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What is a good/bad credit score

Your credit score is an important number. But how do you know if your score is good or bad?

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Check your score and get tips to improve it. It’s free, forever.

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Your credit score is a number that represents your financial history. It indicates how likely you are to be accepted for credit. It’s based on your credit report, which is a record of how you’ve handled credit in the past.

We get yours from Experian, one of the three credit reporting bodies in Australia. This score ranges from 0-1,000.

Credit is when you borrow money with the agreement that you’ll pay it back later. Credit comes in many forms, including credit cards, personal loans, paying for something in monthly instalments (e.g. a new car or sofa), home loans and more.

There is no ‘magic’ credit score that will guarantee that you get accepted for credit. Also, different lenders are looking for different things, so you might get refused credit by one lender and accepted by another.

Remember, your credit score is a useful indication of your creditworthiness, but lenders will look at other factors (such as your income and debt levels) before deciding whether to lend to you.

The Experian score bands (and what we call them at ClearScore) are below:

Credit score

Experian band

ClearScore name


Below average
This indicates a below average Experian Credit Score and is likely to be considered a poor credit score by a credit provider.

Let's start climbing


This indicates a fair Experian Credit Score.

Moving on up


This indicated a good Experian Credit Score and is in the average.

On good ground


Very good
This indicates a very good Experian Credit Score and is above the average.

Looking bright


This indicates an excellent Experian Credit Score and is well above the average.

Soaring high

Lenders tend to look at your credit score when you apply for credit, such as a credit card. They’re looking for someone who will be able to meet the repayments; someone who is low risk.

A higher credit score means your credit report contains information that shows you’re low risk, so you’re more likely to appeal to lenders. For example, if your report shows that you always pay your bills on time, you’ll be considered a reliable borrower.

If you have a high credit score, your application is more likely to be accepted. You’re also more likely to be offered the best interest rates and higher credit limits.

A lower credit score means you might be seen as a high risk borrower. For example, if your credit report shows that you’ve defaulted on a previous debt, your credit score is likely to be lower.

If you have a lower score, lenders might offer you credit at a higher interest rate or reject your credit application altogether. But don't worry, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve your score.

Check your credit score before applying: Whenever you take out credit, it’s worth checking your score first.

Your credit score is calculated by a credit reporting body. There are three credit reporting bodies in Australia: Experian, Equifax and illion. ClearScore is not a credit reporting body. We show you your Experian credit score, which ranges from 0 to 1,000.

Each credit reporting body is sent information by lenders about the credit you have and how you manage it. Other information, such as public records like bankruptcy data are also sent to the credit reporting agencies and form part of your credit report. Once a credit reporting body has enough information on you, they will generate your credit report and calculate your credit score.

There are a number of factors that can negatively impact your credit score.



Repeatedly missing or making late payments

This suggests you’ll miss payments in the future

Defaults, Court judgments, bankruptcy

This suggests you can’t afford the debt you’ve taken on

Applying for lots of credit in a short period of time

Lenders may assume you’re going through financial difficulties and therefore you may appear high risk

Having a large amount of credit available to use

Lenders may assume you’re more risky, as you have the potential to run up high debts

Frequent change of address

Lenders may assume you’re less stable

Mistakes on your report

If your report has mistakes, it won’t be a true reflection of how you manage credit. You can fix mistakes here.

Key Highlights

  1. A credit score is a number that reflects a snapshot of your credit report
  2. A higher score means you’re more likely to be accepted for credit
  3. ClearScore shows you your Experian credit score, which is out of 1,000
  4. The factors that have the biggest negative impact on your score tend to be late or missed payments, defaults, Court Judgments and bankruptcy

Lucy has a wealth of personal finance knowledge, and is one of our in-house experts.