To be credit savvy, the holy grail is a perfect credit score, but can you actually achieve this?
The short answer is yes BUT less than 0.5% of Australians are likely to have a perfect credit score, according to new research. We’ve provided some information on how to get a perfect credit score
With the big banks now reporting more of Australians’ credit data through Comprehensive Credit Reporting this is likely to rise with 90% of the population seeing an improvement to their score post-CCR.
Who are the top borrowers?
We’re seeing one consistent behaviour across all “top” borrowers: they always pay their bills on time.
They generally pay more than the minimum monthly repayment on their credit card bills and are more likely to be buying or own their own home.
It is important to note that even if you had a perfect bureau score, lenders will likely take a broader range of factors into account when deciding whether to approve your loan.
A higher credit score could mean you will increasingly be able to access cheaper interest rates and have a greater range of lenders to choose from. This could mean significant savings in interest and fees over the loan term especially if borrowing for assets such as cars, boats, motorbikes or even personal loans.
You do need to be aware of how quickly your credit score could drop and this is even more important with Comprehensive Credit Reporting about to come into full force.
The ‘old’ rule of shopping with lenders to see what they can offer you is no longer an option due to your credit score decreasing every time you apply for credit. These actions could seriously hurt your score in just a few months or even as fast as one day.
For those with already low credit scores, this can mean the difference between gaining a loan or not.
Quick tips for a better credit score
- Regularly pay all loans and bills on time (Tip: Set up direct debits to ensure you meet payments on time)
- Only apply for new loans / take up credit limit increases when you really need it
- Use credit within your means (ie pay off full credit card bill monthly)
- Be a home owner: 75% of top borrowers own their own home
- Pay late or dishonour
- Use payday / rent-to-own services with high interest rates
- Make multiple credit enquiries in short time (e.g. apply for two credit cards for the frequent flier points)
BIGGEST SURPRISE TRAPS:
- Getting multiple credit cards in a short space of time
- Increasing your credit card limit
- Eligibility or checking (with providers that hit your file)
- A “thin” file: no credit history may mean a low score and potential inability to get a loan