My Credit Score Revealed

Most of you know that I have been in and out of debt since the age of 18. I have been in full-time employment for nearly 10 years now which is a blessing when you constantly carry a balance on a credit card. I have been diligently paying my creditors, but taking a couple of months off in between jobs or a year off to go travelling was never an option. I guess 10 years of living from paycheck to paycheck and having no savings of any kind has finally got too much for me. It’s about time!

I will hopefully have my credit card (outstanding balance to date £2,395 at 0% APR) paid off in a couple of months’ time, which will leave me with my personal loan of roughly £8,000 to pay off. I am currently paying an extortionate interest rate on my loan of 15,9% APR and frankly speaking, I do not enjoy throwing away around £115 in interest charges every month! That’s around £3.70 each day! The end date on my current loan agreement is November 2017.

My plan is to (a) renegotiate my interest rate with my current bank or consolidate my existing loan by taking out a loan with a much lower interest rate from a different bank and (b) reduce the term of my loan. Since this is something I am planning to do fairly soon, I decided it was time to check what my credit score was. I am sure you all know what a credit score is, but if not, a credit score is a number usually between 0 and 999 (depending on a credit reference agency you are using) that reflects your financial history that lenders use to decide if you can afford to manage any new borrowings. I took advantage of a free 30-day trial and signed up with Experian to gain access to my credit report and my credit score.

My Experian Credit ScoreExperian uses a scale of 0 to 999 to score you and the higher your score is the better chance you stand at getting any new credit. My current credit score is 908 which is a good credit score. I will be honest and say that when I saw the number I got a bit upset. 908? Is this all? I am not sure I am happy with a “good” credit score; I want it to be “excellent”!

I have looked through my credit report and found no significant errors. Overall, my credit score is high enough to get approved for new credit and qualify for a variety of competitive credit offers as most lenders view my score as low risk. Thank God for that!

As a side note, there are three main credit reference agencies and they have different scoring systems in place. I have decided to check my credit score again in a couple of months’ time, but use Equifax instead (I used my free trial with them less than 12 months ago which means I am not eligible for another free trial before December this year, I think). I don’t think I want to pay to find out my credit score as I can use Noddle for free for as long as I like to get an idea of what my credit score is.

Have you ever checked your credit score? Are you happy with your credit score?
Related Post: My Brand New Credit Score

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    1. Oh, really? I didn’t know that your age affects your credit score. It shouldn’t really! From what I gathered, they score you according to your financial history for the past 6 years (this is what they keep on file, all data that is older gets deleted), therefore, your age shouldn’t really matter?
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Credit Score RevealedMy Profile

  1. Blow me, that’s a bloody high score 😀 I wonder what the minimum score is to be “excellent” 😕 I think it’s already pretty good for a young lady like you. If you got 908/999 on an exam, that would be an A+ 🙂 I check my score about once a year, but in Canada the range only goes up to 900. Last year I was around 750 I think. Thanks for sharing. That’s a really impressive number 🙂 I’m not brave enough to blog about my credit report in detail lest I get targeted for identity theft.
    Liquid recently posted…DiscretionMy Profile

    1. Well, it depends what credit reference agency you’re using. The minimum score with Experian to be “excellent” is 961 so it’s a long way to go 😛 I got a bit paranoid thanks to your comment about identity theft and deleted some details! Although to be fair anyone who writes about personal finance, pays off debt and grows savings is bound to have a good or even excellent credit score, so anyone can be a target regardless of whether they publish their credit score or not! Touch wood!
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Credit Score RevealedMy Profile

  2. When I consolidated my credit cards onto one personal loan, my interest rate was 11.65% because of various reasons but one of them was my credit score was just barely good LOL. To be honest, I’m not too surprised. I don’t care what they say you have an EXCELLENT credit score Eva! 😉
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted…Dating a Financial LoserMy Profile

    1. I don’t think my credit score was ever bad so I’m not sure why I got such a bad interest rate! I didn’t shop around, that’s probably what it is. This is the interest rate my bank offered and I signed up for it without thinking. I should’ve checked with other providers too. Rookie mistake! 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Credit Score RevealedMy Profile

    1. Well, it seems that different credit score agencies use different scale, so I wonder what my credit score would be with Equifax! Probably not as high as their highest score is 900! 😛 It also varies from country to country. I can say I am more or less happy with my score, but would prefer to be in the “excellent” box! 😛

      I sure hope so too! Thank you!
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Credit Score RevealedMy Profile

  3. We don’t have this in my country, so it’s not an option for us. I had debt, which was paid in full, now there’s nothing left, so I don’t know how it would work, even if we had the system.

    Anyway .. organizing and paying off debt is a great idea, keeping my fingers crossed. The next 2-3 years will be making a huge change in how your future life will look like 😉
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    1. We don’t have the scoring system in my home country either! It’s a different story here in the UK, one more thing to worry about! 😛

      I am really looking forward to my bright financial future, I just know I’m on the right track and despite the fact it takes some willpower to keep at it and continue paying off debt (not that I have a choice really), this is something I know I will benefit from in the long run!
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Credit Score RevealedMy Profile

    1. I’ll be honest, I’m slightly disappointed with my credit score. I know I have debt and all, but I’ve always been paying it off diligently and haven’t missed a payment in my life. It’s the fact that I’d spent all the money I’d borrowed that lowered my credit score. So what I’m doing now is using one credit card with a very low limit and paying it off in full at the end of every month!

      Yes, you can sign up for a free trial with Experian and Equifax, just don’t forget to cancel within 30 days, otherwise, you’re looking at a monthly fee of around £14.99!
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Credit Score RevealedMy Profile

  4. Psst – it’s not your actual age that matters on your credit score, it is the age of your credit! So yes, age does matter, but no one is counting your birthdays 🙂 But your age CAN still play a role in your score, as the younger you are the more likely your credit report is also young! Right now, that’s the biggest thing that’s dinging my score – the fact that I’ve only had a credit report for a few years, because I myself am only in my early twenties. The good thing is that you don’t have to do anything at all to improve your score this way – time does all the work for you.

    Interesting post, and congrats on having such a healthy score!
    Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial recently posted…#FinCon13 and Financial Goals, Big and SmallMy Profile

    1. Thanks so much for you message! That explains it!

      You can still do things to improve your credit score in the meantime, e.g. not apply for any new credit to avoid searches on your credit report, pay off your credit card in full at the end of every month, etc, and over time the score should improve. I will be trying little tricks to see if this makes a difference 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Credit Score RevealedMy Profile

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