The terms ‘credit score’ or ‘credit rating’ can be a confusing and daunting concept to get your head around, but don’t worry, you’re not alone! A credit score is used to help lenders like us during the loan application process to determine your loan approval and the loan terms. Computer-generated algorithms generate the scores by analysing information from your past borrowing history and other determining factors. Your credit score in New Zealand may affect your next loan application, so it’s an important thing to wrap your head around.

Let’s take a look at how credit scores are calculated, why they’re essential, and how you could apply for a credit report if you wanted. We also have some crucial tips on improving your credit score in New Zealand. If you already know you have a bad credit score and you still want a loan, Instant Finance might be able to help you. Check out our other blog article about applying for a loan with bad credit score.


What is a good credit score in NZ?


A credit score is a number that ranges from 0 to 1000 and is dependent on which New Zealand credit bureau you’re retrieving your data from. The higher your credit rating, the better your chances are of your loan being accepted and receiving a low-interest rate.


Lenders like us use your credit rating to determine whether you’ll be able to pay off your debt on time. But, your credit rating isn’t the only criteria we look at when you apply for a loan. Your job, income, spending habits and other current debts may also be considered during a loan application process.


In New Zealand, there are three main credit bureaus that calculate your credit rating – Centrix, Equifax and Illion. While it’s a bit technical, check out the breakdown below of their credit score structures so you can get a better idea of how their scoring system works.







Very Good



0 to 494

495 to 649

650 to 768

769 to 845

846 to 1000

Equifax (via My Credit File)

0 to 509

510 to 621

622 to 725

726 to 832

833 to 1200

Illion (via Credit Simple)

0 to 299

300 to 499

500 to 699

700 to 799

800 to 1000



Getting approved for large sums of money with a score in this range will be simple as the risk for lenders is deemed extremely low. Lenders may even provide borrowers with additional borrowing choices.

Very Good

A score in this range indicates that a borrower's creditworthiness is strong, so their chances of obtaining a loan are good.


Borrowers in this category are still thought to have a good credit rating and are still seen as less risky to the lender. Their chances of obtaining a loan are still favourable.


If a borrower's rating falls within this area, lenders may view them as risky, resulting in slightly higher interest rates for the borrower. Before issuing a loan, lenders may assess the applicant's financial status.


Borrowers with credit scores in this level have less chance of receiving a loan. Some lenders will still make loans, but the interest rates will be higher.


If you’re applying for a loan with a bad credit score, remember, at Instant Finance, we believe that everyone deserves the chance to remedy their financial situation and be given the opportunity to get back on their feet financially. Simply give us a call, and one of our team can help through the application process.

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How is your credit score determined?


Your credit score is calculated using information from your credit report. Some things won’t appear on your credit report like your bank account balance, your income or any assets you own. That’s why when we assess a loan application we take into account the bigger picture.


Factors that can influence your credit rating are highlighted below:

Payment history: Have you ever missed a payment or gone into default on loan?

Current debt: What do you owe, and are your credit cards maxed out?

Length of credit: Is credit new to you, or do you have a lengthy history of borrowing and repaying it?

New credit: Have you recently applied for several loans?

Types of credit: Do you have a good mix of debt, such as auto, house, or credit cards?


If you’re young or new to borrowing, you might lack a credit history. In this case, an alternative score is used from various sources of payment history information such as utility bills, rent, and more.


How do you check your credit score in New Zealand?


Many Kiwis underestimate the relevance of their credit rating until they apply for a loan and are denied due to bad credit. If you’re interested, you can get a copy of your credit rating from Credit Simple or reach out to us and we can see how we can help during the loan application process.


How to improve your credit score in NZ?


To make sure you have the best chance of obtaining a loan, it’s important to meet all the lending criteria. We’ve listed some recommendations on how to improve your credit score in NZ and included some other tips when applying for a loan:

  1. Always check the eligibility criteria for loans before applying
  2. Check your credit report once a year
  3. Register to vote in order so you can be validated
  4. Try not to be late on any loan repayments – or communicate with your loan provider if you might be late
  5. Keep your money separate from anyone you live with if possible
  6. Check your address on your credit report is correct


Talk to us today if you’d like to apply for a loan and please check out our other blog if you are applying for a loan with bad credit for more information. Or check out a few things you might not know about Instant Finance!

Ready to apply for a personal loan?

Apply today