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For a seemingly innocuous question, ‘Whats my credit score?’ can have a great impact on your current lifestyle.
The answer to this question offers a glimpse not just into your current finances but also into your financial future. This is because your credit score is critical to your reputation, not just with lenders and financial institutions but with life-changing opportunities like housing applications and business investments as well.
For example, since it is a measure of creditworthiness, a good credit score can increase your chances of being approved for credit. On the other hand, a poor credit score could instead limit you to higher-rate credit or lead to your application being denied. But how do you come back from a less-than-ideal score?
You start by understanding why your credit score is the way it is and identifying the problem areas where you can improve it. Even better, you can request credit scores for free in more ways than one – such as through MONEYME’s Credit Score tool, which is free to access for registered users through our mobile app.
Monitoring your credit score regularly is an important step towards improving it. If you haven’t been asking yourself, ‘Whats my credit score?’ recently, here are a few reasons why you should.
Free credit score reports help people gain an in-depth look into their financial habits and, ideally, provide a roadmap for making informed decisions and actions, particularly where credit is concerned. That being said, there’s always a question of where to find this information – and whether or not you can request a report on your Australian credit score free of charge.
Equifax, Experian, and illion, three credit reporting agencies, are primarily responsible for calculating credit scores in Australia. Each credit reporting agency has a unique formula for calculating your score, which can lead to differing scores between them. Depending on the agency, your score could range anywhere from 0 to 1,000 or 0 to 1,200.
Credit reports provide a comprehensive overview of an individual's credit behaviour. Consequently, routinely requesting free credit scores and related reports is invaluable to developing good financial habits. Not only will you learn how to check a credit score report by analysing each section, but you’ll also be able to review your score’s progress as you work on improving it.
There is a variety of information you can find in your credit report outside of the actual score. The bulk of it will be your credit history; on top of answering ‘Whats my credit score?’ it will also include your credit rating.
Let’s break down the information you can expect to find when you get a credit score report.
General personal information
Your credit score report will include basic details about your identity, such as your full legal name, your date of birth, your current or last known address, and other pertinent details like your current or last known employer and your driver’s licence number.
It’s good practice to always check your credit scores and related reports regularly for incorrect information regarding your identity. Creditors and lenders will be referencing this information for any future applications, and discrepancies between your supporting documents and your credit report will raise red flags during your application processing.
Credit information and history
The question that often follows ‘Whats my credit score?’ is ‘Why is my score like this?’ The credit history section will provide great insights that help answer this question.
The meat of your credit report will outline your previous loans, debts, and other types of credit, as well as the names of the creditors and lenders to whom you’ve owed money. The credit report will also include details regarding credit types, borrowing amounts or capacities, outstanding balances or early payments, and payment history for each credit account.
Any defaults, bankruptcies, or court judgements related to your credit in the past will also be reflected here. You will also find previous credit applications reflected in your credit report, regardless of whether or not you’ve been approved. If you’re wondering why the answer to ‘Whats my credit score?’ is not ideal, this section may give insights into why.
Certain legal judgements or agreements regarding your credit
As mentioned above, any court judgements made against or for you may be reflected in your credit history. For example, if a creditor has taken you to court over the credit they’ve provided to you, this information will appear in your credit history.
Agreements related to financial hardship may also be included in your report, as well as certain information about bankruptcy and other debt agreements.
Getting your answer to ‘Whats my credit score?’ is straightforward enough. By using your credit report as your starting point, you can be on your way to an improved credit score in no time.
You can request a free copy of your credit score report from these credit reporting bodies once every three months. You may also request an additional free copy within the same three-month period if you’ve requested a correction for erroneous information in your report or if you’ve been refused credit.
Ideally, you should request a report at least once a year to keep track of your credit rating and history. Apart from making a request to the credit reporting agencies, there’s a simpler way to access your credit score!
You can check your credit score for free through the MONEYME app, which is free to download on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Our mobile app has a Credit Score tool that can show you your credit score within minutes. Not only that, it provides you with personalised insights about your score as well as access to special offers on our products or services.
Creating a MONEYME account through the app only requires basic information from you, such as your name, number, email address, date of birth, address, and driver’s licence number (optional). Just download our app onto your mobile device of choice, register, and view your score, and you can then start moving towards healthier finances.
In summary, finding the answer to ‘Whats my credit score?’ is one way to stay on top of your personal finances. You can do this with ease through the MONEYME Credit Score tool.
Credit scores are provided by Price Enquiry Pty Limited ACN 647 624 155.