Credit Score & Report Information Hub

Canstar’s Credit Score Hub explains everything you need to know about your credit score and your credit report, including:

  • What a credit score and credit report are
  • How to check your credit score
  • How to get a copy of your credit report
  • How to fix errors in your credit report
  • What a good credit score is
  • What affects your credit score
  • How to improve your credit score
  • Getting loans or credit cards with a bad credit history or no credit history at all

What is a credit score or credit rating?

A credit score or credit rating is a number calculated by a credit bureau (a credit reporting agency). This number represents how trustworthy your reputation is as a borrower.

Lenders use this number (on a scale of 0-1,200 or 0-1,000) to decide whether or not you are eligible for a credit card or loan, and when deciding what interest rate to charge on your loans.

  • How often can you check your credit score: As often as you like (no limit)
  • How long it takes: Instant response usually – after you provide some identification information
  • What it costs: Free

Find out more about credit scores or credit ratings

credit score

What is a credit report?

A credit report provides information about your credit history as a borrower. This report is used by lenders to determine whether or not you are eligible for a loan or a credit card.

Your credit report contains information about any applications you have made for credit cards, loans, or other credit products, credit accounts and loans you currently have and have had in the past, overdue accounts or late payments, bankruptcy, and other credit-related information.

  • How often can you access it: Once a year
  • How long it takes: Up to 10 days for a free report, or pay for a quicker report (as quick as 1 day)
  • What it costs: Free for a report to arrive in up to 10 days, or costs money for a report that arrives more quickly

Find out more about credit reports

credit score is a number between 0 and 1,200 that is used to grade how trustworthy your credit report is, while a credit report is a report that provides information about your credit history.

It’s beneficial to check both regularly so that you can see if an error appears on your credit report and your credit score goes down. Ensure you are trustworthy borrower, and you increase the chances that a lender will grant you the loan or credit card you want.

There are different credit services that will allow you to check your credit score, your credit report, or both. Most are very simple to use and will only require some information to correctly identify you.

Does looking at your credit score lower it?

No, checking your credit score will not lower your credit score. Checking your credit report or score will not affect whether lenders feel you are trustworthy enough to lend to.

Find out more about checking your credit rating or report

Checking your credit report is important as it allows you to check for errors or incorrect information. To fix errors in your report, you can discuss them with the credit reporting agency. The credit reporting agency will contact the credit provider who gave them the incorrect information.

If this does not resolve the issue, you can make a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS). If the Ombudsman does not resolve your complaint, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OIAC), also known as the Privacy Commissioner.

Find out more about how you can fix credit report errors

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 credit score.

Here’s how Equifax (formerly known as Veda) determines whether your credit score is ‘excellent’ or ‘below average’:

Credit-worthiness Excellent Very Good Good Average Below Average
Score 833 – 1,200 726 – 832 622 – 725 510 – 621 0 – 509
Source: Equifax.com.au (formerly Veda)

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

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

An excellent credit score means you’re in the top 20% of the credit-active population from Equifax. Lenders expect you are highly unlikely to experience a default, court judgment, or bankruptcy in the next 12 months. You have a 5 times better than average chance of keeping a clean credit report.

How can I keep it

There’s always room to improve when it comes to your credit score. To hold onto an excellent credit score, keep a hold of any good credit card or loan where you have a positive repayment history.

Read this article to find out how borrowers can keep their credit score above 900

Find out more about keeping your credit score:

How I kept my credit score above 900

Very Good 726 – 832: What does this mean for you?

A very good credit score means lenders expect you are unlikely to experience a default, court judgment, or bankruptcy in the next 12 months. You have a 2 times better than average chance of keeping a clean credit report.

How can I keep it or improve it

There’s always room to improve when it comes to your credit score. To improve a very good credit score, keep checking for credit report errors, and keep a hold of any good credit card or loan where you have a positive repayment history.

Read this article to find out how borrowers can keep their credit score above 900

Find out more about keeping and improving your credit score:

How to improve your credit rating

How I kept my credit score above 900

Good 622 – 725: What does this mean for you?

A good credit score means lenders expect you are less likely to experience a default, court judgment, or bankruptcy in the next 12 months. You have a better than average chance of keeping a clean credit report. What should I do to improve it?

To improve a good credit score, avoid any credit indiscretions and hang onto any good credit card or loan where you have a positive repayment history.

Read this article to find out how borrowers can keep their credit score above 900.

Find out more about fixing or improving your credit score:

How to improve your credit rating

How I kept my credit score above 900

 

Average 510 – 621: What does this mean for you?

An average credit score means lenders expect you are likely to experience a default, court judgment, or bankruptcy in the next 12 months.

What should I do to fix or improve it?

To fix or improve an average credit score, you should pay off any debt and set up payment plans with your credit providers. Review your credit report to check for errors before and avoid making frequent applications for loans or credit cards.

Find out more about fixing or improving your credit score:

How to improve your credit rating

How I kept my credit score above 900

 

Below Average 0 – 509: What does this mean for you?

A below average credit score means you’re in the bottom 20% of the credit-active population in Australia, according to Equifax. Lenders expect you are more likely to experience a default, court judgment, or bankruptcy in the next 12 months.

What should I do to fix it?

To fix a below average credit score, you should pay off any debt or set up a payment plan with your credit providers. Review your report for errors and fix them if they are present. If you are in financial trouble, you should speak to a free financial counsellor for help.

Find out more about fixing or improving your credit score:

How to improve your credit rating

How to fix credit report errors

How long does it take to rebuild your credit score?

 

What affects my credit score?

The following things will affect your credit score:

positive credit score

Positive (helps your credit score)

  • Repaying credit cards and personal loans responsibly
  • Paying all bills on time
  • Paying off outstanding loans and debts
  • Keeping credit card balance and debt-to-credit ratio low
  • Holding onto safe accounts
  • Not applying for any new credit
  • Diversifying types of credit used responsibly

negative credit score

Negative (hurts your credit score)

  • Balance transfers, especially back-to-back balance transfers
  • Late credit card payments
  • Being rejected for a refinancing home loan
  • Maxing out your credit limit
  • Closing credit cards and loans with a good repayment history
  • Making multiple loan or credit card applications within a short time period
  • Getting a court judgement against you to repay an outstanding debt
  • Ignoring errors or inaccuracies on your credit report
  • Not telling creditors when you change your name (creates errors on credit report)
  • Borrowing money through scam “credit score booster” schemes
  • Not regularly checking your credit score

Source

Bad or no credit history? What can you apply for?

It is entirely possible to apply for a credit card or loan with bad credit or with no credit history at all. Here are our best tips on how to do it successfully: