What is a credit score?

If you are planning a big purchase like a car or a house, or are hoping to take out a personal loan or credit card to help spread the cost of home improvements, fund a wedding or perhaps fuel your next travel adventure; checking your credit score can make you better informed and guide your applications in the right direction. But what is a credit score? More importantly, where do you find yours and how do you know if it’s good enough to put your plans into action? Let’s look at what goes into making this magic number and how you can check, understand and use yours to your advantage.

Credit scores explained

First things first, if you’re hoping to find out what your universal credit score is, you should know that actually, you don’t have one. There’s no overarching credit organisation that provides a single score for every individual. Instead, scores are usually compiled using information from one of the three UK credit agencies, Transunion, Experian and Equifax. Each of these agencies use a slightly different scoring range with some capping off at a maximum score of 1,000 and others with a narrower range. However, on the whole, the higher your credit score, the better.

When you apply for credit, the provider will reference the information held about you with whichever credit agency or agencies they work with. If you’ve borrowed from the bank or other organisation you’re applying to in the past, they’ll examine their own borrowing history with you too. This results in you being given a custom credit score for that particular product at that time. They may also consider whether they would like you to become a customer for any other products and services they offer in the future.

Knowing where your credit reference agency score should sit can therefore help you decide whether your credit profile is strong enough to apply for the very best deals or whether you may need to aim a little lower. Here at Credit Angel we make this process easy for you by providing a credit matching service that shows financial products you are more likely to be accepted for. However, when you’ve checked your credit report you may decide to work on your profile a little before you make applications, with the aim of upping your score in order to access even better deals.

Where can I check my credit score?

If you’re keen to get working on your credit score to make sure it’s the best it can be before a big application, you can check it right here. We offer free access to your credit report as part of our 30-day trial. When you sign up you can check your Transunion score, identify issues that may be impacting your score and look at financial products that are matched to your credit score and circumstances too. If you cancel within 30 days, you’ll pay nothing at all. If after 30 days you continue your subscription to monitor potential changes to your score and report and retain access to tips and advice to help improve your profile, you’ll be charged just £14.99 per month. You have the option to cancel at any time. Along with checking your credit score, your subscription includes use of our social media-monitoring tool, which highlights information that can shape how lenders and potential employers view you.

What is a good credit score rating?

While all three UK credit agencies use a different scoring range, they all score from the bottom up, which means the best scores are always the highest. Of course, the highest possible score will vary from agency to agency because of the differing scales. Our credit reports and scoring system is supplied by Transunion, which uses a numerical system with a highest possible score of 710. Transunion will rate your report out of 5, this is to give you an idea of how your financial history is perceived, 5 being the highest which is excellent and 1 the lowest which is very poor.

If your score isn’t in the upper realms right now, you can use our credit matching service to find products and services you are more likely to be accepted for based on your current score and circumstances. Or, if you’d like to improve your rating, we can help with that too. Checking your credit report can highlight errors that may need to be fixed or easy actions you can take such as registering to vote at your address. You’ll also find lots of information, hints and tips from the Credit Angel experts, helping you to improve your financial management and hopefully boost your score for the future.