All you need to know about the Experian credit score

All you need to know about the Experian credit score

Experian is one of Australia's major credit bureaus that collect individuals' credit history, analyse it, and create credit reports and scores. Lenders refer to these scores and reports to get an unbiased financial assessment of a potential customer. 

When you apply for credit products like home loans, credit cards, or personal loans, the lenders or card issuers will use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness. Whether they use your Experian credit score or one of the other credit reporting agencies, it’s still good to know where you stand.

What is an Experian credit score?

Experian grades your credit score between 0 to 1000, as determined by the information in your credit file. This credit score helps to reflect your creditworthiness as a customer, and plays a major role in whether or not a provider approves you for credit products. 

The closer you credit score is to 1000, the healthier your report is and, therefore, your financial history. 

Experian uses five score bands ranging from Excellent to Weak. If your score is in the Excellent band, it will sit closer to 1000, and you may be more likely to gain approval for low rate credit products. Whereas being in the Weak band indicates your score is below 550. 

Here are the five bands used for the Experian Credit Score: 

  • 0-549: Weak
  • 550 - 624: Fair
  • 625 - 699: Good
  • 700 - 799: Very Good
  • 800 - 1,000: Excellent 

Remember, this number can keep changing depending on your financial behaviour, so it's recommended to check your credit report at a minimum once a year.

How is the Experian credit score calculated?

No one knows exactly how the credit reporting bureaus assess consumer information. What we do know is that Experian applies a statistical algorithm that uses events in your credit history to predict future behaviour to calculate the score. 

The key parameters Experian uses to calculate your score include:

  • Your repayment history
  • The type of credit products you have applied for 
  • The number of credit enquiries you have made so far
  • The type of credit provider that has made enquiries on your report
  • The credit limit on every credit product you have
  • The number of defaults on your account (delayed payments, bankruptcy, and more)

Credit enquiries and applications will typically stay on your credit report for five years. Other enquiries that may appear include utilities such as electricity, gas or phone bills. Any lapse in payment for these products, both credit and utilities, will appear on your credit report, which negatively impacts your credit score.

How to get my credit score from Experian

You can access your Experian Credit Score for free on the RateCity website. You can also order your Experian Credit Report by filling a form on its website or calling 1300 783 684 between 9:00 am-5:00 pm AEST Monday to Friday.

If you choose to fill in the online form, you’ll have to provide your identification details such as name, date of birth, driver's license number, and residential address. Once you submit these details, you’ll receive an email from Experian requesting additional documents. You're best to reply within 14 days with all relevant documents to help speed up your request. 

After Experian has received all the required information, you’ll receive your report within ten business days.

How can I improve my Experian credit score?

If you check your credit score and want to make improvements, there are some things you can do. Improving your Experian Credit Score may take time and careful financial management. Still, it can be done with a few simple changes. To increase or improve your credit score, you can consider:

Making timely payments

Making payments on or before the due date will help increase your credit score. However, if you miss a payment, try to do it within the 14-day 'grace period' before it’s reported as default.

Avoiding negative entries

If you have defaults, court judgements, open accounts with debt collection agencies, and excessive credit inquiries, your credit score may fall. Hence, it is best to avoid them.

Avoid applying loans or other credit products frequently

When you apply for any credit, lenders are likely to submit a formal request to access your credit report. This is called a hard inquiry, and it can bring down your credit score by 5 or 10 points every time they are conducted. If you have multiple hard inquiries close together, they’ll cause a significant impact on your credit score. Lenders may also view them as you being in desperate need of financial help and, therefore, a high-risk borrower.

Regularly checking your credit report

Since your credit file is updated regularly, there'll be some new information every time you check it. Hence, make sure all of your data is correct whenever you receive your report. If you find any errors or incorrect information, get in touch with Experian to get it fixed. 

A good credit score allows you to access special deals, better interest rates, get approved for a higher credit limit and ultimately save more money. Hence, it’s recommended to maintain a healthy score and check it at frequent intervals to avoid discrepancies.


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Product database updated 22 Oct, 2023

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.