What is credit scoring?

A credit score rating is a system we, and most other banks, use to help decide whether we can lend you money. A credit score is a 3-digit number that shows how likely you are to be accepted for credit, the higher the score the more likely you are to be accepted for a credit application.

Your credit score is based on your credit report, which is created using information such as:

  • information from the electoral register
  • details of any court judgments or bankruptcies in your name
  • a record of current and past credit commitments (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 and we'll make credit checks with credit reference agencies to find out how you've managed credit before.

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 (69 KB)’ leaflet 

You can check your credit score through any of the 3 Credit Reference Agencies in the UK – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Checking your credit score will show how likely you are to be accepted for a credit application. If you find your score is lower than expected, you can check your credit report and see if there’s anything you can do to improve it. Common websites that are used to check credit scores are Equifax or Experian, and they may charge you for the service.

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.
  • Try to 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 fraudulent activity on your credit report. For example, if someone applied for credit in your name without your knowledge.
  • Try and reduce any outstanding debt or clear it off completely.
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