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600 Credit Score 

Understanding a 600 credit score 

Ella Jukwey
Written by  Ella Jukwey
5 min read
Updated: 13 Feb 2024

MoneySuperMarket explains what your borrowing options are if you have 600 credit score.

Is 600 a good credit score?  

600 isn’t a ‘good’ credit score, however it may not be a bad credit rating depending on the credit reference agency (CRA) you’ve used to find out your score. The three main CRAs use different credit banding systems. Our Credit Monitor service uses TransUnion’s scoring system and 600 falls into the ‘fair’ category.  

The table below shows where a 600 credit score is regarded by the main credit reference agencies. 

Credit reference agency 

A 600 credit score with them is 

Their credit score scale 

Experian 

Poor 

0-999 

Equifax 

Fair 

0-1000 

TransUnion 

Fair 

0-710 

understanding your money

Will I be eligible for a credit card or a loan with a 600 credit score? 

Equifax and TransUnion both deem a score of 600 as a ‘fair’ credit rating . A fair credit score can be seen as being somewhere in the middle, which means your options for credit won’t be as limited as someone with a low credit score but you won’t be offered the most competitive rates like someone with a good credit score. You can be approved for loans and credit cards with a fair credit rating, but you should probably expect smaller borrowing amounts and higher interest rates. 

Why do I have a 600 credit score?  

Depending on which CRA has shown your credit score as 600, this might be because of consistent or occasional bad financial habits. 

If your 600 credit score is with Equifax and TransUnion, this is a fair credit rating and could be due to:  

  • Not always making payments: You might have missed repayments or made them late. This can contribute to lowering your credit score. 

  • Frequent applications for credit: Every time you apply for credit, you leave a hard inquiry on your credit file which will bring your credit score down. It’s important to space out every time you apply for credit, because making multiple applications for credit in a short space of time will hurt your score. 

  • Making only the minimum payment: It can be tempting to only make the minimum payment on your credit card, but doing so means you’ll pay more interest and accrue more debt, which can in the long run negatively affect your credit rating. 

If your 600 credit score is with Experian, then this is a poor credit score which might be because of: 

  • Low or no credit history: If you’ve never borrowed before, then lenders don’t have much to go on to determine if you’re a responsible borrower. If you’ve just started using credit, don’t be dismayed by a bad credit score because it can rise in time if you use credit responsibly. 

  • History of missed payments: Being creditworthy essentially means you’re trusted to pay back the money you’ve borrowed from the lender. If you regularly miss payments then you’ll be seen as high-risk to lend and get a poor credit score. 

  • Financial difficulties: If you’ve been declared bankrupt in the past or have a CCJ then this will hurt your credit rating. Bankruptcy will stay on your file for six years, or until you’re discharged from your debts. A CCJ will stay on your credit report for six years if you do not pay off the debt in full within a month of the judgement being passed. 

How can I improve my 600 credit score?  

If you’re not happy with your credit score, here are some tips on how to step up your score

  • Register on the electoral roll: Being registered on the electoral roll verifies your address to lenders and can help boost your credit score.  

  • Keep up with payments: Making your payments on time shows lenders that you’re reliable to lend to. It can be a smart idea to set up a direct debit to make sure you don’t miss payments - just make sure you have enough money in your chosen account. A track record of always making payments will help build a good credit score. 

  • Don’t use all available credit:  Keep your credit utilisation low, ideally below 30%. For example, if your credit limit is £1000, try not to spend more than £300 on your credit card. A high credit utilisation ratio indicates to lenders you’re overly reliant on credit. By keeping your credit card balance low, it can also make it easier to manage your credit card bills.  

  • Look out for any mistakes: Errors on your credit report could be hurting your credit score. Check your credit report for any incorrect information to make sure your credit rating is a fair overview of your financial history.  

How long will it take for my 600 credit score to improve?  

A good credit score won’t happen immediately. However, your starting place can affect how long it will take to improve your credit rating. If your 600 score is with TransUnion, then it’s a fair credit score and close to be considering ‘good’ which begins at 604.  However, if your 600 score is with Experian, then this is a poor credit score which won’t be fixed instantly, but if you keep up good financial habits it will eventually become a high credit score. 

Will my credit score fall if I regularly check it? 

No, your credit score won’t be harmed if you look at it often. If you check your credit score with Credit Monitor, your score will remain unaffected, as we use a ‘soft search’ which isn’t visible to lenders. It’s good practice to regularly check your credit score, so you’re aware of what products you’re likely to be eligible for and if you need to work on your credit rating. 

What is the highest credit score possible? 

The best credit score you can get will depend on which credit reference agency you’re checking your score with. 

The highest possible credit rating with Equifax will be 1000, for Experian it’s 999 and TransUnion’s top score is 710.  

Can I get a mortgage with a 600 credit score? 

Yes, you can get a mortgage with a 600 credit score. The ease of approval with a 600 credit score will determine on the credit reference agency who has given you the rating. 

A 600 credit score is rated as fair by Equifax and TransUnion and this means although you may be approved for a mortgage you won’t benefit from the best rates.  

However, if your 600 credit score is with Experian then you have a poor credit rating. There are specialist lenders who cater to borrowers in your situation, but be aware you’ll face higher interest rates and might need a larger deposit. 

Other useful guides  

Credit can be confusing to get your head round, but we’re here to clear up any myths and let you know your options. 

Getting your first credit card  

How a credit card can build your credit score 

How to pay off credit card debt 

Nurture your credit score with our Credit Monitor service  

If you’re not happy with your credit score, you can always take steps to get it into shape. You can check your credit score and credit report whenever you want with our free Credit Monitor service. Credit Monitor will also send you hints and tips on how to get your credit score into shape. 

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