Wrapping your head around credit scores and credit reports can be daunting at first. How is your credit score calculated? When does your credit score update? And most importantly, how do you rank? We’re here to break down credit scoring and get real about your finances so you’re in the know, and a little bit wiser.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a credit score?
A credit score or credit rating is a numerical score that represents how trustworthy your reputation is as a borrower.
Essentially, your credit score sums up your financial history or ‘credit behaviour’ (ie. times you’ve paid bills late or if you’ve ever defaulted on a payment) into one number that indicates how trustworthy you are. Lenders, banks, and insurers may use this information to decide if they will lend out money, as a credit score is an indication of how likely they are to be paid back and paid on time.
Where does your credit score come from?
Credit Reporting Bureaus (CRB).
Australia technically uses four credit bureaus:
4. Tasmanian Collection Service
Let’s focus on the first three (sorry, Tassy). Below is a quick summary of how each CRB categorise their credit scores*.
What factors contribute to credit scores?
A bit like the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices blend, credit bureaus aren’t one to reveal their secrets. Nobody knows the exact recipe each CRB uses, but it essentially comes down to a few key factors.
- Recent credit behaviour & enquiries
- Repayment history
- Length of payment history
- Type of credit
- Debt burden
What is a good credit score?
The bands used by the CRBs are a pretty good place to start when assessing how good your credit score is. That’s because they take into account credit scores across the total credit active population. Credit scores are used and viewed by different lenders in different ways, however an easy way to look at it is – the higher the score the better.
The thing to remember is that your credit score can change over time and how it changes is over to you.
How long does a ‘bad’ credit score last for?
Let’s start with the good news. Your credit score is always changing based on your financial behaviour which means you can actually improve your score with some good behaviour. The not-so-great news is that defaults and ‘bad’ marks against your credit score can stay on your file for 5-7 years.
Staying on top of your credit standing is important so you can feel confident knowing that you have access to funds when you need it. WisrCredit Bootcamp can give you a step by step guide to get on top of it starting today.
Credit scores come down to responsibility. Being conscious of staying on top of your payments and checking your credit score regularly can help you maintain a good, healthy credit rating.
Positive Credit Reporting
Positive Credit Reporting, also known as Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) has been around for 4 years in Australia. It essentially means that lenders can see more data in your credit report so they can better assess a borrower’s true credit position and their ability to repay a loan.
Why are we telling you this? The benefit of lenders having more comprehensive info about your credit standing means that lenders can make more informed decisions based on your credit behaviour. Having more certainty around your ability to pay back a loan could result in lower interest rates and better financial products. So working hard to keep your credit score in good condition is more important than ever.
How can you find out your credit score?
You’ve come to the right place. Use our free WisrCredit tool to get both your Equifax and Experian score in minutes and in one place.
If you want to get Wisr about your credit position, check your credit scores for free!
Disclaimer: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Finance Pty Ltd does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change.