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With Experian announcing a new, free credit score check, we thought that it was a good idea to consider the ways that you can find out more information on your credit score online.
Firstly, though, let’s get some basics out of the way:
What is a credit score?
In simple terms, it’s a method that lenders use to determine the likelihood that you’ll be able to make the repayment terms of any amount you borrow, whether you’re taking out a loan, mortgage or credit card.
They consider a range of information – from whether you’re registered on the electoral roll to your repayment history – to give you a score that determines how likely you are to repay the amount you borrow.
A good credit score simple means that you’re perceived as less of a risk to lenders. As a result, you’re more likely to be able to borrow larger amounts at better rates.
What about a credit report?
A credit report is slightly different to a credit score. Your report contains information about your personal credit history from the last 6 years. It contains information on everything from credit cards and overdrafts to phone contracts and utility bills.
How do I check my credit score online for free?
Checking your credit score online is surprisingly easy – you simply sign up to one of the free credit check sites and you’re on your way.
You’ll need to enter a little bit of personal information and where you’ve lived for the past few years, but after that you’ll be able to see your credit score and its rating. (If it’s poor, don’t panic – there are things that you can do to repair it.
Where’s the best place to check my credit score online?
The three most common credit score sites are Experian, ClearScore and Noddle. Although there are others, we’ll be focusing on these three and the advantages and disadvantages of using them in this post.
Experian recently announced its Credit Matcher service which is going to be free to use, forever. Unlike the previous service that charged £14.99 a month after a 30-day trial, Experian’s new Credit Matcher service will now show you your credit score for free, whenever you want to see it.
However, the new Credit Matcher service is fairly limited in its offerings outside of your credit score. There’s no advice on what to do to improve your credit score or any insight into why it may have improved or taken a bit of a hit. In reality, all the free Credit Matcher service offers is free access to your Experian credit score.
Noddle is another free credit score service, a little like Experian. However, Noddle is also quite different – unlike Experian, it provides a much more detailed breakdown of your credit report.
However, to maintain its free service, Noddle does suggest a lot of loans and credit cards that you are likely to be guaranteed for. Although this isn’t the worst thing in the world, it does it quite constantly, and it can get a little irritating.
Clear Score is a good-looking, easy to use website that provides you with a lot of incredibly useful information on your credit score, how it has improved, how you can improve it and what you’ve already done to repair your credit score.
And, best of all, it’s completely free forever and there’s an app, so you can always keep up to date with your credit score.
Bamboo’s Top Tip: Check your credit score online
Because all three of these services are free – there’s no reason you shouldn’t sign up to all of them. Banks and lenders all use different credit reference agencies – either Experian, Equifax and CallCredit – to check your eligibility for different products. As luck would have it, Experian, Clear Score and Noddle cover all three of those credit reference agencies – giving a complete and clear picture of your credit report, regardless of the credit reference agency.
If you’re having trouble understanding your credit score – or would like to find out a bit more information on how to repair it – take a look at our quick guide to understanding credit scores.
- Author Jack Barclay
- Posted 8 December 2016