Your credit score can affect a number of things, including buying a house. Learn how to check your credit score, and more about the factors that can alter it.
How well you manage money and how future creditors assess the risk of lending to you can alter everything from securing a mortgage to signing up for a new mobile phone contract. By regularly checking your credit score, you can nurture and improve your number to ensure you get the best deals possible when it comes to financial services.
Different ways to check your credit score
Doing a credit score check is a quick and easy process, with a multitude of options available online. As each provider tends to differ in the way it presents your results, you may be tempted to try more than one service.
But this may confuse what is actually a straightforward process. If you don’t think your results are right, contact the provider to make sure, rather than creating multiple accounts on different websites. Stick to one service so you can accurately track and compare the changes to your credit score over time.
It’s crucial that you use a trusted agency when providing your personal details - we recommend using the below:
- Free to use
- Popular credit reference agency
- Can take a couple of days to register
- Most used platform by lenders
- Offers advice on how to improve your score
- Rather than being a credit reference agency, Clearscore is a financial tech company that supplies a free soft credit check with information supplied by Equifax.
- Free to use
- Instant results
- Allows you to review credit history and what could be affecting your score
- Offers tips on improving score
- Free to use
- Reports your information from the TransUnion credit reference agency.
- Instant results
- Shows the positive and negative factors affecting your score
What does a credit check show?
Your credit score reflects your spending habits and how much of a ‘risk’ you are to lenders. It is based on your history of paying bills on time, how quickly you pay back loans as well as your credit card use. A higher score means you’ll be able to secure loans with lower interest rates.
The better your score, the more credit banks, building societies and other lenders will make available to you. That’s because they’ve seen your history of regular payments and trust you to manage your finances responsibly.
Each agency has a different way of showing your score.
- Clearscore, for example, uses a scale of 0 - 700.
- Credit Karma uses a slightly wider credit score range of 0 – 710.
- Experian goes all the way up to 999
While these platforms use different numbers, you’ll typically find that the higher the number, the better your score is.
What is a good credit score?
As each website tends to have a different way of showing your credit score, the number considered to be ‘good’ varies. It generally sits around 720, although you should check the details on the specific website you use to avoid confusion.
If you use Experian, for example, a good credit score is anywhere from 881 to 960, whereas fair or average is between 721 and 880. It has a graphic that shows you how good your credit score is, ranging from ‘very poor’ to ‘excellent’, so you have a clear insight into how good it is.
Factors impacting your credit score
There are a number of factors that could be affecting your credit score without you even realising. From paying your bills slightly late to purchasing items on finance, you may be surprised at how the seemingly small things have such a big impact. This includes:
- If you regularly miss the due date of your bills
- Whether or not you’re signed up to the electoral register
- How often you apply for credit
For a more detailed insight into what could be affecting your credit score, read our full article here
Is it bad to check your credit score?
Checking your credit score via a trusted agency won’t affect your credit score at all, regardless of how many times you do so. In fact, tracking your progress regularly is a great way of learning how to improve and what you could be falling behind on.
Checking your credit score is a great way of keeping on top of your finances, as well as ensuring you get the most out of your loans. At Norton Finance, we’re understanding of everyone’s financial situation and can come up with a plan that suits you. Check out our loans page for more information.