt secured on it. All rates vary subject to loan amount, loan type and status. Repaying your debt over a longer period of time may increase the amount you pay.

Further reading

What are the Different Kinds of Unsecured Loans?

Understand what an unsecured loan is, and how best to use the different kinds of unsecured loans in 2023.

What are the Different Types of Secured Loans?

With so many different types of loans available, it can be difficult to know which is right for you. For more information on secured loans, read this expert article.

Persistent Debt – What Does it Mean for Your Credit?

Persistent debt can affect your credit rating for a significant time period. Read to find out more.