A credit score is generally a number between 0 and 1,000 that shows you how banks and other lenders see you. Your credit score indicates how credit-worthy you are, and how likely you are to pay your bills on time. Most credit scores are between 300 and 850. The higher the score, the better your credit rating is.
A good score is more than 500, so if your score is high, you may be able to get better offers from banks, phone and internet providers, insurance companies and utility companies.
If your score is low, we recommend you find out what’s affecting it (for example, unpaid bills) and work to fix it. A bad score can lead to companies being reluctant to lend to you, or charging you a higher interest rate.
If you have a zero, there’s something negative on your file, such as a payment default. You might have a court judgment or bankruptcy. But you don’t need something that drastic to push your score down – even late payments look really bad to companies you want to get credit from. You probably have a few credit enquiries on your file, which means you’ve applied for credit and may have been declined.
As you build up a good credit history your score will change to reflect this. Unfortunately there’s no magic bullet and you will need to work at this over the next two years or more.
A low score: 1 – 299
If you’re here you probably have payment defaults or other negative data on your file.
If you don’t have defaults or other negative data such as a bankruptcy, then you may have a poor payment history (for example, late payments). You could also have a high number of credit enquiries, especially recent ones and for small amounts. This is likely to mean you’ve applied for credit and been declined.
Room for improvement: 300 – 499
If your score is between 300 and 499, it still needs improving, but you probably won’t have anything really negative (defaults, late payments, judgments) on your file.
It could be that you are in the younger age bracket, which lenders see as a bit riskier, and you may have recently applied for one or more smaller credit facilities or to credit providers that offer services to higher risk customers.
Good: 500 – 699
A score like this means there’s probably not much information available about your credit history, which probably means there’s nothing significantly negative.
It could also mean that your good history with your current credit provider is not yet being reported (credit reporting bureaus don’t yet have all the information from all credit providers).
Your score could also be impacted by your age or where you live - your credit score is generally higher the older you get.
If this is you, you’re probably paying your bills on time, but you might have a number of credit enquiries or applications for loans against your name. You might also be fairly new to credit, which means your credit history might not be long enough to put you in the ‘excellent’ category.
Scoring in this range will often be associated with being in the older age groups, having been fairly disciplined with your credit applications , having a mortgage and/or an investment property. Constantly and consistently making payments on or ahead of time throughout your credit history has a big impact on your score as well.
If you’ve never applied for credit, you probably won’t have a credit score. However, the majority of people have a credit history and score.
If you’re under 18, you’re more likely to not have a credit score, as you need to have had a credit card, utility account or similar, which doesn’t usually happen until you’re an adult.
You can end up with a bad score for many reasons, such as if you fail to pay your bills, if you pay them late, if you apply for credit too often or even if your partner defaults on a debt that was in joint names.
Your score is determined by how you pay your bills. People who have clear evidence of paying their bills on time will have higher credit scores than people who regularly pay their bills late or not at all.
Here are some ways you can improve your score:
A credit score is a number that indicates how credit-worthy you are and how likely you are to pay your bills on time. Through illion Credit Check, you can see what your score is and how you compare to others.
A credit report is more detailed - it’s a full history of your credit enquiries, bill payments, any defaults, court judgments and how much credit you have (such as a mortgage or credit cards).
Your score is provided by illion, an internationally-trusted credit reporting agency that’s been operating in Australia since 1887.
illion has a large team of people collecting information directly from companies you do business with, such as banks, insurance providers and utility companies. Your score is calculated from this information.
You can request a copy of your personal credit report online. Your identity will need to be verified, so please ensure that the details you provide are complete and accurate. You are entitled to request your credit report for free once a year.
Alternatively, you may complete our Application for Personal Credit Report form to receive a copy of your credit report in the mail. In addition to completing the form, you will need to provide the following documents to verify your identity:
illion adheres to the Privacy Act, Credit Reporting Code of Conduct and the New Zealand Privacy Principles by providing you with the right to obtain a copy of your credit report.
If you find something on your credit report that you think is incorrect, you can query it directly while you’re logged in to our website. Just click on the relevant item and then click Question This.
Companies that give credit (such as banks, telco, insurance companies and utility companies) want to know that customers have a good track record and are likely to pay their bills on time.
Credit agencies collect this information to help these companies make better informed decisions about lending.
You can read more about credit reporting agencies and your rights and privacy here.
There are a few reasons why your credit score can change, even though it doesn’t look like anything has changed on your credit history.
Some of the reasons your credit score may change include:
Using illion Credit Check to see your credit score and credit history has no impact on your credit score.
The Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2004 gives you the right to request that a credit reporting agency, such as illion, suppress or freeze your credit information if you believe you are at risk of identity fraud. For more information and steps to suppress your consumer credit file please click here. To lodge a request to have your credit file suppressed please click here.
When you apply for credit (such as with a bank, telco, insurance company or utility company), they’ll obtain your permission to access your credit history (this is usually in their terms and conditions).
You can read more about who can access your credit report and under what conditions here.
All data is secured via best-in-market security systems. It’s encrypted at rest and in transport.
No. When you sign up for illion Credit Check you’re asked to identify yourself with a series of questions that only you will know the answers to, such as past addresses and your driver’s licence number. We will securely verify that information before granting access.
You can only use that information if you have their specific authority to do so. It is best to obtain this in writing.
A New Zealand passport or driver’s licence is the most common form of identification, so we use these to authenticate your registration.
You can still register manually (without any of these forms of ID) by:
Your business credit report details your own credit liabilities and exposures to ensure that your business partners have the most accurate information possible to assess your credit standing.
Ordering your business report let’s you see what information your business partners have on you and gives you a clear picture of how risky your business is perceived to be.
Click here to learn more.
An illion business credit report gives you the complete picture of a company’s risk profile, so you’re better equipped to evaluate your business relationships.
You can order business credit reports, verify a company’s existence and find out if the entity is valid and operational, or learn about the identity of a company director via illion Express.
The illion Express service also provides immediate access to our commercial database, enabling you to conduct credit checks on individual businesses with ease.
Click here to find out more.
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The information provided on this website is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any decisions, it is important for you to consider your personal situation and seek appropriate tax, legal and other professional advice.