Credit Score Quick Facts
  • Range: Both Experian and Illion use a scale of 0 to 1,000, while Equifax uses a scale of 0 to 1,200.
  • Categorisation: Each agency categorises credit scores into different levels, indicating the risk of adverse credit events, with some variation in interpretation between the agencies.
  • What it means: A score is your creditworthiness as a borrower. Those with low scores may face higher interest rates or higher fees.
  • What to do: If your score is low, you can build it back up by repaying debts on time and playing the waiting game before applying for more credit. You can check your report for free once per year, and check up on your score a lot more often.

An excellent score is anywhere between 833 and 1,200 (if you're using Equifax) or between 800 and 1,000 with Experian and illion. A good score is anywhere from 500 to 800 and a poor score is usually below 400. A poor score doesn't necessarily mean you have a bad credit history, though; it may simply be that you've never really had any credit. Changes in 2014 may provide a better outcome if you’ve never had credit before - more on this later.

Equifax

Experian

illion

Below Average

0 to 509

0 to 549

0 to 299

Average

510 to 621

550 to 624

300 to 499

Good

622 to 725

625 to 699

500 to 699

Very good

726 to 832

700 to 799

700 to 799

Excellent

833 to 1200

800 to 1000

800 to 1000

Whichever credit reporting agency you use to get your credit rating, that rating comes from an assessment of your financial history. Your history is made up from all your credit cards, personal loans, home loans, and overdrafts and how you've handled them over the years. Even things like your utility bills and mobile phone contracts count towards your score and rating as they demonstrate how you handle your money and credit.


FixedUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details
  • Simplified Borrowing - 100% online process makes it easy to apply for a loan anytime, anywhere
  • Personalised Rates - Get a fair interest rate that’s personalised to you
  • More than a loan - Behind the scenes is a friendly and dedicated team ready to answer your questions

Unsecured Personal Loan (Excellent Credit) (Amount > $5000)

  • Simplified Borrowing - 100% online process makes it easy to apply for a loan anytime, anywhere
  • Personalised Rates - Get a fair interest rate that’s personalised to you
  • More than a loan - Behind the scenes is a friendly and dedicated team ready to answer your questions
FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
  • Lower Interest Rates
  • No Hidden Fees
  • A quick and easy, 100% online application. No printing. No paper. No fuss.

Low Rate Personal Loan Unsecured (Excellent Credit)

  • Lower Interest Rates
  • No Hidden Fees
  • A quick and easy, 100% online application. No printing. No paper. No fuss.
VariableUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

Home Improvement Loan

    FixedSecuredN/AMore details

    Secured Green Personal Loan

      FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details

      Tesla Powerwall Loan (HL members)

        VariableUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

        Eco Personal Loan

          Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

          All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

          The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

          Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

          Rates correct as of April 15, 2024.View disclaimer

          How is your credit score calculated?

          Your credit score is calculated by using the information on your report, as well as a number of factors that look at your risk as a credit-user. These factors include:

          • The type of provider, as different lenders have different risk levels and bandings, as well as different risk appetites

          • How much you're looking to borrow, as the size of the loan, credit card limit or overdraft will affect your overall score; mortgages are assessed differently, however, due to their size

          • The number of credit enquiries you make, as every time you apply for credit, providers get your file and the application is noted on it. If you've been making several applications within a short period of time, it may mean you're under financial stress and therefore present a larger risk to lenders

          • Any directorship information, as owning or running a business or company can affect your credit score; you need to look at both your personal and your business credit reports

          • The age of your file, as newer files are deemed to be less "proven" than older ones

          • Your personal information; agencies will look at your age, how long you've been in employment and how long you've been at your current address to see how stable you are.

          • Any adverse events as serious credit infringements, court judgements and defaults, as well as missed payments, will hurt your score.

          Contrary to popular belief, transaction data is not scrutinised - that’s your money. As the name suggests, a credit score is measured on your ability to repay credit items. However, in 2021 illion introduced a Transaction Risk Score, which more closely scrutinises cash use patterns. Filling up a full tank of fuel for years then suddenly filling up with half a tank? That could give rise to concerns a financial headwind is afoot.

          Lenders also have their own particular criteria for potential borrowers, so you don't need to take your credit report as gospel. Further, credit scores are typically more important when it comes to applying for unsecured debt - think personal loans and credit cards. Secured debt, such as car loans and home loans, may be less-so as the nature of the debt is slightly less risky.

