Credit Scores

Learn about Equifax Credit Scores. Get answers to common questions about credit scores

Your Equifax Credit Score is a summary of your credit information held by Equifax. Finance and Utility providers may take into account your Credit Score when you apply for credit. Your Credit Score is derived from information held on your Credit Report. Your Equifax Credit Score will be a number between 0-1200. In simple terms, the higher your Equifax Score, the better your credit profile and the lower a credit risk you are.

There are a number of key contributing factors that are taken into consideration when generating your Equifax Credit Score:

  • Type of credit provider. The type of credit provider making an enquiry on your Equifax Credit Report (that is the type of credit provider you’ve applied for credit with) may impact your Equifax Credit Score. For example, there may be different levels of risk associated with approaching a bank, store finance provider, hire-purchase and utility company for credit. What’s more, research shows that there’s a different level of risk associated with lenders in particular industries. For example, a non-traditional lender may have a different level of risk than a bank or credit union
     

  • The type and size of credit requested in your application. Both the type of credit and size of the loan or credit limit you have applied for in the past can have an impact on your Equifax Credit Score. For example, mortgages, credit cards, personal loans and store finance may carry different levels of risk
     

  • Number of credit enquiries and shopping patterns. Every time you apply for credit and a credit provider obtains a copy of your report, an enquiry is added to your credit report. This can include any loan, mortgage or utilities applications you may make. Shopping around for credit and applying to a number of different credit providers within a short space of time may negatively impact your Equifax Credit Score. It flags you as a greater risk than infrequent applications for credit with a few credit providers
     

  • Directorship and proprietorship information Directorship and proprietorship information on an Equifax Credit Report may impact your Equifax Credit Score. If you’re a director or a proprietor it’s important to check the individual and commercial sections of your credit report
     

  • Age of credit report. The date your Equifax Credit Report was created may impact your Equifax Credit Score. For example, a relatively new file may indicate a different level of risk than an older report
     

  • Pattern of credit enquiries over time. The spread of activity over an Equifax Credit Report’s life to date can have an impact on your Equifax Credit Score. For example, a relatively new credit file with many enquiries may represent a different level of risk than an older file with only a few credit enquiries
     

  • Your personal details. Your Equifax Credit Score takes into consideration personal circumstances, such as age, as well as ‘stability factors’, such as how long you’ve been employed in your current position and how long you’ve resided at your current residential address, to help assess credit risk
     

  • Default information. Default information on your Equifax personal or business Credit Report, such as overdue debts, serious credit infringements or clearouts, may negatively impact your Equifax Credit Score. On the other hand, a lack of default information in your file may positively affect your Equifax Credit Score
     

  • Court writs and default judgements. A court writ or default judgement on an Equifax Credit report is an indicator of increased risk and may negatively impact your Equifax Credit Score. On the other hand, a lack of court writ or default judgement information would indicate a reduced level of risk
     

  • Commercial address information. Information such as location and the length of time you have resided at your current business address is a measure of stability and may impact your Equifax Credit Score

 

It is important to note that the way the Equifax Credit Score is used in practice by lenders may differ to the way it is displayed in the Equifax Credit and Identity portal. Each lender may also apply their own lending criteria and policies, and in some cases their own scores, which is why some lenders may approve your application while others will not. 

If you don’t have an Equifax Credit Score, it’s probably because you are not credit-active or haven't applied or used credit. Children don’t have Equifax Credit Scores and some older Australians and those new to Australia may not either.I f you fall into one of the categories of insolvency such as bankruptcy, you may not have a credit score either as Equifax does not score credit files where insolvency information is present.

Your Equifax Credit Score is calculated based on the information on your Equifax Credit Report at a point in time. As the information on your Equifax Credit Report changes so will your Equifax Credit Score.

Your Equifax Credit Report is updated as your repayment history information on accounts is updated each month and as other information is added or removed from your Equifax Credit Report. Information from credit providers can include credit enquiries (resulting from credit applications you’ve made) and overdue debts. It can also include publicly available information such as default judgements, court writs and Bankruptcy Act information.  

A Credit report is the detail of your credit history to date whereas a credit score is simply a number which is derived from the information on an individual’s credit report as held by the credit reporting body (CRB) when the credit score is requested.

Your Credit Score does not form part of your Credit Report, rather it is derived from the information available on your Credit Report at a specific point in time.

You can get your free Equifax Credit Report here or to view your Credit Score, you may consider subscription plans from Equifax. 

The Equifax Score Tracker is a tool that tracks your Equifax Credit Score over time. Each month it charts your Equifax Credit Score, helping you to gain insight into what is impacting your Equifax Score and how you could improve it.

When you sign up to an Equifax Premium or Equifax Ultimate subscription, each month we’ll generate an Equifax Credit Score which you will receive together with a graph that charts this. You’ll also receive information regarding what items on your Equifax Credit Report contributed to your Equifax Credit Score at that point in time.

