International Credit Rating and Score

Credit Scores Around The Globe

Learn About Credit ScoreIf you have plans to live abroad in Canada, Europe, or the United Kingdom, it would be wise to know how to obtain your credit score and how each country or region determines them. Many of you may be wondering, just for curiosity's sake, of course, if your credit score in the U.S. will follow you across international borders and if it will have an impact on your credit score in Canada, Europe, or the UK. Well, the answer is that the authorities will take a hard look at your personal information before granting you a visa to live in any of these countries. If it appears that you're trying to run from a bad credit score and financial obligations by establishing residence in another country, you'll most likely be denied legal resident status.

Credit scores in the U.S.

In the United States, there are three main credit reporting agencies that use similar criteria to determine your credit score. Lenders look at credit reports and your FICO® credit score from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, then use that information to decide your creditworthiness and the interest rate(s) they'll charge you. Credit scores in the U.S. range from the low 300s to the mid-800s.

Credit scores in Canada

A credit score in Canada is determined by using pretty much the same criteria they use in America, but a credit score in Canadian provinces has a slightly different range of scores. Canadian FICO® credit scores range from 300 to 900, and these scores are issued by only two different agencies, TransUnion Canada and Equifax Canada.

Credit scores in Europe

Since there are over twenty different countries in Europe, your credit score in Europe will depend on the protocols used by each individual country. But in broad terms, they don't have credit scores like we do in the U.S. Each loan application is reviewed based on your current salary, your family situation, current debts, residence status, and other factors. However, if you don't make timely payments on loans, the lender puts you in a special file that's shared by all lenders across most of Europe, and you'll have a great deal of difficulty getting a loan.

Credit scores in the U.K.

In the U.K., each lending institution uses its own criteria for issuing credit, but their decisions are influenced by England's three main credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Call Credit. These agencies take a broader snapshot of your activities as a citizen, which includes court judgments, your financial history, and whether or not you've voted in elections.

As you can see, each country or region has a slightly different way of deciding a person's creditworthiness, but the same general rules apply when someone applies for credit. Lenders take a hard look at how you've managed your finances, whether you pay your bills on time, and how much risk they'd be taking by extending you credit.


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