          What does a credit score and report actually mean?

          Your credit score is a snapshot of the risk of an adverse event going into your file in the next year. Adverse financial events include missed or late payments, defaults and even court judgements and bankruptcies.

          The higher your score, the less likely you are to have an adverse event in the next 12 months. This means that lenders are more likely to extend credit to you and extend it on good terms and interest rates.

          A lower score doesn't mean you won't be able to borrow money (although very poor ratings may mean this), but you may face higher interest rates or have to pay deposits on any credit agreements you enter into.

          In addition, don’t fret if you don’t have an excellent credit score - they are typically hard to achieve. They are usually reserved for older Australians in higher income bands who have a long history of credit, and/or those who have paid off their home loan.

          Experian

          • 0 to 549: Below Average - It's more likely that an adverse event, such as a default, court judgment, or insolvency, will be recorded on your credit report in the next 12 months.

          • 550 to 624: Average - It's likely that you will incur an adverse event in the next 12 months.

          • 625 to 699: Good - Less likely to experience an adverse event on your credit report in the next year.

          • 700 to 799: Very Good - Unlikely to have an adverse event recorded in the next 12 months.

          • 800 to 1,000: Excellent - Highly unlikely to have an adverse credit event in the next year.

          Illion

          • 0 to 299: High Risk

          • 300 to 499: Medium to High Risk

          • 500 to 699: Medium Risk

          • 700 to 799: Low to Medium Risk

          • 800 to 1,000: Low Risk

          Equifax

          • 0 to 509: Below Average - More likely than the average population to experience adverse events in the next 12 months.

          • 510 to 621: Average - Likely to experience an adverse event in the next year.

          • 622 to 725: Good - Less likely to have an adverse event recorded in the next year.

          • 726 to 832: Very Good - Unlikely to experience an adverse credit event in the next 12 months.

          • 833 to 1,200: Excellent - Highly unlikely to have an adverse event in the next year.

          Credit Score vs Credit Report

          It’s useful to think of the report as the beating heart, and the score as the blood pressure. Blood pressure can go up or down depending on what’s in the heart - the report.

          A report is an in-depth document detailing credit inquiries, applications and approvals or rejections for credit, repayment history, defaults, debt agreements and bankrupcties. A score is your reflection of that.

          What is comprehensive credit reporting?

          Comprehensive credit reporting was introduced in early 2014 as a way to give lenders a better picture of potential borrowers. It records positive information as well as adverse events, so lenders can see your best side as well as your occasional mistakes. It's fairer and it also offers away to improve your score, by paying your phone bill on time every month, for example.

          How to check your credit score and report

          You can obtain your credit score by applying to one of the main agencies, like Experian, Equifax or Illion. You can get one free report a year, so you should use this opportunity to check your rating to make sure it's accurate.

          It’s worthwhile checking your credit report once a year or so, keeping in mind this too will appear on your report. Should you notice any errors it’s important to get in touch with the agency right away.

          On the other hand, you can check your credit score a lot more often. The three agencies all own their own credit score checkers, and many banking apps - such as CommBank’s - give you an insight into your credit score.

          How to improve your credit score

          There are lots of ways in which you can improve your score, even if you're already in the "excellent" banding. The easiest way to bring your score up is to make sure you pay all your bills on time and work to reduce your existing debts, whether they're credit card balances, overdrafts or loans.

          Thanks to comprehensive credit reporting, you can be rewarded for good financial behaviour nowadays. Even simple things like paying off your phone and electricity bill on-time can help.

          How long do items stay on your credit report?

          The most amount of time something stays on your credit report is seven years - and that’s for serious infringements. If you have a patchy history, or even a bankruptcy on your name, it’s important to get on top of your debts and ultimately play the waiting game before applying for more credit.

          Bankruptcy

          The later of:

          • 5 years starting on the day you became bankrupt, or

          • 2 years starting on the day you were no longer bankrupt

          Court judgment

          5 years

          Credit enquiry

          5 years

          Current consumer credit obligations

          2 years (from the end of the consumer credit)

          Debt agreement

          The later of:

          • 5 years from the day the agreement was made

          • 2 years from the day the agreement was:

            • terminated

            • ends when the agreement ends under s 185N of the Bankruptcy Act 1966

            • an order was made declaring the agreement void

          Default

          5 years

          Financial hardship information

          1 year

          Repayment history

          2 years

          Serious credit infringement

          7 years

          Source: oaic.gov.au