What is a credit score?

What is credit scoring?

A credit score rating is a system we, and most banks, use to decide if we can lend you money. It's a 3-digit number that shows how likely you will be accepted for credit. The higher the score the more likely you'll be accepted for a credit application. 

Your credit score looks at your credit report, which is made up of information such as: 

  • Whether you're registered on the electoral roll, 
  • Any court judgments or bankruptcies under your name, 
  • A current and past credit record. For example, credit cards, loans, mortgages) that you’ve held in the last 6 years,  
  • Details of any searches on your credit file. 

We'll also take into consideration how you manage any Santander accounts. We'll make credit checks with credit reference agencies to find out how you've managed credit in the past.

If you have Experian CreditLock or similar with another credit reference agency you'll need to switch it off before you apply. 

To learn more about what happens when you apply and how your information is used to make a credit decision, read our ‘About your application and credit scoring (PDF - 69 KB)’ leaflet 

You can check your credit score through Experian, Equifax and TransUnion

Your credit score will show how likely you are to be accepted for a credit application. If your score is lower than expected, you can check your credit report to see ways you can improve it. 

Here are a few things you can do to improve your credit score:

  • Make sure you're registered on the electoral roll.
  • Check for any mistakes on your credit report.
  • Pay any bills or other credit repayments on time.
  • Check if you're financially linked to another person. For example through a mortgage or joint bank account. If that person has a low credit score, it will affect yours as well.
  • Check for fraud activity on your credit report. For example, if someone pretended to be you and applied for credit. 
  • Reduce any outstanding debt or clear it off completely.
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