Everything You Need to Know About a UK Credit Score

Credit scores play a major role in getting car finance. When applying, the lender uses the information on your credit report to help them decide whether to accept or reject your application. The higher your credit score, the more chance you have of getting accepted, as it shows you can manage credit. Plus, you'll also have access to lower interest rates with a higher score. But what happens if you need to you improve your credit score? And what affects your credit score? Here, we bring you the complete guide to improving your credit score so you can get it in excellent shape.

What is the Average Credit Score in the UK?

Your credit score comes from three reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each has its own criteria for scoring your credit report, so the average, or near prime score for each agency differs slightly. For instance, Equifax scores you out of 1,000, Experian is out of 999, and TransUnion limits it to 710. Despite Equifax and Experian having similar scoring, the way they score you differs. The average credit score in the UK with Equifax is 383, 759 for Experian and 610 for TransUnion.  

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How Can I Increase My UK Credit Score?

If your score is on the low side or you want to increase the current number, there is some good news. You can increase your UK credit score by taking a few crucial actions. These include registering to vote and getting yourself on the electoral roll; having a good credit-to-debt ratio (try keeping it 50% or lower); ensuring all payments are made on time; avoiding applying for too much credit at once; and proving your creditworthiness by taking out a small amount of credit and paying it back reasonably quickly. Lastly, check for any errors on your credit report and notify the reporting agency if anything needs rectifying. You can also visit Clearscore and get  personalised help on what you need to do for your credit report,

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What Credit Score do I Need to Get Car Finance in the UK?

There's no magic answer when it comes to the ideal credit score to get car finance in the UK. Generally speaking, the higher your score, the better your chances of securing car finance. But that doesn't mean you can't secure finance without a strong credit score. It does, however, mean that you're more likely to pay higher interest rates because the lender sees you as more of a risk. So, you can get car finance with a low score, but it's better to have a good score, which will give you access to lower interest rates and reduced monthly repayments.

Find out more about the credit score needed for car finance in the UK.

What Is the Average Credit Score by Age in the UK?

The older you get, the more likely your score will increase, assuming you manage debt responsibly. Now, that maths isn't exactly watertight, but people with more mileage on the clock have had more time to build their score and achieve a good credit rating. Indeed, people aged 55 and above have the highest average score in the UK at 863. 51-55-year-olds have an average score of 819, while those aged 46 to 50 have an average score of 792. Interestingly, 21 to 25-year-olds also have an identical 792 score, while 18 to 20-year-olds are performing particularly well with 823 – although this is likely because they have limited debt in their early years.

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What Is a Good Credit Score in the UK?

A good credit score in the UK depends on who you view your credit report with. Each score depends on the three primary credit agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. A good score with Equifax is anything between 420 and 465, while Experian marks a good score between 881 and 960. A good score with TransUnion is considered to be anywhere between 604 and 627.

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How Long Does it Take to Build a Credit Score in the UK?

How long is a piece of string? Ultimately, the time it takes to build your credit score varies depending on much you want to improve it. Showing that you can manage money and make credit payments on time will help you build your score, but it can take months before it starts to move the number on your score in an upward trajectory. Still, there are some quick wins for improving your credit score fast. These include registering to vote, checking for errors on your report and having a consistent debt history. Ultimately, you need to prove you can manage debt by making repayments on time and staying within a good credit-to-debt ratio of around 50%. Do that, and your score will start moving upward.

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Why Is My Credit Score Different on Different UK Sites?

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the three primary credit reporting agencies in the UK, and they all score you with different numbers. Equifax scores you out of 1,000, while Experian scores you out of 999 and TransUnion scores you out of 710. Therefore, you can expect to see a different score depending on where you get your report from. Third parties like ClearScore, Money Saving Expert and Credit Karma all provide credit scores but use one of the three main agencies. Each credit agency sometimes receives different information, meaning your score may differ slightly depending on who you view it with. That, coupled with the varying scoring models, means it's likely that your credit score will be different on different sites.

Find out more about why your UK credit score changes depending on the website you use