Starting with the basics 

There’s more than one type of credit and understanding the different options available can help you decide what’s right for you. 

What is credit?


  • Helping you understand credit  – what is a credit score?

    If you’re applying for a credit card, personal loan or mortgage, lenders will usually check your credit file to:

    assess your circumstances

    highlight potential risks

    decide on the interest rates and credit limit they’re prepared to offer.

    So, if you have a good payment history on all your accounts and low outstanding debts, you may have a higher credit score … which means you’re more likely to be seen as a lower credit risk.

    Usually, a higher credit score gives you a stronger chance of being approved for credit, with a higher credit limit and at a better interest rate.

    To work out the risk of lending to you, a lender usually checks a number of things, such as:

    details on your application form

    how you’ve managed your accounts in the past

    and information from credit reference agencies.

    This is then taken into account as part of their ‘credit worthiness’ assessment. Then they’ll decide whether to lend to you, and on what terms.

    Credit reference agencies usually hold information on people’s identity, address and personal financial history. They get some of their information from public records and other lenders.

    Some ways you might be able to  improve your credit score are:

    make sure you’re on the electoral register

    check that all your details are correct

    manage your accounts effectively

    pay bills and credit on time

    don’t go over your credit limit

    avoid applying for lots of credit in a short space of time.

    Many lenders offer eligibility checkers. Ours is called Clever Check and it’s available online or on the MBNA Mobile App.

    It can help you find out which credit cards you might be eligible for before you apply – without affecting your credit score – and there’s no obligation to apply for a credit card afterwards.

    You can check your TransUnion credit score for free on the MBNA app, view your full credit report, and get regular hints and tips on how you could improve or maintain your score.

    MBNA – choices made simple.

What do lenders looks for?

When you apply for credit, lenders have to assess how reliable you are with borrowing. They may use a credit reference agency or conduct their own checks.

What is a credit check?

Know where you stand with MBNA

Sign up for ‘Your Credit Score’. We’ve partnered with TransUnion to provide you with access to your credit score. It’s free to use and won’t impact your credit file.

  • View your updated credit score every 7 days.
  • See what you’re doing well. 
  • Understand what you can do that might help to improve your score. 
  • Find out how your score compares to the UK average.

More on Your Credit Score

What's best for you?

Everyone’s different, so your borrowing needs are personal to you. When you’re looking to take out credit, understanding the different options available will help you choose the most suitable product that meets your needs.

Compare options

Worried about money?

If you’re worried about money, we’re here to help. Don’t suffer in silence, talk to us today. 


Making sure you get a fair deal

We want you to find a product that's right for your circumstances, which is why we adhere to the Standards of Lending Practice, which are monitored and enforced by the LSB.

To find out more you can read the statement of responsibilities, which details what's expected of us, the lender and you the borrower.

Download the statement (PDF, 223 KB)

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