The Credit Savvy team is passionate about helping everyone understand the world of credit. With recent data from credit reporting body, Experian, indicating that Australians aged 18-24 have the lowest average credit score of 564, followed by 25-34 year olds at 610, we think it’s a good time to discuss how young Aussies can help set themselves up for the future.

Credit Scores: A Refresher

Your credit score and credit file information can be used by a potential lender to assess your credit worthiness and the likelihood that you will be able to repay a loan in the future. A higher credit score can suggest to lenders that you have a history of financial responsibility and are less risky to lend to.

The national average credit score, according to Experian is 649 out of 1000 (as of 30th June 2015). Their data indicates that older age groups fare better in the credit score stakes, which we’ve outlined in the graph below:

 

Why is this Important?

Right now, the spotlight is on housing affordability and home ownership for the next generation of Australians. Median house prices have skyrocketed in Sydney by 22.9% in one year to reach the $1 million mark, and by 10.3% in Melbourne to reach $668,030, according to the latest Domain Group House Price report. Nationally, the median increased by 11.7% year-on-year to reach $701,827.

We’re concerned that young Aussies may be unaware their credit behaviour can stay on their credit file for a number of years and potentially impact their ability to access credit in the future.

“Every time you apply for a credit card, that enquiry stays on your file for up to five years. If you make too many enquiries in a short time frame, you could lower your credit score,” our Managing Director, Dirk says.

It’s tough enough saving up for a deposit without getting there and realising that you might’ve done something to jeopardise your credit reputation years earlier. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of top tips for young Aussies who might be planning to apply for a home loan or personal loan in a few years. Remember, if you’re proactive about managing their credit reputation now, you could be doing yourself a favour down the track.

Our Top Tips for Young Aussies:

  1. Make sure you pay your bills on time as defaults can stay on your credit file for up to 5 years
  2. Check and monitor your credit score for free at Credit Savvy
  3. If you’re sharing a house or living at home, consider building up an active credit file that shows a history of good credit behaviour
  4. Shop around and do your homework before applying for credit and avoid making too many credit enquiries in a short space of time
  5. Try to stay away from specialty finance providers like payday lenders
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2 Comments

  1. cgtolhurst Reply

    Point 3 requires further elaboration. You mention building up an active credit file that shows a history of good credit behaviour but you don’t specify or give any suggestions on how to do that.

    • Melissa Ng Reply

      Hi,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      There are many ways you can build an active credit file. Below are a few actions you can take:

      • Demonstrate financial responsibility by making all your repayments on time
      • Make an honest assessment of your finances and only borrow what you can afford to pay back
      • Limit the number of credit applications you make by researching the credit products available in the market and only select those that suit your requirements
      • Before applying, consider what type of credit you are applying for, who the credit provider is and the impact this could have on your credit score
      • Actively monitor and check your credit file for errors

      For more information about credit scores and credit files, check out our Credit Knowledge Centre.

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