Your Equifax Credit Score may change every time new activities, such as credit enquiries or loan defaults, are recorded in your Equifax Credit Report.

It’s important to note that when a credit provider applies to obtain a Credit Score calculated by Equifax to use or review in the process of assessing your application for credit, the Equifax Credit Score that the credit provider receives is calculated at the time they do their credit check on you for a credit application and may change depending on the circumstances in which you have made a credit application. The Equifax Credit Score that you receive through an Equifax Premium or Equifax Ultimate subscription is not necessarily the same credit score a credit provider would obtain from Equifax. Each lender may also apply their own lending criteria and policies, and in some cases their own scores, which is why some lenders may approve your application while others will not.

However, by monitoring your Equifax Credit Score over time, you’ll see how your Equifax Credit Score changes depending upon the information on your Equifax Credit Report, and be able to track changes over time. You’ll also have a better indication of how lenders see you based on the information on your Equifax Credit Report.

Your Equifax Credit Score is calculated at a point in time and will change each time new information is added to your Equifax Credit Report.

With an Equifax subscription that includes an Equifax Credit Score, you will receive a new Equifax Credit Score in the portal each month. A monthly email will notify you that your new Equifax Credit Score is available within the Equifax Credit and Identity portal.

Please note that while Equifax calculates your Equifax Credit Score every month as part of Score Tracker, when a credit provider uses an Equifax Credit Score as part of assessing an application for credit, the score they receive is calculated at the time they do their credit enquiry and may be different to your Equifax Credit Score in the Score Tracker. The way the Equifax Credit Score is used in practice by lenders may differ to the way it is displayed in the Equifax Credit and Identity portal. Each lender may also apply their own lending criteria and policies, and in some cases their own scores, which is why some lenders may approve your application while others will not.

Contributing factors are the items on an Equifax Credit Report that impact the Equifax Credit Score at a point in time. With an Equifax Premium or Equifax Ultimate subscription you will see the top four contributing factors. The arrows next to the contributing factors show how much impact, positive or negative, that factor played in your Equifax Credit Score.

Yes, in certain circumstances. For instance, if you have gone guarantor for a company loan that is then not repaid on time, or at all, your personal Equifax Credit Score will be negatively impacted. (If a credit provider wishes to access both your consumer credit and commercial Credit Files – aka your Credit Report – as part of assessing an application for credit, they will need your consent prior.)

It will cease to exist. Equifax does not generate an Equifax Credit Score for Equifax Credit Reports where insolvency information is present. This includes all six categories of insolvency:

1. Bankrupt (excluding discharged, Part X and Part 1X)
2. Part X Debt Agreement (excluding discharged)
3. Part X Debt Agreement (discharged)
4. Discharged Bankrupt (excluding Part X, and Part IX Debt Agreements)
5. Part IX Debt Agreement (excluding discharged)
6. Part IX Debt Agreement (discharged)

Individuals can enter into Debt Agreements, in certain circumstances. These are not a type of bankruptcy but are, in fact, a way an individual can avoid going into bankruptcy.

The different Equifax Credit Score bands help you to understand your level of risk, based on your Equifax Credit Score, compared to the Australian credit-active population held by Equifax.

The Equifax Credit Score bands are based on historical analysis that determines how likely an adverse event, such as a default, court judgement, personal insolvency or similar, is to be recorded on a credit report in the next 12 months. This a key determining factor in whether you are likely to be able to repay future credit. 

  • Below average (Bottom 20%) - There is an above average possibility an adverse event will be recorded on a Credit Report the next 12 months
     

  • Average (21% - 40%) - There is an average possibility an adverse event will be recorded on a Credit Report in the next 12 months
     

  • Good (41% - 60%) - Scores in this category indicate that an adverse event is less likely than average to be recorded on a Credit Report in the next 12 months. The odds of no adverse events occurring on your Credit Report in the next 12 months are better than the average population odds
     

  • Very Good (61% - 80%) - It is unlikely an adverse event is to be recorded on a Credit Report in the next 12 months. In other words, the odds of no adverse events occurring on your Credit Report in the next 12 months are more than 2 times better than the average population odds
     

  • Excellent (81% - 100%) - An adverse event is highly unlikely to be recorded on a Credit Report in the next 12 months. In other words, the odds of no adverse events occurring on your Credit Report in the next 12 months are more than 5 times better than the average population odds.

 

Equifax reviews the Australian credit-active population scores regularly and the Equifax Credit Score bands are calculated to take into account population and economic changes.

It is important to note that the way the Equifax Credit Score is used in practice by lenders may differ to the way it is displayed in the Equifax Credit and Identity portal. Each lender may also apply their own lending criteria and policies, and in some cases their own scores, which is why some lenders may approve your application while others will not.

