What Is The Average Credit Score In The UK

Updated: March 03, 2024 Author:

Quick answer: The average credit score in the UK is within the Fair credit score category. The average can also be calculated for different age groups and locations. Taking averages for age groups found the lowest score for ages 31 – 35 and the highest for ages 55+. Approximately 23% of the UK population has a poor credit rating. The average credit score is higher in the South compared with the Midlands.

    What is a credit score?

    A credit score is a three-digit number calculated by a credit reference agency (CRA) and is based on your financial history. The three main CRAs in the UK are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Each CRA has a different scoring system, so your credit score will differ between them. However, you will probably find that the credit score category you fall into is consistent across them all. The table below shows the credit score range for the Poor, Fair, Good, and Excellent categories.

    CRAPoorFairGoodExcellent
    Experian561 – 720721 – 880881 – 960811 – 1000
    Equifax0 – 438439 – 530531 – 810811 – 1000
    TransUnion551 – 565566 – 603604 – 627628 – 710

    How is your credit score calculated?

    The CRAs calculate your credit score in a similar way, and it is mainly determined by your financial history. The calculation uses factors that negatively and positively impact your credit score. Negative factors include a history of late or missed payments, going over your credit limit, withdrawing cash on your credit card, or even moving house too often. Positive factors include low credit utilisation, making full and timely payments, and the length of time you have had credit.

    What is the average credit score in the UK?

    Experian says the average UK credit score is 797 out of 999, which falls within the fair credit score category (721 – 880). An average figure on Equifax’s new rating scale has not been published since 2021, but the previous average was also in the Fair category, and TransUnion published an average of 610, again in the fair category. Averages can also be calculated by grouping into different categories, such as age group or location. This can help show trends in the variation of the credit score.

    What is the average credit score by age?

    According to Experian, the average credit score by age in the UK is as follows:

    The general trend is that the average credit score decreases from 18 – 20 to 31 – 35 years old. This may be because these age groups accumulate debt from student loans, personal loans, credit cards, or mortgages. The average credit score increases from 36 – 40 to 55+ years old. This increase may be explained by a lower credit ratio and an improved debt-to-income ratio due to salary increases. However, beyond 55+ years old your income is likely to reduce due to retirement.

    What is the average credit score in different areas of the UK?

    The Experian Credit Score Map shows the average credit score for different locations within the UK. The map comprises 391 areas and can be used to identify regional trends. For example, the map below shows higher credit scores in the South compared to the Midlands and Scottish Borders. 

    Map showing areas in the UK with the lowest and highest average credit scores (Source)

    What percentage of people have poor credit?

    In 2021, Tymit reported that 15.6 million people in the UK have poor credit scores. This represented 23% of the UK population. A poor credit rating makes you more likely to be declined for credit because a lender may be concerned that you cannot afford the repayments or already have too much other debt. 

    How many people in the UK are credit invisible?

    Credit Invisibles are people with a limited or no credit history, meaning that a credit score cannot be calculated. Experian estimates that over 5 million people are ‘credit invisible’ in the UK, and this is primarily due to:

    • Being young people without a credit history
    • Older people who have not used any credit facility for many years
    • Recent immigrants who have no credit history in the UK

    If you are credit invisible, it can make it difficult to access mainstream financial services like mortgages, loans, and credit cards. To become credit visible, try the following:

    • Register on the electoral roll so that your name and address can be verified by financial service providers. It is important that this information is kept up-to-date and matches the details on your financial accounts.
    • Open a current account to add an account record to your credit history.
    • Consider getting a monthly mobile phone contract.
    • Ensure that regular household bills, like gas, electricity, water, and broadband, are in your name. If these accounts are in good standing, they can help boost your credit score.

    How do I find out my credit score?

    A credit score monitoring app will tell you your credit score, and we have further information on the different apps to monitor credit scores. Knowing your credit score is an essential part of planning your future spending and assessing the sources of finance at your disposal.

    What steps can I take to improve my credit score?

    A higher credit score will improve your financial options by enabling you to access a more comprehensive range of loans, credit cards, and mortgages at competitive interest rates. You can improve your credit score by:

    StepReason
    Make payments on time and in fullBy making payments on time, you demonstrate that you are a responsible borrower. Set up a direct debit to pay your credit card in full each month to avoid missing a payment.
    Stay well below your credit limitYour credit limit is the maximum amount of money you can borrow on your credit card. It is often called your available credit. When you use your credit card, your available credit decreases. You can boost your credit score by using less than 25% of your available credit.
    Register to voteBeing on the electoral roll links your identity and home address, which can boost your credit score. Also, make sure to keep your home address up-to-date with all of your financial providers.
    Avoid too many credit applicationsToo many credit applications in a short time may make lenders think you are in financial difficulties. Try to limit your credit applications to one per 3-6 months. If you have recently been refused credit, avoid applying again until you have understood why you were refused credit.

    Improving your credit scores takes time and requires financial discipline. It may take several months to see your credit score improve, and in some cases, it can take years for your credit score to improve. You can read more about repairing your credit history here.

    Summary

    The average credit score in the UK falls within the Fair credit score category, but 15.6 million people in the UK still have poor credit scores. Based on these averages, you are likely to have a lower credit score between 31 and 35 years old, and credit scores tend to increase after this age. The average credit score varies with location; generally, the average credit score is higher in the South compared with the Midlands. You can improve your credit score at any age by being a responsible borrower.