Does Playing Online Bingo Affect My Credit Rating?

Your credit rating is measured by the amount of money you borrow and the frequency and reliability in which you pay it back. All adults un the UK have a credit rating, or as alternatively known, a credit score.

Lenders run online packages and programmes members of the public and organisations can use to identify your credit rating. Often these are used  if you are looking to get a mortgage, apply for a bank loan, get a car on hire purchase, purchase large expensive goods through buy now pay later schemes.  The list goes on. To find out your credit score, simply google ‘my credit score’ and there will be a plethora of websites for you to choose. Experian being one of the most well known.

They do largely follow the same criteria and often your rating or score is similar across  the various platforms out there (you won’t have a high credit rating with one and a low credit rating with another). You may be required to pay a monthly subscription to see a full breakdown and credit history however these are very easy to cancel once you have seen what you need.

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Borrowing And Your Credit Rating

credit score stampThe canny thing about you credit rating is; in order to increase your rating, which will in turn increase your chances of borrowing money, you need to borrow and pay back more.

There is a myth that by never borrowing money, always having money in your bank, never purchasing something on ‘finance’; that will increase your credit rating.  That is untrue.  If you have a vehicle on finance, a mobile phone contract, use a credit card to do your weekly shop and pay the credit card balance off in full; this will contribute to a high credit rating, not the former myth. Also, depending on loans being paid off and new borrowing contracts you take out, your score will go up and down.

When you apply for a mortgage or a big loan for a loft conversion or extension lets say, your credit rating and spending habits will be accounted as part of the authorisation process.

Is It Just Borrowing That Affects Your Credit Score?

loan debt bagsNo, it isn’t simply borrowing the money that changes the score.  When you seek to borrow money for whatever reason (applying for a credit card etc) the company involved will complete a credit search.  The act of a credit search will be recorded on your credit rating.

The more credit searches that have been carried out against your name,  can lower your score. If you have paid a utility bill or council tax bill late, this too will affect your rating. Further more extreme events such as country court hearings and judgement can also hugely affect your rating.

So What’s Bingo Got To Do With It?

bingo in speech bubbleBingo is gambling.  To gamble, you have to deposit money into your gambling account. To play online bingo, you need funds to buy the tickets. The link here between your credit rating and playing bingo is money and the availability of it.

When you go to a bank or mortgage broker to get either of these financial products, they will need to assess your outgoings. Your outgoings are everything you spend regularly on, such as children’s nursery fees, mobile phone contract, gym membership, credit card payments etc.  Often the process of assessing outgoings or regular spending  includes the broker or lender reviewing bank statements from 3-6 months prior to when the loan was requested. If you are self employed, your self assessments would be required also.

If you deposit regularly into your online bingo account, this is considered as regular financial outgoings. However it does depend on exactly how much you are depositing. £10 a month is really not going to have any bearing at all on your credit rating or ability to get a loan.  But, £100 each month and every month probably would. Ultimately, if there is a flow of payments to gambling websites regardless of the type of gambling you participate in, it could make lenders nervous. They will look at patterns in deposits and consider your affordability to pay back the borrowed money. Lenders are concerned about making sure the borrowed money gets paid back to them.

Nowadays, gambling, online casinos, having a bet on the match or a favourite jump horse and playing bingo online every evening is an accepted form of recreation. Its huge business. But it is something that those with bigger bingo budgets or casino budgets do need to consider when seeking to borrow money.

How To Play Bingo Without Affecting Your Score

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Credit: VeroniqueDebord-Lazaro/

You can no longer deposit into a bingo site using a credit card, so there is no risk of having those types of payments influence your credit rating anymore.

Playing bingo won’t have a direct influence on your credit score as you are not borrowing money to play.  The issue can be if a mortgage company, or similar, wish to scrutinise bank statements and you are making a lot of bingo deposits it could be a red flag to them.

One way to mitigate this is to use an eWallet to deposit to and withdraw from bingo sites.  You will still need to load funds to the eWallet and withdraw it back to a bank account but the bingo site deposit transactions themselves will not show on a bank statement, only on the eWallet statements.  It is still possible, though, if you are borrowing money that a company may request to see your eWallet transactions if there are lot of them or if for significant amounts of money.

When you sign up to a bingo site you will undergo an ID and age check to verify you are over 18 and a resident in the country your are playing in.  If you sign up and provide debit card details then many companies perform verification checks automatically through a soft credit check.  This allows them to check you name, date of birth and address but critically as it is a soft credit check it will have no effect on your credit score.

To Summarise:

  • A flutter on the bingo here and there with small amounts of money is probably not ever going to be flagged up by a money lender or bank.
  • Big sums of money deposited, regularly, with potential overdraft entries, will raise questions with the lender around you being able to afford repayments and your integrity around money.
  • Using an eWallet can be a way to remove bingo site deposits from your bank statements, which could help if you make a lot of deposits and withdrawals.