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Why does my credit score change on different sites?

author: Fiona Peake

By Fiona Peake

Your credit score gives lenders an idea of how you’ve been managing your money for the past six years. This, alongside your credit report, provides them with information they can use to decide whether or not you’re likely to be a reliable borrower.  

However, you don’t just have one universal credit score. Your credit score will vary from one credit reference agency (CRA) to the next.  

There are multiple reasons for this:  

  • different lenders report to different agencies 
  • each CRA has a different scoring system and their own method of calculating your score  
  • the date you check your credit report (and the date the CRA updates your report with the latest information) will affect your score 

Read on to find out how often your credit score is updated.

What is the most accurate credit score site?  

In the UK there are three main credit referencing agencies and although they all collect similar information, credit scores may differ between agencies.  

Lenders can choose to report to one, two or all three of these CRA agencies which can also affect your score. 

A small variation between credit scores isn’t usually a cause for concern. However, if you notice any big differences, it’s something you should investigate. 

Credit score sites 

The three main CRAs in the UK are:  

  • Equifax  
  • Experian  
  • TransUnion 

They each provide you with a number based on their scoring system. This is your credit score. They will also give you an idea of what the number means, such as ‘poor’ or ‘excellent’. This will give you an indication as to how likely you are to be approved for credit.  

Equifax credit score range UK  

Equifax will provide you with a credit score between 0-1,000. Here’s what the numbers mean:  

  • 0-438: Poor  
  • 439-530: Fair  
  • 531-670: Good  
  • 671-810: Very good  
  • 811-1,000: Excellent  

If you have a high credit score, you’re more likely to be approved for credit than if you have a low credit score.  

You can access your Equifax credit report free for life through CredAbility. 

Experian credit score range  

Experian will provide you with a credit score between 0-999. Here’s what the numbers mean:  

  • 0-560: Very poor  
  • 561-720: Poor  
  • 721-880: Fair  
  • 881-960: Good  
  • 960-999: Excellent  

TransUnion credit score range  

TransUnion will provide you with a credit score between 0-710. Here’s what the numbers mean:  

  • 0-550: Very poor 
  • 551-565: Poor  
  • 566-603: Fair  
  • 604-627: Good  
  • 628-710: Excellent  

Why is my Experian score higher than TransUnion and Equifax? 

If your Experian score is higher than TransUnion and Equifax it doesn’t necessarily mean it is better.  

A good score with Experian is between 881-960. With TransUnion it is between 604-627 and with Equifax it is 531-670. This is due to the different scoring systems they use. Experian goes up to 999 whereas TransUnion goes up to 710 and Equifax goes up to 1,000.   

However, it is possible that you might have a fair rating with one, and a good rating with another if they each hold different information about you.  

Do lenders see a different credit report?  

When you apply for credit, depending on which lender you use, they may check your report with one, two, or all three CRAs.  

But even though CRAs collect similar information, a lender who only checks your report with Equifax could potentially see different information to someone who only checks Experian or TransUnion.  

Which credit score matters more? 

They are all important. Therefore, before you apply for any credit it’s best to check your report with all three CRAs to make sure that they’re accurate and up to date. 

What is the highest credit score?  

There isn’t one specific number that represents the highest credit score possible. Each CRA's highest possible score is different, based on their own scoring system. 

Remember, your credit score isn’t as important as you think. Even with a higher score it is best to be aware that you’re never guaranteed to be accepted for credit. Lenders have other things to take into consideration alongside your credit score, such as your:  

  • credit history 
  • income  
  • employment history  
  • debt-to-income ratio 

Read on to find out what to look out for on your credit history.

Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure that content is correct at the time of publication. Please note that information published on this website does not constitute financial advice, and we aren’t responsible for the content of any external sites.

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