What is a Good Credit Score in the UK?

Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit score ranges.


author image-cai
By Cai Bradley
Updated on Friday 9 October 2020

Good credit score infographic on tablet

We’re often urged to build a ‘good’ credit score or improve our rating if it isn’t ‘good’ enough, but what exactly is a ‘good’ credit score in the UK?

With so many different credit reference agencies (CRAs) and credit checking websites to choose from, often with varying credit scores and ranges, the answer is unfortunately not as simple as one three-digit number.

Here, we explain what each credit reference agency considers to be ‘good’ credit rating, what credit score you might need for a mortgage, and where you should go to check your credit score.

Are credit scores different with every credit checking website?

If you check your credit score with multiple credit reporting websites, you might find that the three-digit number you’re given varies considerably between each one. This is because they tend to use different sources.

These sources are known as credit reference agencies (CRAs) or credit bureaus, which gather information on your credit history from various lenders and then provide it to credit reporting websites.

You can either check your credit report directly with the CRA (Experian, for example), or through a third-party credit checking website (such as ClearScore, which uses Equifax as its CRA).

What is a good credit rating?

What is considered a good credit score varies depending on which CRA you get it from, as they all use different methods of measuring and calculating your credit rating, with varying maximum scores and banding systems.

For example, Experian measures your score between 0 and 999, while Equifax has a maximum credit score of 700; this means that what credit scores they consider as ‘good’ will be different.

Here are the maximum credit scores of the three main credit reference agencies in the UK:

  • Experian: 0-999
  • Equifax: 0-700
  • TransUnion: 0-710

NOTE: There is no ‘magic number’ that will guarantee your approval for credit, so you may want to do a multi-agency credit check before applying in order to get the most accurate representation of your credit status.

What is a good Experian credit score in the UK?

Experian’s credit score is calculated between 0 and 999, with users being categorised into groups from ‘Very Poor’ to ‘Excellent’, as is standard with most CRAs.

Here is the Experian credit score range:

  • Very Poor: 0-560
  • Poor: 561-720
  • Fair: 721-880
  • Good: 881-960
  • Excellent: 961-999

This means that scores of 881 and above are considered ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ credit ratings with Experian. Anything between 0 and 720 is categorised as being ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Poor’, while scores between 721 and 880 are placed in the middle-ground, labelled as ‘Fair’.

What is a good Equifax credit score?

Equifax credit scores range from 0 to 700 in the UK, with the average rating being around 380.

Here is the Equifax credit scores range, from ‘Very Poor’ to ‘Excellent’:

  • Very Poor: 0-279
  • Poor: 280-379
  • Fair: 380-419
  • Good: 420-465
  • Excellent: 466-700

So, what is a good credit score in the UK out of 700? A good Equifax credit score (out of 700) is anything from 420 to 465, with an excellent rating being 466 and above.

What is a good credit score on ClearScore?

ClearScore – a popular credit checking website in the UK – uses Equifax as its CRA or its source of data, meaning that the information you are presented with on ClearScore has come from Equifax.

This basically tells us that a ‘Good’ credit score on ClearScore is therefore the same as it is on Equifax – anything above 420.

What is a good TransUnion credit score?

The TransUnion credit score is measured up to a maximum 710, with anything below 550 being considered ‘Very Poor’ and credit scores over 628 being labelled ‘Excellent’.

Here is how TransUnion’s credit scores range:

  • Very Poor: 0-550
  • Poor: 561-565
  • Fair: 566-603
  • Good: 604-627
  • Excellent: 628-710

A ‘Good’ TransUnion credit score is anything above 604, but only the most creditworthy people will receive an ‘Excellent’ rating of 628 and over.

What is a good credit score with each of the main CRAs?

We have gathered that the definition of a good credit score varies between each credit reference agency, but this table tells you exactly what figures warrant a ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ rating with every CRA:

Credit Reference Agency (CRA) 'Good' Credit Score 'Excellent' Credit Score
Experian 881-960 961-999
Equifax  420-465 466-700
TransUnion 604-627 628-710

What is a good credit score for a mortgage?

According to Experian, “There isn’t a specific credit score you need for a mortgage, and that’s because there isn’t just one credit score”.

However, it’s unlikely that you will be accepted for a mortgage if you have a poor credit score, or you may be offered less affordable deals with higher interest rates.

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will work out a credit score for you in order to help them determine whether or not you will be a responsible borrower.

To make a decision, lenders will look information from:

  • Your credit report
  • Your application form
  • Your bank account (only if you have one with them)

It’s worth noting that all lenders will also have their own unique lending policy, so you could be accepted by one and rejected by another. They will also consider your mortgage affordability, which is based on information such as your income and outgoings.

Your credit score from the main CRAs is, however, likely to give you a good indication of what credit score you’ll get from your lender when you apply for credit.

Experian stated: “If you have a good credit score from one of the main credit reporting reference agencies such as Experian, you are likely to have a good credit score with your lender”.

I have an ‘Excellent’ credit score but was refused credit – why?

A good credit score does not guarantee a successful credit application, so even people with maximum credit scores and high levels of wealth can still be denied a loan, mortgage or credit card.

Common reasons to be refused credit with a good credit score include:

  • Financial associations: According to Check My File, financial associations “don’t affect your credit score at all but they can influence applications”. If the financial associate has a very poor credit history, your application may be damaged.
  • Employment status: If you are out of work, the likelihood of you making every repayment is lower as you have less money coming in.
  • Inconsistent information: If you claim to be earning £20,000 per year on one application and then £200,000 per year on another, the legitimacy of your information may be questioned, and dishonesty can lead to a rejected application.
  • Negative markers: Minor negative markets like single missed payments may not have a significant impact on your credit score, but they could affect your credit application.

There are many things that can lead to a rejected credit application, so it’s worth getting a multi-agency credit report in order to cover all bases before applying for a loan, mortgage or any other type of credit.

We recommend doing so before applying because, generally speaking, a failed credit application can make it even more difficult to get credit in the future.

Check your credit score with a multi-agency report

What is classed as a good credit score differs considerably between each credit reference agency, which is why it’s important to check your report with more than one website before thinking you’re in the clear and ready to apply for a mortgage or any other form of credit.

The best way to get all the information you need in one place with as little hassle as possible is to use a multi-agency credit checking website like Check My File.

This way, you get all the information you need from four major credit reference agencies in the UK – Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and Crediva.

For more information on credit scores and reports, be sure to check out our related guides:


Latest News