While gambling doesn’t directly affect your credit score in the UK, that doesn’t mean it’s risk-free. But there are financial behaviours associated with gambling that can be very damaging to your credit score. You can find out more about how credit scores work in our blog.
Being aware of the financial traps and dangers that surround gambling is really important. Especially if you are trying to build your credit score or if you’re looking to borrow for a big purchase in the near future. Loqbox has some useful tips and advice for whether you should stick or twist when it comes to gambling with your financial future.
Does gambling show up on my credit history?
No, gambling won’t show up on your credit history. Your credit score is based on your ability to borrow money responsibly. And whether you will be able to pay it back. It doesn’t make judgements on how you spend the money you have.
So, gambling itself doesn’t have any impact. But that’s not the end of the story. While the act of betting won’t show on your credit report, the impact of gambling can still hurt your credit rating if you’re not careful.
If you want to take a look at your credit score, you can do it for free and without harming it with one of these services:
ClearScore (uses Equifax data)*
Credit Club (uses Experian data)
Credit Karma (uses TransUnion data)
*We want to show our cards here. If you were to sign up for ClearScore using this link we receive a small commission.
Does online gambling affect my credit score?
Online gambling itself has no direct effect on your credit score. Whether you’re using betting websites or heading into the casino, this won’t reflect on your credit score.
However, if your credit rating is low and there’s evidence of gambling on your bank statements or other financial records, lenders might link these factors when they make application decisions. So, you need to think about the bigger picture.
How can gambling hurt my credit score?
While your credit history may not document any occasional or regular gambling, there are still ways that it can have a negative impact. Here’s what you need to look out for:
Using credit card cash advances
Since 2020 you can’t gamble using credit cards. This was introduced to stop people racking up gambling debts on credit. This is a really bad idea. If you lose borrowed money, you not only lose money you never had, but you also have to pay interest on it.
You can’t directly use a credit card to gamble with. But it is possible to make cash advances to your regular account from your credit card. This money can then be used for betting. Cash advances build up interest very quickly and can easily snowball. This in turn can hurt your credit score.
Getting casino lines of credit
Another way that gambling can impact your credit score is if you borrow money to pay for your hobby. Casinos will of course offer lines of credit to their customers to keep them at the tables.
But when you make an application, they will likely make a hard check on your credit report. This can often reduce your credit score temporarily. You can find out more about hard vs soft credit checks in our blog.
Missing your payments
If your gambling costs start to rise, you might find yourself struggling to make your other payments. Missed payments are recorded on your credit file and stay there for six years. All of this shows up on your credit report and will reduce your credit score.
Using your credit too much
The amount of revolving credit you are using is recorded on your credit utilisation rate. This impacts your credit score. It tells lenders how much of your available credit you are using. A low rate (generally under 30%) lets them know that you use small amounts, and this could be seen as responsible use.
If you are using your credit limits to fund your gambling, it is likely that you will have a higher rate. This means that lenders may view you as less responsible with your credit. This is an important factor for your credit score.
Does gambling affect getting a mortgage?
During a mortgage application, lenders will look at your credit history. Although gambling doesn’t show up, when you apply for a mortgage you will be required to provide three months’ bank statements.
If there is gambling activity on your account and your credit history is affected as a result of any of the factors mentioned above, lenders may make some assumptions about your gambling and consider you high risk. This could lead to your application being declined.
How do I build my credit score when I have gambling debt?
Gambling isn’t just a financial problem. It can be an emotional problem with difficult financial consequences. If you are struggling with controlling your gambling, you should look for support at Gamblers Anonymous or the National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG).
If you want to tackle your gambling debt and build your credit score you might want to get started with Loqbox. You can save money for the big things in life, without dipping into it, and improve your credit score with all three credit reference agencies (CRAs - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) at the same time.