Bad Credit & Borrowing
Your questions about credit scores, answered
There is no bigger single source of concern for those wanting to apply for a cash loan than their credit rating. The question, ‘do I have a bad credit rating, and will it prevent me from borrowing money’ is a real cause of anxiety. On this page we’d like to eliminate some of the myths and let you know how Crester Credit considers applicants with ‘bad credit’.
What is a 'credit score'?
Someone’s credit score is a measure of how punctual they have been at paying their bills and is a number from 1 to 1,000. Those who regularly meet their payment due dates will achieve a higher score and the possibility of more attractive offers from utilities (power, water, gas, etc.) and insurance companies and banks. A bad credit rating comes about by having lower scores and companies can consequently refuse you as a borrower or offer you less-attractive rates and terms.
Can I check my credit score and is there a fee to do this?
You can check your credit record by applying directly with the 3 New Zealand credit reporting entities. These are (click names to open ‘start my application’ pages in a new browser tab):
The good news is you have the right to obtain a copy of your credit record for free (including your credit score), and each of the above companies provides this facility – just make sure you don’t select a paid option. When you apply for credit or a loan with an organisation, they will likely submit your details to one of the above companies to check your eligibility. Contact all three companies for a complete picture of your record to identify if you need to request any corrections to their data.
At a minimum, these credit report companies are required to meet your request within ten working days, and cannot change more than $10.00 if need your report quickly and you elect to have if fast-tracked and delivered in under five days.
How is my credit score calculated?
New Zealand’s consumer credit bureau’s (the three listed above) all receive notifications about certain key indicators to help determine whether your score increases or decreases, e.g. a bill paid on time will be a positive signal to move your score upwards. Always work hard to avoid defaulting on loans and incurring negative court judgements as well as considering your existing credit on credit cards and mortgage loans.
How do I know if my credit score is good?
Generally, scores above 650 are considered to be good with most credit scores falling between 300 and 850.
My credit score doesn't seem to be correct, what can I do?
If you’ve received your credit report from a consumer credit bureau, and you believe it contains errors, you can contact that bureau and request a correction. This can take some time however (Centrix will normally come back within 20 working days), because the organisation that the data originated from, e.g. your power company, will have to be contacted and the item queried.
I'd like to improve my credit score, what can I do?
Improve your credit score by paying your bills on time and settling any credit defaults you’ve incurred. If you’ve struggled with debt in the past, it is well worth contacting a budgeting service to get help moving forward positively. Bear in mind that your personal credit risk can increase and negatively affect your credit score when you open new accounts or apply for new credit facilities.
What's in a credit report?
Credit reports include your credit details that is permitted by New Zealand’s Credit Reporting Privacy Code. Companies (Centrix, illion, and Equifax) are allowed to give your credit report to their subscribers including businesses who provide goods and services such as electricity retailers or phone companies, and money-lending credit providers such as banks and finance companies.
Will Crester Credit give me a loan if I have bad credit?
If you’re struggling to meet your bills on your other loans then its a good idea to consider a debt consolidation loan, which bundles all of your loans into one simple to manage repayment at a lower interest rate while avoiding penalty fees.
We look beyond your bad credit rating to get the full picture of your situation. We prefer to look at the security you have rather than your income, so a bad credit score will not automatically exclude your application from being considered.