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For more on the basics of a loan or the types of loans we offer, keep reading.

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2. Compare loans

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3. Apply for your loan

Check your eligibility and apply with confidence.
With ClearScore, you can search for and compare as many loans as you like without harming your score. We’ll also show you which loans you’re likely to be eligible for so you can apply with confidence.

What's a loan?

Getting to grips with the basics

A loan is a sum of money you borrow from a financial institution (like a bank, building society or other lender) which you then pay back over an agreed period of time. Usually, you’ll pay back your loan with interest – which is how lenders make a profit. When you search for a loan on ClearScore, we’ll show you what the monthly repayments could look like to help you plan ahead. And, if other ClearScore users have taken out a loan from that lender, we’ll show you how they rated for things like the application process and customer service.

What could you do with a loan?

People take out loans for lots of reasons, including:

Debt consolidation

Debt consolidation means moving your existing debt from several accounts into just one. You could use a debt consolidation loan to pay off your old credit accounts and then your debt is in one, more manageable place.

Home improvements or repairs

Making home improvements can be really exciting, but it can also be expensive. And, sometimes, you just need to repair something that’s broken. Either way, using a loan for a home project is pretty common.

Big, one-off purchases

Sometimes, people take out a loan to help spread the cost of a big one-off purchase. Like a car or new washing machine.

Civil partnerships and weddings

Celebrations can be expensive and spreading the cost over an agreed period can make it easier.


Taking out a small personal loan and paying it back responsibly is just one of the ways to help improve your credit score.


You could spread the cost of a holiday.

Different types of loans

There are lots of loans out there – it’s important to find the right one for you.

Personal loan

A personal loan – also called an unsecured loan – is a one-off sum of money that you pay back over an agreed term (number of months).

Secured loan

A secured loan is usually for homeowners – you use your home as security to get a large amount of money. If you can’t make the repayments, you risk losing your home.

Guarantor loan

If a friend or relative meets your lender’s criteria, they could help you get a loan by promising to make the repayments (as a last resort) on your behalf.

Car finance loan

There are a few different ways to pay for a new car, like UPL or hire purchase.

Debt consolidation loan

Using a loan to pay off your current debt could help you focus on one, more manageable payment.

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Will you be approved for a loan?

How likely you are to be approved for a loan – also known as loan eligibility – depends on several things, including:

If you meet the lender's criteria

Lenders will have minimum requirements they need you to meet before giving you money – like being a UK resident and over 18 years old.

Your income and expenses

Your current income and expenses help lenders understand if you can afford the monthly repayments.

Your credit score and report

Lenders use your credit score and full report to decide if they want to lend you money.

If you meet the minimum requirements, can comfortably afford monthly repayments and don’t have any problems on your credit report, you’re more likely to be approved for a loan. It’s important to remember that every lender has different requirements. They’ll want to lend money to their ideal customer profile – so make sure you compare lenders before choosing which one you want to apply to. We’ve put together a handy article all about improving your chances of being accepted for a loan.

Frequently asked questions

Most of our users asked these questions.