You can get your free Equifax Credit Report here but to get access to your Credit Score, you may want to consider our subscription plans from Equifax.

 

An Equifax Credit Score is a summary of an individual’s credit information held by Equifax. It indicates how credit providers and finance/utility providers may view you when you apply for credit.  An Equifax Credit Score is derived from the information on an individual’s credit file at a specific point in time.

An Equifax Credit Score is one indicator of risk. A higher Equifax Credit Score indicates a lower credit risk. Your Equifax Credit Score is important. This is because it can be used by credit providers, such as banks and other lenders, to help determine whether to lend you money, how much money to lend you, and the terms and interest rate at which the money will be lent. Some lenders now offer special deals on personal loans and credit cards to individuals with impressive credit scores.

Your Equifax Credit Score is important as it can provide you with a better indication of how lenders may view you when you apply for credit.  Equifax Credit Scores may be used by credit providers, such as banks and other lenders to help them decide whether to lend you money and in some cases can even impact on how much they will lend you, the terms and rate that they offer you. 

Once you know your Equifax Credit Score, you can take steps to improve it if needed, so you can choose a credit provider who may reward your good behaviour with access to better finance deals over time

Your Equifax Credit Score can also be used by phone companies and utility providers to help them decide whether or not to accept your application for a post-paid mobile phone, electricity, gas or water contract.

It is important to note that an Equifax Credit Score is only one indicator that may be used by a credit provider when it is deciding whether or not to extend you credit. A higher Equifax Credit Score is considered better as it indicates lower risk. Credit providers can also use information on your credit application form, along with any other information they may have on you as an existing customer, against their own lending criteria and policies.

The way an Equifax Credit Score is used in practice by lenders may differ to the way it is displayed in the Equifax Credit and Identity portal. Each lender may also apply their own lending criteria and policies, and in some cases their own scores, which is why some lenders may approve your application while others will not.

Different lenders and credit reporting bodies (CRBs) have different credit scores based on their own information and algorithms. A credit score is only as accurate as the information it is based on. A credit score based on minimal data could potentially lead to the wrong credit decision being made. Lenders may use one or more CRBs to help in their assessment.

As Australia’s leading credit information company, the Equifax Credit Score is calculated using information from the most comprehensive and current credit data source in Australia. The Equifax consumer bureau has more than 16 million active consumer credit files and is widely used among Australian lenders.

A Credit score is not the only piece of information a lender will look at when assessing your application for credit. The lender or credit provider may also look at whether you can afford to repay the loan based on your current income, savings and expenses and whether you have been making any current loan repayments on time.

You’ll also need to meet the lender’s internal criteria that assesses whether the lender considers you can afford to repay the loan. If you don’t meet a lender’s criteria, they may not approve the loan, no matter what your Credit Score is.
 

Equifax has some simple steps to help you keep your credit report healthy and improve your Equifax Credit Score:

1. Pay your loans and bills on time
Consider setting up direct debits and schedule loan repayments for your pay day

2. Keep track of your credit commitments
Do your homework before applying for credit and keep track of your credit commitments. Making a number of applications within a short space of time will be recorded on your file and is not always looked upon positively by lenders, as it may be an indicator that you're in credit stress

3. If you move house or change your email address, notify lenders
If you don't advise, for instance, your phone company and utility providers of your new contact details, they won't be able to redirect bills to your new postal or email address. If you then don't pay these bills, a credit infringement or overdue debt could be listed on your Credit Report

4. If you are having trouble meeting repayments
Talk to your credit provider who may assist

5. Keep track of your credit record
Be proactive and check your Credit Report periodically. You can obtain a free credit report each year. You could also consider signing up to a monthly subscription to get your Equifax Credit Score and monitor changes on your Equifax Credit Report through credit alerts

Your Equifax Credit Score is impacted by the information contained on your Equifax Credit Report. There are a number of different factors which could impact your Equifax Credit Score.

  • The type of credit providers you’ve applied for credit with. Credit providers differ. Because of this, applying for a loan from a bank may impact your Equifax Credit Score differently to, for instance, taking out store finance from a retailer
     

  • The type of credit you’ve applied for. Just as credit providers differ, so do the types of credit they provide. Mortgages, credit cards, personal loans and store finance may carry different levels of risk and impact your Equifax Credit Score in different ways
     

  • The credit limit or size of the loan you’ve requested in your application. A smaller loan or credit card limit may carry a different level of risk to a larger loan
     

  • The number of credit applications you have made. Each time you apply for credit and a credit provider obtains a copy of your Credit Report, an enquiry is added to your Credit Report. Applications for credit can include loans, credit cards and applications for phone and utilities contracts. Even buy now pay later retail finance can result in a credit enquiry
     

