How to improve your credit score
What can I do to bump up my score?
Two foolproof ways to improve your credit score
1. Pay off any defaults
As you’d expect, the most immediate thing you should do to improve your credit score is to pay any outstanding defaults (unpaid loans). The fact that you have previously defaulted will still impact your credit score in the future. However, people who pay off their defaults will have a better score than those who just leave them under their name for long periods of time.
2. Pay on time
Almost all late payments will have an impact on your credit score, so make more of an effort to pay all your bills before the due date.
I’ve never had bad debt or made late payments?
This is only applicable to people without bad debt or a history of late payments.
If you have a low credit score because you haven’t applied for much credit in the past, you can try putting some services under your name (for example, energy or phone bills) or taking out a small loan. This may have a good impact on your credit score if you consistently meet your payments on time.
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.
Not all credit scores are measured on the same scale. Our credit scoring provider, Centrix, uses a scale of 0-1500. However, a scale of 0-1000 is most common. In this case, scores well below 450 can be considered “bad scores”, scores above 600 can be considered “good scores” and anything in-between is the norm. Find out how you’re affected by a good or bad credit score.
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.