Credit score

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on January 25, 2024.


A credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness, which is used by lenders to assess the likelihood of a borrower repaying their debts.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is based on an analysis of your credit history, including your borrowing and repayment behaviour, and is a crucial factor in determining your eligibility for loans, credit cards, mortgages, and other forms of credit.

Here’s a list of key points related to credit score:

  1. Numerical representation: A credit score is typically expressed as a three-digit number, usually ranging from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness.
  2. Calculation factors: Several factors are taken into consideration when calculating a credit score. These commonly include payment history, credit utilisation, length of credit history, etc..
  3. Payment history (35% of score): This assesses whether a borrower has a history of making payments on time. Late payments negatively impact this aspect.
  4. Credit utilisation (30% of score): This reflects the ratio of a person’s current credit balances to their total available credit. A lower utilisation rate indicates better credit management.
  5. Length of credit history (15% of score): This considers how long a person has had credit accounts open. Longer credit histories tend to be viewed more favourably.
  6. Types of credit used (10% of score): Lenders prefer to see a mix of different types of credit, which demonstrates responsible credit management.
  7. New credit inquiries (10% of score): Opening several new credit accounts in a short period can be an indicator of financial stress.

A high credit score is essential for obtaining favourable terms on loans and credit products. It can lead to lower interest rates, higher credit limits, and more favourable repayment terms. 

While credit scores are crucial for borrowing, they can also affect other aspects of your financial life. Landlords, insurance companies, and potential employers may also consider an applicant’s credit score as part of their evaluation process.

A common breakdown of credit score ranges is:

  • 300 – 579: Poor
  • 580 – 669: Fair
  • 670 – 739: Good
  • 740 – 799: Very Good
  • 800 – 850: Excellent

Example of credit score

John recently applied for a credit card, and the credit card issuer assessed his creditworthiness based on various factors. After the evaluation, John’s credit score was determined to be 750.

Factors contributing to John’s good credit score might include:

  • Payment history: John consistently pays his bills on time, with no history of late payments or defaults.
  • Credit utilisation: John manages his credit responsibly, keeping his credit card balances low relative to his credit limits.
  • Length of credit history: John has a solid credit history, demonstrating responsible credit management over an extended period.
  • Types of credit: John has a mix of credit types, such as credit cards and instalment loans, showcasing his ability to manage different forms of credit.
  • New credit: John has not opened multiple new credit accounts in a short period, avoiding actions that might suggest financial distress.
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