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ClearScore, Noddle, Experian CreditMatcher — what’s the difference?

ClearScore explains the key differences between ClearScore, Noddle and Experian CreditExpert

So you want to check your credit score and report. Maybe you’re applying for a mortgage, renting a flat, or maybe you’re just curious to know the information lenders can see about you.

But with all the credit checking sites out there, it can be difficult to know where to go. In this blog, we explain exactly what you’re getting with each credit checking site, as well as why your score might be different depending on which site you use.

You have three credit scores

A good starting point is to know that you don’t have a universal score. You have three credit scores, from three different credit reference agencies in the UK: Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit. Any credit checking website you visit will give you one of these three credit scores, no matter what the service is called.

Your Experian, Equifax and Callcredit scores may be slightly different. This is because not all lenders report to every credit reference agency. HSBC, for example, passes on information to Experian and Equifax, but not to Callcredit. Natwest and Barclays report to all three. Over half (55%) of lenders use Equifax, 77% use Experian and 34% use Callcredit according to this table by Money Saving Expert*.

Credit reference agencies also have different maximum scores. Experian’s score is out of 999, Equifax’s is 700, and Callcredit’s is 710. They have different scales, too. So your credit score might be 459 with Equifax, 999 with Experian and 609 with Callcredit, even with the same information (sharing my credit scores with the world here!). This is nothing to worry about — as long as your information is accurate, this won’t affect your creditworthiness.

You can get them from a number of credit checking sites

Ideally, you should check all three of your scores – Equifax, Experian and Callcredit. This is to make sure your information is accurate.

ClearScore gives you access to your Equifax score and report for free, forever. Noddle gives you free access to your Callcredit score and report.

You can get your Experian score and report for free for 30 days using CreditExpert, but after that it is £14.99 a month. Remember to cancel this trial if you don’t want to pay monthly. You can get your Experian score for free using Experian CreditMatcher, but unfortunately not the information on your report.

Other services, like CheckMyFile and CreditAngel, also offer 30 day free trials but then charge monthly.

These key differences are displayed in the table below.

Credit reference agency 

Equifax

Experian

Callcredit

Where you can get this score and report

ClearScore
- free (report and score)

Equifax Credit Report
- £9.95 a month

Equifax Credit Report and Score
- £14.95 a month

CreditExpert
- £14.99 a month

CreditMatcher
- free (score only)

Noddle
- free (report and score)

Checkmyfile
- £8.99 a month (report and score)

% of lenders who use this credit reference agency

55%

77%

32%

Maximum score

700

999

710

Average score in UK

380

Mid 700s

611

Score bands

Very poor: 0-279

Poor: 280-379

Fair: 380-419

Good: 420-465

Excellent: 466-700

Very poor: 0-560

Poor: 561-720

Fair: 721-880

Good: 881-960

Excellent: 961-999

Very poor: 1

Poor: 2

Fair: 3

Good: 4

Excellent: 5

 The difference between paid and free services

You may be wondering why some services cost money, while others don’t.

ClearScore is able to provide you with free access to your score and report forever because we make our money through a type of advertising. In the Offers section of your ClearScore account we show you a selection of credit products suited to you, and if you take one out we are paid a commission.

However, you are under no obligation to take an offer, and can continue to enjoy the service for free forever. Noddle works in a similar way.

The key features and benefits of ClearScore, Noddle and CreditExpert are summed up in the comparison table below.

 

ClearScore

CreditExpert

 Noddle

Price

 Free

 £14.99 a month

 Free

 Feature

     

Credit report updated monthly

 tick

tick tick

Credit score

tick tick tick

Credit score band

tick tick tick

Products selected for you with eligibility ratings

tick tick tick

Timeline - a clear picture of your credit history over time, including anything that's affected your rating

tick cross
cross

6 months of credit score history as part of Noddle Improve - £30 a year

List of the positive and negative factors affecting your report

tick tick
cross

part of Noddle Improve - £30 a year

Learn - dedicated area with videos, mini guides and articles so you can find everything you need to know about credit scores

tick cross cross

App

tick cross cross

Alerts

cross

(coming soon)

tick
cross

part of Noddle Alerts - £20 a year

Web monitoring

cross tick
cross

part of Noddle WebWatch - £20 a year

As you can see, there’s no need to pay to view your credit score and report, 6 years of credit report history and the key factors affecting your score so that you can improve it.

The most important thing is to check your credit report and score regularly, so you can look out for changes, correct any mistakes and start to build your score.

For more information about Equifax and how we work with them, see our blog ‘How do we get your credit report? Everything you need to know about Equifax’. For more about credit reference agencies in general, see our blog ‘Get your head around credit reference agencies’.

 

Sources

*Money Saving Expert: table of which lenders use which credit reference agency. The percentages used in this blog are correct as of 4/10/2016 and may change.

Noddle Terms & Conditions: section 4 describes Noddle services and prices

Equifax: describes the products that Equifax offer. You can get your Equifax score and report for £14.95 a month, and your Equifax report without your score for £9.95 a month.

Experian: table showing that you can get your Experian score for free, but not your report

checkmyfile: uses Equifax and Callcredit data, and charges £9.99 a month after a 30 day free trial

Credit Angel: uses Callcredit data and charges £14.99 a month after a 30 day free trial

 

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