Advice and Tips

Do You Have a Good or Bad Credit Score?

Amelia Scholey, Brand and Content Specialist
Thursday, 29 April 2021

Whether you’ve got a good or bad credit score, your score will differ depending on what credit reference agency you are using. There are 3 main different credit agencies and they all use different ranges to represent a good or bad score. You can see below the credit score ranges that each agency use:

Experian – 0- 999

Equifax (ClearScore) – 0- 1000

TransUnion (Credit Karma) – 0 – 710

With all of the credit reference agencies varying it can be confusing to understand if you have a good or bad credit score, but also how to check your credit score. We would suggest, in order to understand fully what your score looks like, to have an account with all 3 credit reference agencies; Experian, ClearScore and Credit Karma.  All 3 offer a free credit score check on their basic accounts, but Experian do charge for an upgraded CreditExpert account.

There are also a few key things you can do to increase your eligibility for a loan by improving your credit score.

What is a good credit score?

As the agencies reviewing your credit score rate their scores differently to each other, they also have their own understanding of what a good credit score looks like.

So, what is a good Experian credit score? As mentioned above Experian credit scores can range from 0-999, so with this in mind the credit scores listed as ‘fair, ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ are rated as:

‘Fair’: 721 – 880

‘Good’: 881 – 960

‘Excellent’: 961+

Experian logo

ClearScore is different and will show you what a good credit score is out of 1000. Their ‘good’ score sits much more in the middle of their scoring range which is different to Experian’s above. Their scores between fair and excellent are as below:

‘Fair’: 439- 530

‘Good’: 531 – 670

‘Very good’: 671- 810

‘Excellent’: 811+

ClearScore clearly advertise on their app that the average UK ClearScore credit score is 585, which puts most people in the ‘good’ bracket.

Clearscore logo

Credit Karma is different again to the 2 listed above and scores their customers between 0 -710, so more similar to ClearScore than Experian, but their scores start off from a higher number than ClearScore as you will see below:

‘Fair’: 566 – 603

‘Good’: 604 – 627

‘Excellent’: 628+

Credit Karma logo

What is a bad credit score?

We now know what a good credit score is, but what is a bad credit score? The term ‘bad’ or ‘poor’ is a relative term based on how each credit score is calculated, but it gives a good indicator of  how likely you are to be accepted for a loan.

Like good credit scores, bad credit scores vary between different credit agencies, but a bad Experian credit score could fit into either of the 2 categories below:

‘Poor’: 669 – 721

‘Very poor’: 0-669

For ClearScore this looks a little different:

‘Poor’: 0 – 438

‘Very poor’: Clearscore removed this bracket in 2021

And if you’re using Credit Karma to look at your credit score you will see:

‘Poor’: 565- 602

‘Very poor’: 0 – 564 

Credit report

Getting finance with a poor or very poor credit score is unfortunately more difficult, and you will need to specifically look for lenders who help people with bad credit scores, as these lenders will be more likely to accept you.

In the eyes of a lender a bad credit score just means that there might be more risk in lending to that customer. This is often based off marks on their credit file from previous credit products but can also be from having no credit products, which means there’s no proof the they can be trusted with credit.  

Knowing you have a bad credit score can be a good thing as it gives you the opportunity to work on it. There are lots of things you can do to better your credit score, and Experian, ClearScore and Credit Karma will all be able to give you guidance on how to improve your credit score.

If you are looking for vehicle finance Moneybarn might be able to help you, as we specialise in bad credit vehicle finance. You can get a quote today to see what we could offer you, and it won’t affect your credit score. 

Why is my credit score different to people I know?

Everyone’s credit score is different, and just because you earn the same as someone or live in the same house as them, does not mean that your credit scores will be similar. Think of your school exam results, just because you are in the same class as someone doesn’t mean you will get the same mark. That’s why we would always suggest looking into your credit score on all 3 credit reference agencies websites or apps (Experian, ClearScore and Credit Karma) to fully understand what your personal credit score is.

Credit reference agencies will give you different advice depending on what your score is, but to start with there are some basic tips to follow on increasing your eligibility.

Amelia Scholey, Brand and Content Specialist
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