Most people will say having a good credit score matters. They say it saves you money, and they’re right. But there’s not enough information out there telling you how much. Will a good credit score save you 50p? £500? £5,000? More?
As a company, Portify is committed to building credit scores to help our customers save money. As part of this we want to show you what concrete differences a credit score can have on your life and finances. We did some research which shows that the savings can amount to tens of thousands of £s over a lifetime.
In the example below, the savings are equivalent to more than 400 years of Netflix, 10,402 Big Mac Meals, just under 50 13.3 inch MacBook Air’s, 23,74 Large Dominos pepperoni pizzas, nearly 6 GB1K Grand Pianos, 4,745 24 pack of coca-cola, 3,908 tall Starbucks coffees, or 192 PS4’s.
You can try our calculator out and see how much you could save by clicking on this link.
In the rest of this post we detail how exactly we built this savings calculator specific to the UK.
We hope you find the calculator useful as a tool for planning for the future, and improving your financial health. Any feedback or suggestions on future tools you’d like to have, please let us know. You can get in touch by emailing us at [email protected].
What desktop research did we do?
We first took a look at what research already existed on this. You can see the summary of our findings in the graph below, which shows how much $ you can save on each credit product by going from either a ‘Fair’ or ‘Very Good’ credit score to an ‘Excellent’ credit score, according to different sources.
All of these estimates are from the US. We did find some UK estimates, but we did not think they were credible or well researched enough to share.
In particular, we liked the LendingTree estimates as these were based on actual anonymised customer data, and seemed most reliable.
The findings suggest that a good credit score can save you anywhere between $500~70,000 in the US, depending on what credit products you plan to use in the future.
How did we come up with a £ savings calculator for the UK?
We conducted our own research to come up with a savings calculator specific to the UK. This involved asking people with different credit scores to go to websites like Experian and ClearScore and get quotes for personal loans, car financing, and mortgages.
We then calculated the average interest rate offered to people within a ‘Fair’ credit score band and an ‘Excellent’ credit score band for each of these products. We used the difference in average APR to calculate the savings potential.
We also added one additional credit product that can help save money to the mix. If you have an ‘Excellent’ credit score, it’s very likely that you would qualify for premium cashback credit cards in the UK, like Amex’s Cashback Everyday Credit Card which gives you 1% back on all purchases without charging a fee.
You can see how much someone with an ‘Excellent’ vs ‘Fair’ credit score could save on these four products in the UK below.
The example below assumes someone takes out a £25,000 personal loan and car financing over three years, a £300,000 mortgage over 30 years, and spends £100 per week for 5 years on a cashback credit card. The results suggest a total of ~£50,000 in savings.
If you’d like to try out our calculator and personalise it for yourself, you can do that here.
Final comments on our methods before we go…
We hope the calculator and research serves as an interesting guide to show how much you could potentially save with a good credit score.
Please do note that these are very high-level estimations, and that the impact will vary depending on your individual circumstances, and what’s on your credit file. For example, we noticed during our research that even between people with the same credit score bands, the APR % offers they received would vary.
In this vein, it’s also important to note that your credit score is not the only thing lenders will look at when making a lending and pricing decision.
This calculation also assumes you currently have a ‘Fair’ credit score, and improve that by two bands to ‘Excellent’. The savings you can expect will be different if going from a ‘Very poor’ credit score to a ‘Fair’ credit score, for example.
We also use the Experian credit score band namings for this calculation. Equifax and TransUnion both also have ‘Fair’ and ‘Excellent’ score bands, but these may not correspond directly to Experian’s as an indication of credit worthiness, and therefore product pricing offers one is likely to get.
As a side note, ClearScore uses the Equifax score, and CreditKarma uses the TransUnion score, in case this was unclear.
As a disclaimer, nothing in this article is intended as financial advice. The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only.