What is a good credit score in the UK?

Roman Danaev

27 July 2023

A good credit score in the UK is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. It helps lenders assess how likely you are to repay borrowed money responsibly. A higher credit score indicates that you have a good track record of managing credit and are considered less risky to lend money to.

What’s the UK’s average credit score?

The average UK credit score can vary depending on the credit reference agency you use to check it. In the UK, there are three main credit reference agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each agency calculates credit scores slightly differently, so it's essential to know the average score based on the specific agency you're using.


Equifax is one of the leading credit reference agencies in the UK. They use a scoring system that ranges from 0 to 700. An average credit score with Equifax is typically around 380 to 420.

Equifax credit score
Excellent811 - 1,000
Very good671 - 810
Good531 - 670
Fair439 - 530
Poor0 - 438


Experian is another prominent credit reference agency in the UK. Their credit score ranges from 0 to 999. A typical average credit score with Experian is between 770 - 863.

Experian credit score
Excellent961 - 999
Good881 - 960
Fair721 - 880
Poor561 - 720
Very poor0 - 560


TransUnion, the third major credit reference agency, scores on a scale from 0 to 710. An average credit score with TransUnion is usually around 610.

TransUnion credit score
Excellent628 - 710
Good604 - 627
Fair566 - 603
Poor551 - 565
Very poor0 - 550

How is a credit score calculated?

Credit scores are calculated using various factors, including your credit history, credit utilization, payment history, length of credit history, and any recent credit applications. Your credit file contains personal and financial information that the credit reference agencies use to assess your creditworthiness and assign you a credit score.

Your credit history includes details about your past account history with lenders, such as banks, credit card companies, and other credit providers. It shows whether you have made your credit repayments on time, missed payments, or defaulted on loans.

The credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you're currently using compared to the total credit available to you. A lower credit utilization ratio is generally seen as positive, as it suggests you are managing your credit responsibly.

Your payment history shows your track record of making payments on time or missing payments. Consistently making payments on time contributes to a higher credit score, while missed or late payments can negatively impact your score.

The length of your credit history also plays a role in your credit score. A longer credit history with positive account management can be viewed favorably by lenders.

Recent credit applications can leave inquiries on your credit report, and multiple applications within a short period can signal financial instability to lenders.

What is a bad credit score?

A bad credit score indicates that you have a history of late or missed payments, high credit utilization, or other negative factors that make you appear risky to lenders. Having a bad credit score may limit your access to credit or make it harder to secure loans with favorable terms.

Generally, a credit score below 580 is considered poor or bad. With a bad credit score, you might face challenges when applying for car finance or other forms of credit. Lenders may be more cautious about approving your application and may offer higher interest rates or lower credit limits.

Excellent551 - 565561 - 7200 - 438
Very poor0 - 5500 - 560-

Can I still get car finance with bad credit?

Yes, you can still get car finance with bad credit, but it might be more challenging. Some lenders specialize in providing car finance options to individuals with less-than-perfect credit. However, keep in mind that with bad credit, you may face higher interest rates, stricter terms, or a requirement for a larger deposit.

While bad credit may limit your options and make financing more expensive, it doesn't mean you won't be able to get a car loan. It's essential to explore different lenders and consider options like guarantor loans or hire purchase agreements.

A guarantor loan involves having someone with a good credit score co-sign the loan with you. This person agrees to take responsibility for the loan if you cannot make the repayments. A hire purchase agreement allows you to pay for the car in installments, with ownership transferring to you once the final payment is made.

Why is a credit score important in the UK?

Your credit score plays a crucial role in the UK when it comes to accessing various financial services, such as loans, credit cards, mortgages, and car finance. Lenders use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness and assess the risk of lending to you. A higher credit score may grant you access to better interest rates, higher credit limits, and more favorable loan terms.

A good credit score can open doors to a wider range of financial products and better deals. It demonstrates to lenders that you have a history of responsible borrowing and are likely to manage credit well in the future.

Apart from car finance and loans, a good credit score can also positively impact other aspects of your life, such as securing a rental property, getting a mobile phone contract, or even applying for certain jobs.

So, is there a ‘good’ credit score?

A 'good' credit score in the UK generally falls within the higher range of scores provided by credit reference agencies. For example, with Experian, a score above 881 is considered excellent, while a score between 721 and 880 is considered good. With Equifax, a score above 420 is seen as good, and with TransUnion, a score above 604 is considered good.

It's important to note that what is considered a good credit score may vary depending on the lender and the type of credit you're applying for. Some lenders may have specific criteria and may consider a higher credit score as necessary to qualify for certain financial products.

How can you get a good credit score?

To achieve a good credit score, you can follow these tips:

  • Pay your bills on time: Timely credit repayments positively impact your credit history. Setting up direct debits or reminders can help ensure you never miss a payment.
  • Keep credit utilization low: Try to use only a small portion of your available credit to show responsible borrowing behavior. Keeping your credit card balances low can have a positive effect on your credit score.
  • Register on the electoral roll: Being on the electoral roll can improve your credit score as it confirms your address and adds to your identity verification.
  • Avoid multiple credit applications: Each application leaves a mark on your credit report, so avoid making too many in a short period. Instead, research and choose the best-suited credit options for your needs.
  • Check your credit report regularly: Obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reference agencies and review it for any errors or discrepancies. Disputing and rectifying inaccuracies can help improve your score.
  • Build a positive credit history: If you have limited credit history, taking on small forms of credit and managing them responsibly can help build your credit score. For instance, you can start with a credit card designed for those with limited or poor credit and use it responsibly.

By following these steps and practicing responsible financial behavior, you can work towards achieving and maintaining a good credit score in the UK, increasing your chances of getting approved for car finance and other financial services. Remember, building and maintaining a good credit score takes time and consistent effort, so be patient and persistent in your financial habits.

Car finance calculator

Must be between £3,000 to £50,000
Your monthly payment
Total charge of credit£0
Total amount payable£0
Apply now for your personalised, no-obligation quote