  • The ‘shopping pattern’ of credit applications over time. The spread of activity over the credit report’s life to date can have an impact on your Equifax Credit Score. Shopping around for credit and applying to a number of different credit providers within a short space of time may negatively impact your Equifax Credit Score. This flags you as a greater risk than if you had infrequent credit applications with only a few credit providers. As well, a relatively new credit file with many enquiries may represent a different level of risk than an older file with only a few credit enquiries
     

  • Directorship and proprietorship information. If you are a company director or a proprietor and this information is listed on your credit report it may impact your Equifax Credit Score. If you are or have been a company director or proprietor, it's important to check the individual and commercial sections of your Equifax Credit Report
     

  • The age of your Credit Report. The date your Credit Report was created may impact your Equifax Credit Score. For example, a relatively new Credit Report may indicate a different level of risk than one that has been established for many years
     

  • Your personal details. Your Equifax Credit Score takes into consideration personal circumstances, such as age, as well as ‘stability factors’, such as how long you’ve been employed in your current position and how long you’ve resided at your current residential address, to help assess credit risk
     

  • Default information. Default information on your personal or business credit report, such as overdue debts, serious credit infringements or clearouts, may negatively impact your Equifax Credit Score. On the other hand, a lack of default information in your file may positively affect your score
     

  • Court writs and default judgements. A court writ or default judgement on a Credit Report is an indicator of increased risk and may negatively impact your Equifax Credit Score. On the other hand, if you don’t have this information it would indicate a reduced level of risk
     

  • Commercial address information. Information such as location and the length of time you have resided at your current business address is a measure of stability and may impact your Equifax Credit Score

Yes. Even if you don’t actually use the credit you’ve been given access to, your application for it will be recorded on your Equifax Credit Report. If you have a large number of credit applications on your Equifax Credit Report – or even just an above-average number of credit applications in a short space of time – this can lower your Equifax Credit Score.   

Not necessarily. If you’ve been late paying your debts in the past this information will remain on your Equifax Credit Report for up to five years and for a serious crime imfringement it will remain for seven years. Even if you’ve now paid off all your outstanding debts, your Equifax Credit Score will likely continue to be negatively impacted by your prior late payments or defaults. That noted, you can improve your Equifax Credit Score by always making your loan repayments and paying your bills on time.  

If you do have a default on your credit report you can help improve your credit profile by repaying credit accounts you have on time each month such as a personal loan or mortgage repayments or the minimum balance on your credit card. Please note that not all credit providers provide Equifax with repayment history information. 

No. Getting your Equifax Credit Report will not negatively impact your Equifax Credit Score. In fact, it may help you improve your Equifax Credit Score by helping you identify any errors or if your identity has been compromised.

Ordering a copy of your Equifax Credit Report may alert you to information on it that could be negatively impacting your Equifax Credit Score. For example, if you request and review your Equifax Credit Report, you may discover inaccurate information that, once corrected or deleted, will improve your Equifax Credit Score. 

If there is something incorrect on your Equifax Credit Report, find out how to fix it here.

If, after reviewing your Equifax Credit Report, you think your identity has been compromised, you should contact the relevant credit provider for more information and, if necessary, seek an investigation. You can also place a ban on your Equifax Credit Report. Find out more here.

You can obtain your Equifax Credit Score by signing up to a subscription package. There are a range of different packages that will provide you with access to your Equifax Credit Report, Equifax Credit Score and additional features such as credit alerts, a Score Tracker and identity monitoring tools. If you’re simply looking for your free credit report from Equifax you can also order it here.

Your Equifax Credit Score is a summary of your credit information held by Equifax and indicates how finance and utility providers may view you when applying for credit. It is derived from information held on your Equifax Credit Report as held by Equifax when the score is requested. The Equifax Credit Score is a number between 0-1200 and in simple terms, the higher your Equifax Credit Score, the better your credit profile and the lower the credit risk.

The information that can be put on your Equifax Credit Report is strictly regulated by the Privacy Act 1988. Equifax calculates your Equifax Credit Score using information collected directly from you, as well as from credit providers. Publicly available information, such as court actions relating to insolvency and ASIC records, may also impact your Equifax Credit Score.

Knowing your Equifax Credit Score may help you negotiate a better rate with some lenders. You can also take steps to improve your Equifax Credit Score, if it is low.

Learn more: Both CreditSmart and the Australian Government's MoneySmart have useful information about credit scores.

You can get your Equifax Credit Score for free at GetCreditScore. Please note that with your free Equifax Credit Score from GetCreditScore you simply receive the Equifax Credit Score. It does not include an Equifax Credit Report, key contributing factors to your Equifax Credit Score (which indicate what information in your Equifax Credit Report contributed positively or negatively to your Equifax Credit Score) or credit alerts to notify you of changes to your Equifax Credit Report.

You can obtain a free Equifax Credit Report here or you may consider monthly subscription plans from Equifax which include Credit Alert and Identity monitoring services.

 

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