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What’s the difference between ClearScore and Experian?

ClearScore shows you your Experian credit score and report - but what’s the difference between?

10 May 2023Lloyd Smith 5 min read
What’s the difference between ClearScore and Experian? ClearScore shows you your Experian credit score and report - but what’s the difference between?

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Whether you need a free credit score check or review your credit report for all the past inquiries, you would have to turn to a credit report provider.

There are also credit reporting bodies that compile information from lenders and financial institutions in order to carefully calculate credit scores of individuals.

While Experian is a credit reporting body, ClearScore provides credit reports for free.

But what are the big differences between ClearScore and Experian? In this article, we take a deep dive into ClearScore vs Experian.

ClearScore provides credit ratings and credit reports to individuals completely free of charge. The company’s goal has been to help its users significantly improve their financial well being. It operates in the UK, Australia, and South Africa currently with over 19 million users.

ClearScore provides its users with access to their financial data and credit scores by using the information from Experian and illion.

Based on your credit score, ClearScore can also suggest personal loans and credit card offers you may be eligible for.

  • Credit Score: With ClearScore, you get a credit report that lists your credit score on it. This in turn helps you assess your financial situation. The higher credit score, the better
  • Regular monthly updates: Your report and score get updated every month and you get regular monthly updates about it so that you can easily track any changes
  • In-depth insights: You also get access to in-depth insights with actionable steps that can help you improve your credit score
  • Payment history: You can also track your recent payment history to look into any missed payments or if there is some incorrect information in your credit report.

There are three main credit reporting agencies, including Experian, Equifax, and illion. ClearScore takes your credit report and financial information from Experian and illion, then uses that very information to generate its own score.

While the credit scores can vary slightly depending on the credit reporting agency, the same rule follows for all scores – The higher the better.

Also important to note that a credit report is different from a credit score.

A credit report is basically a factual report that includes all your financial details, your current or previous credit cards, your loans, your payment history, hard or soft inquiries, and your bank account information. The credit score is calculated based on this information in order to assess your creditworthiness and risks as a borrower.

While you can check your credit score, lenders and financial institutions can review it as well to decide whether you are eligible for a certain financial product or not.

Every time you apply for a new line of credit, it gets recorded on your credit report as a hard inquiry. So if you get rejected too many times, multiple hard inquiries on your report in a short span of time can make it easy for lenders to assume that you have been shopping around for a new credit product and have been unsuccessful so far.

Experian is a credit reporting agency that uses the financial information it has on customers to calculate their credit scores.

Whenever you apply for a car loan, house loan, personal loan, or even a credit card, lenders request your financial information from agencies like Experian to review your credit report and check your credit score. Lenders then decide on whether to approve your application and what interest rate to charge you based on the information and Experian credit score that they get.

In many cases, lenders also share their information with Experian in order to help it build more in-depth credit information.

Experian credit report lists all of your accounts as open or closed, which can make it easier for you to view your old credit data in comparison with the new one. Experian provides your credit history of the last seven years or 81 months.

The Experian credit reports include sections about the following:

  • Revolving accounts (This can include credit cards and even charge cards that are issued through department stores)
  • Instalment loans like car loans and personal loans
  • Any mortgages
  • Inquiries or credit checks from potential creditors
  • Any public records of bankruptcy

You can directly check your Experian credit score in Australia by going to Experian’s main website or through ClearScore as well. Since every credit reporting body has a different algorithm and scoring scale, your credit scores can vary slightly for each. So, your Experian credit score vs Equifax credit score will mostly have some variations in it.

Experian actively relies on Fair Isaacs Company (FICO) for its main credit scoring model. While the exact algorithm for calculating the credit score is not shared, the factors that affect your credit score directly are shared and they include:

  • Type of accounts
  • Credit utilisation
  • Credit history length
  • Payment history

All the credit reporting bureaus have your financial information which they collect to create in-depth credit reports and calculate credit scores. These reports, in their entirety or just a small part of them, are shared with insurance firms, banks, lending institutions, credit unions, utility companies, and government agencies.

The financial data is used when you are applying for a new line of credit in order to verify your identity and financial information. It also ensures that you don’t have to provide multiple documents just to get a new credit card or loan.

Your private information stays private and safely stored according to the data privacy laws of the region.

Experian is a credit reporting body. It’s one of three in Australia that is licensed to collect information about your borrowing habits, and put it into a credit report. When you apply for credit, you give lenders permission to check your credit report. This helps them decide whether to lend to you.

The other two credit reference agencies in Australia are illion and Equifax. It's important to note that ClearScore is not a credit reporting body itself: it gives you access to the data that Experian and illion hold on you. We do this for free, because we don’t think people should have to pay to access their own information.

Because ClearScore shows you your Experian and illion credit reports, we can’t change any of the information ourselves. We simply show you the information Experian and illion currently hold about you. You can raise a dispute with Experian through ClearScore.

If there is a mistake on your report, you can tell Experian using our official disputes process.

Experian will then look into your dispute, and will contact you once they have a resolution. This can take up to 28 days, but it’s usually much quicker.

You can log in to your Experian support account to track the progress and outcome of your dispute. Your login details will be emailed to you by Experian when you raise a dispute through our website.

If you need any help with your dispute you can contact our customer services team using our Ask a Question form.

Lenders can’t see your ClearScore account, and your ClearScore report won't directly affect your credit worthiness. However, your ClearScore account shows Experian data, which lenders do look at.

For example, lenders can’t see the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ factors in your ClearScore account in the exact way we have written them. When you apply for credit, lenders will go directly to Experian to look at your data rather than looking at how it appears in your ClearScore account.

Bear in mind that your credit report is only one factor in a lender’s decision. They also look at the information on your application (e.g. job, salary, expenses, whether you’re a homeowner) and any past dealings you’ve had with them.

ClearScore allows you to initiate a free credit score check in just a few clicks. You can get access to your complete credit report by signing up on ClearScore and checking your current financial status.

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Written by Lloyd Smith

General Manager AU

Lloyd spreads the word about how awesome ClearScore is.