What is a bad credit rating/score?
Credit ratings/scores are calculated by credit reporting bodies such as Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service. These are separate organisations, so they use different systems.
Equifax gives scores between 0 and 1,200:
- 833 to 1,200 = Excellent
- 726 to 823 = Very good
- 622 to 725 = Good
- 510 to 621 = Average
- 509 or less = Below average
Dun & Bradstreet (through the Credit Simple service) gives scores between 0 and 1,000:
- 800 to 1,000 = High end
- 700 to 799 = Great
- 500 to 699 = Average
- 300 to 499 = Room to improve
- 299 or less = Low
Experian gives scores between 0 and 999:
- 961 to 999 = Excellent
- 881 to 960 = Good
- 721 to 880 = Fair
- 561 to 720 = Poor
- 0 to 560 = Very poor
The Tasmanian Collection Service doesn’t give scores. Instead, it prepares credit reports for credit providers and then lets those providers make their own assessment.
You can find out what your credit history is like by accessing what’s known as your credit rating or credit score.
Your credit rating/score is a number that summarises how credit-worthy you are based on your credit history.
The lower your score, the more likely you are to be denied a loan or forced to pay a higher interest rate.
It is possible for students with no available history of borrowing or managing money to get a personal loan, though it may be more difficult and/or expensive than for borrowers with a good credit history.
Having no credit history means having no credit score. While many lenders may consider having no credit score to be better than having a bad credit score, they may still consider it riskier to lend to an unknown borrower and may charge higher interest rates or fees than to borrowers with good credit scores.
Personal loans and medium amount loans from responsible lenders don’t have guaranteed approval, as the lender will want to check that you can afford the loan repayments on your current income without ending up in financial hardship.
Having a good credit score can increase the likelihood of your personal loan application being approved. Bad credit borrowers who opt for a medium amount loan with no credit checks may need to prove they can afford the repayments on their current income (Centrelink payments may not count – so you should check with the lender prior to making an application).
There is a strong link between credit scores and personal loan interest rates because many lenders use credit scores to decide what interest rates to offer to potential borrowers.
If you have a higher credit score, lenders will probably classify you as a lower-risk borrower. That means they’ll be keen to win your business, so they may offer you a lower interest rate.
If you have a lower credit score, lenders will probably classify you as a higher-risk borrower. That means they might be concerned about you defaulting on the loan and costing them money. As a result, they might protect themselves by charging you a higher interest rate.