If you’re looking to buy your own home, purchase a residential investment property, or even refinance your existing loans, a great place to start is to check your credit score and work out where you stand as a borrower. Your credit score gives the banks and lenders an overall picture of how reliable you are as a potential borrower.
This week we’re exploring what a good credit score looks like, how this can impact your borrowing power, and some quick tips on what you can do to boost your credit score if you find that your score is too low.
What is your credit score?
Your credit score is based on both your personal and financial information that is held on your credit file. This information will include a detailed record of how much money you’ve borrowed in the past, how quickly and whether you paid the money back on time, as well as information about any recent credit card or loan applications that you’ve made. This will include items such as applying for a pre-approval with a bank, which will display on your credit file.
Each of the credit ratings agencies in Australia use a different scoring system and different methodology for calculating your credit score, so what reflects a good score with one may not be as positive with another. Overall, however, a higher number for your credit score is generally considered positive as it indicates to the lender that you’re a more reliable borrower.
It’s important to note that you have the right to access your credit file from the ratings agencies to give you an indication of whether you need to start making changes to improve your credit score. Your credit score itself and the report will have started from the first time that you applied for credit.
What is considered a good credit score?
A ‘good’ credit score or higher with the ratings agencies means that the lender will be more likely to approve your loan application, while an ‘average’ or ‘below average’ rating can often make this process more difficult for you. A higher credit score can impact how much the bank will lend you, what interest rate they apply as well as the terms and conditions attached to the loan.
There are three major ratings agencies, and we’ve outlined the scores and associated ratings for your reference below:
How often does your credit score change?
Your credit score can be updated quite frequently depending on the rating agency and the information that is available. More recent activity will often have a greater impact on your score than older activity. It’s also important to note that if your behaviour and usage of credit doesn’t change a great deal over time, then it’s also unlikely that your credit score itself will change.
What can you do to improve your credit score?
We have written a detailed article on what you can do to improve your credit score here, however we’ve outlined a few handy tips below to get started on improving your credit score:
- Ensure that you’re making your credit card repayments and loan repayments on time.
- Avoid making too many loan applications with too many different providers.
- Avoid too many job or residential property changes where possible.
- Avoid any defaults on your existing loans where possible.
- Lower the limits on your credit cards where possible.
- Check your credit report on a regular basis.
Many people don’t fully understand what impacts your credit score and believe that simply having sound financial assets is enough to boost your score, which is not the case at all. It’s far more important to use your credit responsibly and ensure that you don’t miss repayments.
If you have any questions about your credit score, how to access it or how you can start making improvements, please reach out to our team at Loansuite.
LoanSuite Pty Ltd is your lending partner for all of your home loan, investment property, business and commercial financing needs. With our wide range of lending solutions, expertise in financial planning and investment strategies, and extensive experience in working with both Australian residents and Australian expats, we are your partners for your lending needs.
Book an obligation-free, complimentary consultation here today.
LoanSuite Pty Ltd is an Authorised Credit Representative (Credit Representative Number – 494608) of My Local Broker (Australian Credit License – 481374). Important Disclaimer: Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product.