If you are applying for a mortgage or any other sort of significant loan, your credit score will be at the forefront of your thoughts.
It’s something of a mysterious number, and most people don’t fully understand what makes it go up and down from one month to the next, but we all know that the higher it is the more attractive you will be to lenders.
Loans are harder to come by than they used to be, and lenders can be pernickety about your spending habits when trying to establish whether or not they think you are a safe person to lend to.
It’s understandable then that some people who gamble for leisure might worry about the effects their gambling could have on their credit score.
But are these valid concerns, or is your credit score safe regardless of your average monthly spend at the casino?
How Gambling Affects Your Credit Score
Your credit score is all related to how you borrow and have borrowed money in the past. It is a numerical reflection of how well you handle debt.
Therefore, depositing money into a gambling account has absolutely no bearing on your credit score whatsoever – unless you are somehow using debt to fund it.
Firstly, you shouldn’t be doing this, it’s a terrible idea and you should stop it immediately. Secondly, it is no longer legal to use credit cards at online casinos so gambling using borrowed money is much trickier than it used to be, and that is a very good thing.
This has been the case since 2020 when the law was changed and it is unlikely to ever be reversed, in fact, it is more likely that restrictions will get even tighter.
Things that do impact your credit score might include:
- Credit Mix – The different types of debt you are managing, such as a mortgage, personal loan (for a car perhaps), credit card, anything you have of finance etc.
- Payment History – Missed payments obviously will have a negative impact on your score.
- Credit Utilisation – How much of your available credit you are actually using. Keeping it under 30% is a good place to be.
- Credit Applications – Lots of different hard searches on your record indicate that you need a lot of credit, which can bring your score down.
- Credit History Length – The longer you have held accounts with creditors the better, because it means the relationship between you and the lender is working.
So you see, there is no place for gambling expenditure specifically to have any impact on your credit score.
Other factors that can effect your credit score but are not directly related to your credit history, include whether or not you are on the electoral roll, out of date information such as address and phone number, and court records especially fraud.
Each lender will score you differently based on their own criteria and you probably won;t be able to find out exactly how they do this, but credit reporting companies such as Experian and Clearscore can give you an idea of what your score might be.
When Gambling Can Affect Your Ability to Get a Loan
Of course your credit score isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to securing a loan.
Each person’s case is different, and your own personal and financial situation will have an impact on the way you appear to lenders.
For anyone wanting to borrow large amounts relative to their earnings, the lender might want to do some pretty thorough investigations, especially on mortgage applications.
A person with a good credit score who earns £1 million a year would probably be able to secure a £400,000 loan easily enough, but an equally high scoring couple earning £90,000 between them might find it more difficult.
Their lender might want to scrutinise their bank statements and ask questions about their spending habits, even if their credit scores are ok.
This is where casino spending might come up, but even then, only if the amount being spent is high relative to the person’s income. It’s unlikely that £20 a month is going to be much of a cause for concern to a lender, but if someone earning £30k annually is depositing thousands each year on gaming then this will no doubt be called into question.
Therefore, while it might not impact your credit score, online casino spending might have an impact on your ability to get a loan in some circumstances.
It’s all about the lender trying to figure out what your spending habits are and how tightly you stretch your finances. If your bank statements show a responsible individual who pays their debts and has a little fun with some of what is left over that won’t be a problem, but if they show an individual who prioritises fun over bills or spends every last penny they have spare at the casino, this won’t inspire much confidence.
Ways to Deposit Without it Showing up on Bank Statements
If you really are paranoid about your lender refusing you even based on sensible spending limits at online casinos, then you could always use an eWallet to deposit instead.
This would show up as a Paypal or Skrill payment on your bank statement for example, instead of a gambling statement, but there is nothing to stop the lender asking about those too if there are a lot of them.
Pre-paid vouchers or cash deposits in betting shops or high street casinos which also have websites (where possible) is another option, but again, if significant amounts of your disposable income are being withdrawn in cash the lender might want to know why.
Honestly, so long as your gambling is under control and recreational there is very little to worry about in terms of loans and credit scores. Professional gamblers might have problems, but then, professional gamblers don’t tend to do things by the book in the first place.