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,. Natwest and Barclays . Over half (55%) of lenders use Equifax, 77% use Experian and 34% use Callcredit according to this 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
Where you can get this score and report
% of lenders who use this credit reference agency
Average score in UK
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.
£14.99 a month
Credit report updated monthly
Credit score band
Products selected for you with eligibility ratings
Timeline - a clear picture of your credit history over time, including anything that's affected your rating
✘ - 6 months of credit score history as part of Noddle Improve - £30 a year
List of the positive and negative factors affecting your report
✘ - 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
✘ - part of Noddle Alerts - £20 a year
✘ - 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. For more about credit reference agencies in general, see our blog .
*: 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.
: section 4 describes Noddle services and prices
: 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.
: table showing that you can get your Experian score for free, but not your report
: uses Equifax and Callcredit data, and charges £9.99 a month after a 30 day free trial
: uses Callcredit data and charges £14.99 a month after a 30 day free trial