WHAT IS A CREDIT SCORE?
A brief look into what's behind the number, and how it all works.
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.
How are they calculated?
Credit scoring providers have access to huge stores of data from various other companies (mainly finance and utility companies) and they use this historical credit data to check if you have defaulted on any loans in the past or if you regularly pay your bills late.
The exact algorithms credit scoring companies use are not transparent to the public, or to the companies that use their services. However, you can find out more about the three NZ credit reporting bureaus here.
More credit scoring FAQs
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.
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.