Age might just be a number, but your credit score isn’t. It tells the world a lot about you and can help people make decisions about who you are and how you handle your finances – particularly your bank, which will need to work out if you’re the right kind of person to approve for a credit card, or lend money to buy a home.
But do you really know what those three little digits mean? We’ve broken it down, so you can work out exactly where you stand – and what you need to do to hit that magic green zone!
833-1,200 = Excellent
What does it mean? Woo-hoo look at you! You’re a straight A student as far as money management is concerned. You probably already have some lines of credit open to you, whether it’s through a mortgage, a personal loan or credit card, and you’ve obviously handled that responsibility well.
What to do: Don’t change a thing! A score this good means that banks are pretty certain you’re a safe bet for borrowing money, which puts you in good stead for future loans, since the lowest interest rates tend to go to people with credit scores on this end of the spectrum.
726-832 = Very good
What does it mean? You’ve just missed out on being branded a financial superstar! With a “very good” credit score, it’s unlikely you’ll be defaulting on any bills, so you’re a pretty safe borrower. A score in this range is still something to be proud of, it just means that there’s room for improvement.
What to do: The next step in your financial future is to figure out what’s holding you back from the top spot. You might have a habit of making repayments late, or maybe you’re getting too close to exhausting your credit limit – whatever it is, now’s the time to make your money management airtight.
622-725 = Good
What does it mean? You’re creeping toward the red zone, but it’s not time to panic just yet. This score probably means you have lingering credit card debt, are putting off paying some bills or have missed some repayments lately. You’re not exactly risky, but there’s a chance that you’ll miss repayments or default on a loan.
What to do: If you’re thinking about applying for a home loan or personal loan, you might want to take the time to bump up your credit score up before going ahead, so you’ll get the best deal possible. That means brushing up on your money management skills and making sure you pay off any lingering debt, so you can move up toward the green.
510-621 = Average
What does it mean? Uh-oh. A credit score on this end of the spectrum is a sign that something’s not quite right. What it basically means, is that based on your financial history, there’s a likelihood that you’re going to have trouble in the coming year or so – whether that’s missing repayments, letting massive debt build up or defaulting on a loan.
What to do: You might be going through some tough times, or maybe you’re just not sure how to manage newfound financial responsibilities, but either way, you need to get serious about managing your money and eliminating debt from your life. At this point, it’s probably time to seriously consider getting professional financial advice to get you back on track.
0-509 = Below average
What does it mean? Well… this is not looking so good. Its likely you’re in some pretty major financial strife – whether it’s a bankruptcy or a foreclosure or something else. You’re the riskiest borrower on the spectrum, which means you’re going to have trouble being approved for any kind of credit, whether it be a personal loan, mortgage or credit card.
What to do: If your credit score has dipped this low, you really need to make sorting out your financial situation your number one priority. You might need professional financial advice to get yourself back on track, and you can also call you current banks to talk about moving across to a hardship plan. That will mean you can reduce your repayments or extend your contract to make it easier to get through your financial rough patch.
The first step to good money management is having an airtight budget in place – so head over to our budget calculator to get started.