Your credit score explained

Your credit score can be particularly important when you apply for things like a credit card, a loan or a mortgage. There are three main credit reference agencies, Equifax, Experian and CallCredit and they all collect information about you which lenders access when considering your application.

Credit reference agencies gather information from sources such as banks, retailers and credit card companies. This includes personal details about you, information about your financial links to other people, whether you are on the electoral roll, the credit accounts that you have, and any payments you have missed or failed to pay. This provides the data that lenders use when assessing whether to lend money to you. So, your credit score represents how a lender views your creditworthiness and is a measure of how likely you are to repay what you borrow.

A higher score usually means you are seen as a lower risk; the more points you score the better the chances that you’ll get credit at better rates. How your credit score is regarded can differ from one lender to another as their borrower assessment criteria may vary.