5 things you might not know about credit scores
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT CREDIT SCORE
If you’re wondering why your credit score isn’t 1,000, don’t worry – there is no such thing as a perfect credit score.
Credit scores take into account a number of factors such as characteristics of your credit profile (e.g. age), patterns in your credit history (e.g. credit enquiries and negative events) and aspects of your credit applications (such as the type of credit you are applying for and the type of provider).
Ultimately, credit scores are another way to assess the risk of lending to you. Once your score is up in the excellent range (above 800), you may already have the best offers available to you. The difference between a score of 820 and 920 is actually very small in terms of risk, so if you’re pretty close, keep doing the right things.
YOUR CREDIT SCORE CAN BE HURT BY TOO MANY APPLICATIONS
Shopping around for credit and making multiple credit applications within a short period of time will increase the number of credit enquiries on your credit file. These enquiries stay on your file for five years! A recent Credit Savvy study found that having multiple enquiries on your credit file could reduce your Experian credit score by close to 200 points1.
Remember, only apply for credit if and when you really need it. Before applying, do your homework to make sure the product is right for you.
YOUR CREDIT SCORE COULD GET YOU A BETTER DEAL
Did you know that there are already deals available which reward you with a better rate based on your credit score? On the Credit Savvy compare section, you’ll find personal loans from MoneyPlace, SocietyOne, and RateSetter that reward high credit scores with competitive rates. We expect even more rate-based offers to become available, so now is the time to work on your credit score.
YOUR CREDIT SCORE DOESN’T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT YOUR INCOME
You might be raking in a six figure salary but be perplexed why your credit score doesn’t seem to reflect that. As credit scores are about credit-worthiness, they don’t factor in your income or net worth. When you apply for a loan or credit card, you can expect to be asked about your income and employment status, whereas your credit score tells lenders more about your historic behaviour with the credit you’ve received.
YOUR CREDIT SCORE CAN BE AFFECTED BY ERRORS
It’s quite possible for your credit file to have errors on it, whether it’s a misspelling of your name, the wrong address or a credit listing which is incorrect or a duplicate. Some of these factors can affect your credit score, so it’s important to check your credit score and file regularly to keep on top of anything that’s amiss. Remember, if you do spot an error, you can get in touch with the relevant credit provider or credit reporting body to correct it for you at no cost.
1 Study based on a sample of 50,000 Credit Savvy members as of 17/09/2015. Numbers are based on an extract of Credit Savvy members and are only representative of these members. https://www.creditsavvy.com.au/press-centre/multiple-credit-cards-can-reduce-credit-scores