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Canstar’s Credit Score Information Hub is designed to help you understand your credit score and credit report. It covers topics including:

  • What your credit score and credit report are
  • Checking your credit report and score
  • What a good credit score is
  • What affects your credit score
  • How to work on improving your credit score
  • Applying for loans or credit cards with a poor credit history or no credit history at all

What is a credit score or credit rating?

A credit score, also known as a credit rating, is a number calculated by a credit bureau (a credit reporting agency) to represent how trustworthy your reputation is as a borrower. Your credit score will typically be on a scale of 0-1,200 or 0-1,000 depending on the credit bureau you use. The higher your credit score, the better your credit position currently is.

Your credit score is one of the factors lenders may use to decide whether or not you are eligible for a credit product, and when deciding what interest rate to charge you.

  • How often can you check your credit score? As often as you like typically, but there may be a limit on the number of free checks you can do.
  • How long does it take? The response is usually instant – after you have provided some identification information.
  • What does it cost? Usually you can do a credit score check for free, but there may be an upper limit on the number of free checks you can do.

Find out more about credit scores

check credit score

What is a credit report?

Your credit report contains details about your credit history. The information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score.  The system of credit reporting in Australia is knows as ‘comprehensive credit reporting’, meaning both negative and positive information could be included on your report.

Your credit report may show things like details of any applications you have made for credit cards, loans, or other credit products; current credit accounts you hold and ones you have had in the past; overdue accounts or late payments, bankruptcy, and other credit-related information. Your credit report may also contain positive information about your credit history, such as details of the regular repayments you have made in full and on time.

  • How often can you access your credit report? Usually once a year for free (a charge might apply for additional checks).
  • How long does it take? Up to 10 days for a free report, or you may be able to pay for a quicker turnaround.
  • What does it cost? It’s typically free for a report to arrive in up to 10 days, or you may need to pay for a report that arrives sooner.

Find out more about comprehensive credit reporting

Your credit report contains details about your credit history, whereas your credit score is a number that represents your ‘creditworthiness’ by drawing on the data from the report at a particular point. 

No, checking your credit score does not have a negative impact on your rating.

If you notice an error in your credit report, you should consider contacting the credit bureau who may be able to investigate the complaint on your behalf and look into removing the incorrect listing.

 

What is a good credit score in Australia?

Your credit score is usually on a scale between 0 and 1,200 or between 0 and 1,000 depending on the credit reporting agency you use to check your score.

Here’s how Equifax (formerly known as Veda) determines which categories different scores fall within:

Credit-worthiness Excellent Very Good Good Average Below Average
Score 833 – 1,200 726 – 832 622 – 725 510 – 621 0 – 509
Source: Equifax

What can you do to improve or maintain your credit score? 

Excellent 833 – 1,200: What could this mean for you?

Equifax’s data shows that people who score in this range are in the top 20% of Australian consumers with an Equifax credi