How to check your credit score for free

There are three credit reference agencies and you can check your credit score completely free of charge with any of them. You can use Credit Matcher from Experian, Clearscore which works with Equifax, or Noddle which is part of CallCredit.

All you need to do is sign up by providing a few details and answering some questions. It might be a good idea to have a few financial details to hand to speed this process up.

Why is my credit report important?

If you apply to borrow money, or for certain services, like a tenancy agreement or mobile phone contract, the lender or service provider will want to see how well you’ve managed credit in the past, and this is where your credit report comes in.

Your credit report is your whole credit history for the previous six years. Not to be confused with your credit score which is a number you get from the credit reference agencies. Your credit score can give you an indication of how likely your application is to be accepted, but there’s no such thing as a universal credit score, and it’s your whole credit history that a lender will look at.

Even though your score might change from one credit reference agency to another, it’s still useful to know how they are scoring you. And if it’s going up over time, you’ll know that you’re successfully improving your overall credit rating.

Your credit history will show any missed or late repayments you made towards your debt, as well as any defaults or County Court Judgements (CCJs), and if you’re financially linked to anyone else. If you do have any defaults or CCJs, they will stay visible on your credit report for six years from the date that you got them. It will also show your address for the past six years, and whether you are registered on the voters roll.

When you check your report, you can use the opportunity to correct any mistakes. If you do spot a mistake, you can contact the credit reference agencies and ask them to remove it. They will contact the lender that supplied the information and see what they say. If the lender agrees that the entry should be changed, the reference agency can update your file and it won’t appear there anymore.

Check that your most recent address is showing and that all your creditors have that address. It’s also worth registering to vote (even if you don’t want to) as this helps to show lenders that you live where you say you do.

Credit Reports and Debt Management Plans…

Wondering what impact your Debt Management Plan will have on your credit history? Make sure to watch out for the next couple of newsletters where we’ll explain exactly how your DMP is shown on your credit history and also how you can improve your credit rating after your debt solution ends.

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