You may live in a swanky house in Elizabeth Bay or South Yarra, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have access to the biggest and best loans, surprising new research has revealed.
Areas such as Ku-ring-gai, Dural and Sutherland in NSW, Manningham in Victoria and the Hills District in Queensland are areas with the highest personal credit ratings.
The reason: many in wealthy suburbs have large loans for those fabulous homes, limos and fancy schools. And they are more likely to suffer the occasional missed payment.
Stable areas with older populations is where you find consumers with the best credit ratings, because they pay on time and keep their borrowing under control.
The research comes from over two million credit scores across 326 regions around Australia.
You can look up your own suburb here.
Credit scores are measured on a series of criteria, from how many loans you have to whether you are a consistent payer.
So what’s a great credit score? It turns out 833 out of 1,200 is excellent, the average is 510-621 and 509 or less is poor.
Luke Keller, CEO of getcreditscore.com.au, explained why today’s younger generations need to understand the importance of credit scores.
Most will spent 45 years using credit for their daily needs.
They start off buying a mobile phone plan on credit when they are 18, they get a car loan, followed by credit cards to travel before they get into the housing market and get a mortgage.
“If people are going to be reliant on credit for at least 45 years of their life, they have to understand their credit score rating,” he said.
“Getting a good credit score is basically going to help you get credit. The higher the credit score shows you have a low risk and more reliable profile.’’
Wealthier inner city suburbs could learn more from less affluent, regional areas on how to successfully manage their finances and maintain a strong credit score.
The research found that McGraths Hill in outer NSW has a higher credit score of 787 with a low median property price of $682,000 compared to Darlinghurst which has a low average credit score of 738 and a high median house price of $1.78 million.
So having an expensive home doesn’t mean you rate more highly for a loan.
Lilydale in Victoria’s Yarra Range also has a high average credit score of 789 with a median house price of $624,000 compared to South Yarra in Melbourne city which has a lower credit score of 739 and a high median house price of $1.46 million.
In WA, the middle class suburb of Melville with a credit score of 797 manage their finances better than those in Perth with a lower credit score of 766.
Perhaps not surprising, the research also found that younger women are more credit worthy than young men in the Gen Y and Gen X categories.
“These results demonstrate that your credit score is all about your personal situation, not your property location. While there are many things that go into a score, you can control how you manage it – it doesn’t matter if you’re in the Darling Downs or Darlinghurst,” Mr Keller said.
Luke Keller’s tips for keeping your credit score high
1. Pay your bills on time
2. Remember, defaults can remain on a person’s credit report for five years and serious credit infringements for up to seven years.
3. Keep track of your credit commitments. Credit is more than just credit cards. It also includes mortgages, consumer loans, interest-free store finance, mobile phones and utility contracts.
4. Only apply for credit you need. Every time you apply for credit it is recorded. If you make multiple applications in a short period it can begin to have a negative impact on your score.