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Whilst at university, I was given an interest- and fee-free overdraft of £2000. I finished uni a few years ago by now, and the interest- and fee-free deal has now ended. I don't use the overdraft at all anymore, and my current account is in credit.

I'm going to be looking to buy my first house soon so am looking to improve my credit score as much as possible in the meantime, to try and get the best rates on the mortgage. As I understand it, rather than looking at the amount of credit you have, credit agencies tend to look at the credit utilisation instead. I do have a couple of credit cards (only used to purchase fuel or large items, paid off in full each month) with a total credit limit of £8200.

My question is, will the £2000 contribute to my total credit limit, and therefore reduce my credit utilisation figure, or is it seen as being reliant on credit, or have no effect whatsoever? As mentioned above, I don't use it anymore, so would be happy to remove the overdraft if it would help, or I can keep it in the background if that's going to help instead.

I've read various articles online and this question that state the overdraft doesn't get reported to credit agencies, but they all seem to be coming from a US standpoint rather than UK. I have access to the Money Saving Expert credit report (powered by Experian) and also ClearScore (powered by Equifax), both of which show a £2000 credit limit on the account. MSE actually lists the whole account in the "Credit Accounts" section.

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What makes you think that a mortgage company even cares about your "credit score"? Credit scores are just meaningless numbers made up by the credit reference agencies.

What the mortgage company actually cares about is:

  • Can you afford to make the payments on the loan?
  • Do you have a history of making credit payments on time?
  • Are there any signs that you are in financial difficulty, particularly the use of "payday loans"?
  • What is a credit score then? – not_a_comcast_employee Apr 8 at 3:51
  • @not_a_comcast_employee It's a meaningless number, based on some formula that the credit reference agencies have made up. The formula is not disclosed to anybody. Anybody thinking of offering credit will ignore it and look at the actual data. – Simon B Apr 8 at 7:20
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    @SimonB whilst credit score is a meaningless number, to Average Joe credit score and credit report are the same thing. Regarding the three points you make, the mortgage company will be getting that data from the credit report - if you replace "credit score" with "credit report" in my original question, how does that change your answer? – crazyloonybin Apr 8 at 7:44
  • @crazyloonybin Again, the formula that the mortgage companies use to assess affordability is totally opaque to the customers. So there's no way to definitively say what effect an un-used overdraft would have. But I can't imagine that an un-used overdraft versus no overdraft would make any significant difference. You can see if it actually gets reported by signing up to one (or more) of the free credit check services. – Simon B Apr 9 at 7:29
  • @SimonB in the footnote for the question, I do say that it gets reported, with it showing as a credit account on one of the services which is why I was asking the question. Thanks for the update though :) – crazyloonybin Apr 9 at 7:47

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