What's a good credit score?
What's a bad credit score? And why should I care?
Good vs bad scores
Not all credit scores are measured in the same way. The most common ranges are 0-1000 or 0-1,500. Our credit scoring provider, Centrix, uses a scale of 0-1500. So, depending on the credit scoring provider, a score of 500 might be a mid-range, average score or it might be in the low or “high risk” category. This also means that not all scores can be compared against each other.
Equifax (formerly Veda) cites credit scores between 500 and 600 as being the norm (their scores are out of 1000) and scores below 450 as being on the better end of the “high-risk” category of payers.
With a good credit score, you can:
Occasionally get better offers from banks, phone / internet companies, insurance companies and utility companies.
With a bad credit score, you can’t:
Lend from some companies or get competitive / advertised interest rates because you are statistically less likely to pay. Depending on how low your score is, you may be outright denied the services of certain utility providers.
More credit scoring FAQs
A credit score is a number assigned to people by complex algorithms. When a credit check is requested, these algorithms can search through massive databases and analyse your historical credit data to see how likely you are to make regular payments in the future. The higher the score, the better your credit rating is. Read more about credit scores and who calculates them.
It’s more complicated than what most people are aware of. In fact, most New Zealanders don’t even know what a credit score is! Read more about the factors that affect your credit score.
Long story short, plan ahead and manage your finances more effectively. For the long story long, check out our specific ways to improve your credit score page.
If credit-reporting companies can’t find any data in their records that match the details you’ve provided, they can’t generate a score. Although, there are other reasons why this may happen.
Your credit report is the more comprehensive list of what historical data is feeding into your credit score. This includes any accounts, enquiries, defaults, infringements, collection notices, judgements, insolvencies and other public record information.
There are three credit reporting bureaus in NZ, some of them offer instant credit scoring and reporting online for free. You can request a free report from any of them if you’d like to find out more about your credit history.