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What are the differences between UK and US credit scores?

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A good credit score can be a very valuable asset due to the way it can help you access finance when you need it the most. If you are relocating to the US, you may be wondering if there is any difference between a credit score in the UK and the United States. You may also have questions if you are moving in the other direction.

In the past, it was harder for people moving to the US to apply for credit once they arrived there. You can now use an international credit bureau that will help you make applications with your UK credit history. Many things once made it difficult for information about credit to be shared across borders. People even experienced problems when their credit reporting agencies operated both in the UK and the US.

In the US, a FICO score is normally used to make decisions on whether to lend to people.

Every adult in the US with a financial history has a FICO score. It’s said that FICO scores are used to make more than nine out of ten decisions about lending in the US.

Is FICO used in the UK?

FICO is an American company that doesn’t have such a big presence in the UK. It dominates the market in the US. A FICO score is seen as a universal score often based on data from a number of credit reference agencies. In the UK, there isn’t a universal score.

Someone’s score can vary from one reporting bureau to another.

How can a good credit score help me if I move to the US?

A good credit score can help you if you want to make the best possible start to life in the US.

It can help you open a bank account, get a credit card, loan or phone contract.

What are the main credit bureaus in the UK and US?

TransUnion, Experian and Equifax are all major credit bureaus in the UK and US.

Many people think their credit history is transferred to the United States automatically once they make the big move across the water. However, this is not the case.

There are many reasons why your credit history might not be transferred to the US automatically if you move there from the UK. These include the way lenders and credit bureaus identify people.

In the UK, they can identify people from information on the electoral register like their name, date of birth, address and electoral number. In the US, people are identified by their Social Security Numbers. In the United Kingdom, your credit score is mainly used to tell you how likely it is you will be able to get credit and good interest rates. Lenders can use the scores to decide whether to lend to you, but they can consider many other factors too. In the United States, your credit score is likely to have a much bigger influence on whether you will be able to get credit and how much credit you can take out if you can.

Who can help me translate my UK credit history to the US?

One company that might be able to help you if you want your UK credit history to be acknowledged in the US is Nova Credit. This company has been working with Equifax UK to do this. The company says it can help people moving to the US to apply for things like credit cards, phone contracts and student loans.

What can I do if I’m moving to the UK from the US?

You might need to start from scratch if you want to apply for credit in the UK even if you have a good credit history in the US. It’s also important to remember that your debts can follow you to the UK, so give your creditors a forwarding address if you are making the move.

Get yourself on the electoral roll as soon as you can if this is possible and make sure household bills are in your name if you’re able to. You may find that you can only get high-interest credit cards at first, although these can help you build up your credit score if you manage them properly. You’ll also need to open a bank account in the UK.

One way to make this simpler is to look for a bank that has branches in both the UK and the US. Open your account before you move if you can and have your salary paid into it once you have a job.

If your credit applications keep being rejected, don’t keep making them. Each unsuccessful application will appear on your credit report and can harm it more. If you want to try again further down the line, wait up to six months before you make your next application. Keep an eye on your credit report so you can see the progress you’re making and take action if you spot any evidence of fraudulent activity.

Why are different credit reporting agencies giving me different scores?

Scores can vary for lots of reasons. Some lenders don’t report to all biggest agencies in the UK. Your scores may also be different because of differences between scoring models. Some models treat certain information differently to others. For instance, one model might treat your total credit usage as more important than another model does. Your score can also change very quickly when the information that a credit reporting bureau or agency has is updated.


One of the main differences between UK and US credit scores is that the United States has a much bigger emphasis on FICO scores.

Whether you’re considering moving to the UK from the US or vice versa, you can build up a good credit history in your new country by managing credit responsibly, showing that you have a good income and avoiding making too many applications for credit in a short space of time.

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