Credit scores?!



I’ve been keeping a close eye on my credit score using Noddle and notice that it’s still in the ‘poor’ section. How can I increase my score?

I have 1 credit card (£1000 limit). I have sofas on finance for £1600 - all up to date, never missed a payment.

I have a £1,500 overdraft with santander and £1000 overdraft with Monzo - don’t use either of them.

I’m on the electoral register, I work full time and always pay everything on time. The only loan I have is my student loan.

What more do I need to do?!

1 Like
(Charlie Kelly) #2

Possibly reduce your overdraft if you don’t use it.

(Richard) #3

I find that Noddle is quite strict with the scores.

Try Clear Score (here) and Martin Lewis’ Credit Club (here). I find that these two give better reasoning’s as to why your score is the way it is.

Plus you will then have log ins to all 3 major credit providers in the UK. Good to have.

(Ben Sheppard) #4

If you’ve got credit out but aren’t using it, it will not go in your favour.

I’d suggest getting rid of those overdrafts if you don’t use either of them.

Credit score is all based on you being good with credit. Use your credit card instead of your normal card for bits and bobs to let it grow and pay it off.

Noddle is a hard nut to crack I’ve been at 999 with experian for years and haven’t been able to get higher than 570 on noddle!

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Is this true though? From what I have read/my experience… There is no “one rule” to cover all examples.

I’ve got a lot of available credit through various providers, yet still have a good credit score (aka… completely made up number by people who make a living playing ‘guess who’…)

The only way I’ve known someone to “improve their credit score”, is to simply take out credit and pay it off.

That could be things like car finance, or the obvious (and easiest) choice… Spend on a credit card and then pay it off each month.

Other than that, I wouldn’t worry about it.

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What’s your income/debt ratio like?

(Jamie 🏳️‍🌈) #7

Pro tip.

The number that Noddle and the others show you is made up, only you ever see it and it bears no relation to borrowing money.

Noddle only want you to keep curating your number so they can put adverts and recommendations for loans and credit cards in front of your eyes, for which they receive commission, and upselling you their ‘service’ to improve the number they invent.

Seriously, don’t give it another second’s thought. Don’t use all of your credit limits, and repay on time, and you’ll be able to borrow when you need to.

(Richard) #9

Not the first time I have seen this said on these forums.

If you don’t mind me asking, what is the proof for these claims?

I’m not doubting you, I would just like to know. My mortgage adviser was adamant that our credit score’s be improved before we got our first mortgage in principal.


Thanks. I’ve heard that a lot about credit scores. Just a little baffled as I tried to open an M&S account and was declined because of my credit score?


I have no debt (does the sofa on finance count as debt?!) - earn £24k.

(Ben Sheppard) #12

The sofa does count as short term debt


It could well depend on your outgoings.
So, how much disposable do you have left each month after essential spending (rent, bills, car etc)?

Affordability might be the issue.


You don’t have a single “credit score”, instead each time you apply for credit the information in your credit file is compared against the requirements of the lender for the product. Every lender has different criteria, for example some may put a higher emphasis on total outstanding debt whereas others may care much more about missed payments. Their criteria is based on their risk profile and goals which is often a certain type of customer. The lender isn’t necessarily thinking “will this person repay us?” they’re thinking “will this customer be profitable for us?” – similar but not the same.

Your credit file contains a history of your use of credit which includes repayments, borrowing, outstanding debt and financial links. Companies like Noddle have their own criteria that is generalised based on their knowledge of the industry, for example a CCJ is very bad and will lead to rejections by many lenders so Noddle (and others) know that a CCJ should have a significant negative impact on the score they give you.

The most important single factor for your credit worthiness is being on the electoral roll, without that you’re pretty much unable to get any credit and will be outright rejected. Missed payments are a major problem too, if you ever miss a payment it’ll be on your credit file for 6 years and that is a strong indicator to lenders that you’re a bad client, you should always make payments on time.

Available credit can be a positive and a negative depending on the circumstance. If you earn £25,000 per year and have £20,000 in available credit you are unlikely to receive an unsecured loan of £20,000 even if you have a great history of repayments, in general the cap on the amount of unsecured debt you can have is your salary – but again, every lender is different.

Having no history is worse than having bad history, because bad history is a known quantity whereas unknown history… it’s unknown, you could be the worst client they’ve ever seen. That’s why your first credit card will rarely have a limit more than £600 and why it’s very helpful to get a mobile phone contract in your name as a teenager. Student overdrafts are an exception to this rule but that’s because they’re secured by the knowledge of student loans.

Essentially, if you’re concerned about your credit score (which you should think about as “credit worthiness” instead) then you should:

  1. Always make payments on time
  2. Use credit (responsibly)

Daily spending on a credit card (with full payment of the balance every month) is a great way to build your credit worthiness, it will demonstrate that you can use credit responsibly.

Is being fully Monzo ruining my credit score?

I save around £800-1000 a month. Don’t pay rent/car payments. My car insurance is paid annually. So I have quite a lot of disposable income.


Thanks for this! Very helpful.

I’m very cautious about the credit I use, I don’t want to have a ton of monthly direct debits and I’m worried if I lose my job (no idea why since I’m sure I won’t) but just in case that I can’t pay anything.

Also I feel like I’m very responsible with money. I’ve paid everything on time and generally keep on top of things so I don’t wanna use the credit unless I have to. But then I want to have good credit so I have to use it? It’s just annoying.

I like to use monzo for my daily spending as I can see it. I try to use my credit card for petrol only every month so it does get used but not a lot.


I’m not sure how old you are but I’m guessing you’re relatively young (probably 2 years out of uni at most?) and therefore have limited history. You have £1000 + £1500 + £1000 available credit, plus £1600 in outstanding finance, that combined with your limited history could be concerning for a lender. If you had, say, 5 years of regular repayments across numerous accounts and the same available + outstanding it would be interpreted differently. There is no quick fix to building credit worthiness, it’s just a matter of using credit responsibly over time.

A decade ago my bank refused numerous times to increase my credit card limit above £800 whereas a few years back I was immediately approved for a £12,000 limit card: there had been no meaningful change in my circumstance, I had no debt both times, the only difference was many years of responsible credit use.

This system isn’t without flaws, for example you can often find people in their 30s digging themselves in a hole with debt and then digging an even deeper hole because they can get approved for further credit easily, after all they have a great credit history and look profitable – even though those repayments were a struggle.

I forgot to mention, high interest short term loans (aka payday loans) are a very big negative too, if you have payday loans in your credit history (even if they’re repaid completely and on time) it can be a red flag for lenders because it indicates financial stress. The same is true of many applications in a short period of time, that is indicative of financial stress – hence you’ll see mention of “soft” vs. “hard” searches, a hard search is seen by other lenders.


I’m 23. I’ve had my credit card for 2 years and have had phone contracts in my name since I was 18. So yeah I guess my credit is limited - is there any way I can increase it? Do I just keep getting things on finance or?

(Kevyn) #19

I have had a credit card in good standing for 10 years and been on the electoral role at the same property for 9 years. These two points gave me an excellent credit rating.


No, there’s no quick fix, but it’s not that important. You’ve been able to use purchase finance, obtain overdrafts and a credit card, there’s no reason to be concerned about your credit worthiness. An account rejection at your age is unimportant, it’s inconsequential and not worth worrying about.

The time when good credit starts to matter in a serious way is when it comes to mortgages, but even then there’s nothing you can (or should do) beyond use the credit you have available to you responsibly. Avoiding negatives (missed payments, payday loans, CCJs) is most important when it comes to mortgages, having an extra paid off finance account is not going to be the difference between a mortgage or not.

Personally, I would consider the risks associated with financing a bunch of things in aide of “building credit” to be higher than the benefits of “better credit”. Credit has more than just financial costs, it’s mentally taxing and limits your flexibility in life. Credit should be used as a tool to achieve meaningful things, it shouldn’t be used to improve a meaningless score.

Editing to add: put simply, 5 years of one credit account repaid in full every month is better than 1 year of 5 credit accounts repaid on time.

Is being fully Monzo ruining my credit score?
(Jamie 🏳️‍🌈) #21

@42644 All those posts :point_up::point_up::point_up: are excellent and explain things better than I ever could.

Someone pin this thread and link to it whenever the issue of ‘credit score’ comes up again. And shame on Monzo for consistently peddling the myth of the credit score.