How to check your credit score for free
May 9, 2018
Knowing your credit score and keeping a regular eye on your credit file can prove incredibly beneficial if you wish to apply for a mortgage, credit card, loan or other type of credit. By checking your credit file you can identify any errors that could be standing in the way of you accessing the best deals.
There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK; Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. Each of these holds financial information about you, but it is important to remember that the information each company holds will be slightly different. Different lenders will use the information held by different credit reference agencies to inform their decision about whether to offer you credit, so it is important that you ensure that you monitor your credit report from all three agencies.
What should you check your credit report for?
Along with generally monitoring your credit score to ensure that your score is at least keeping stable, if not preferably going up, you should also check your credit record for any errors including:
- Address – check that you address is correct both for now and for old accounts
- Erroneous defaults – sometimes lenders may record defaults on your account in error, if so contact either the lender or the credit reference agency and get it removed as soon as possible
- Check that you have been financially delinked with anyone that you previously had joint accounts with
- Check the amount of credit that you currently have – for example if your credit report still shows any old credit or store cards that you no longer use, ensure that you cancel these and that they are no longer visible on your record
How can you check your credit score for free?
There are a number of ways that you can check your credit score. Each credit reference agency is legally obliged to provide you with a copy of your credit report for £2, and some also offer a monthly subscription service which allows you unlimited access to your credit report. However it is also possible to check your credit report for free.
Sign up for a month’s free trial
Both Experian and Equifax offer a month’s free trial of their subscription service, so it is possible to sign up to these, view your credit report and then cancel your subscription before the first payment is taken. However remember that this will only allow you to view your credit report for a single month and then could be costly if you don’t cancel your subscription in time.
- Experian CreditExpert – first month free, £14.99 per month afterwards
- Equifax Credit Report – first month free, £7.95 per month afterwards
Free for life services
There are now a number of services that allow you to view your credit report for free for life. These are usually only updated once per month, but will give you access to your full credit report. The point to watch out for is that these sites make their money through recommending financial products and services to you, for which they will receive a referral fee. In some cases these may in fact be a good option for you; however it is important to always do your own research first.
This service is offered by Callcredit and offers free for life access to your Callcredit score and full credit report. It also advertises loans and cards that you are likely to be accepted for.
ClearScore provides free for life access to your Experian credit report. This is updated monthly (so not as often as with the paid subscription service) and will offer you credit cards and loans etc. that you have been ‘matched’ with.
MSE Expert Credit Club
The popular financial website Money Saving Expert has launched its Credit Club. This gives you free full access to your Experian credit score and record for life. It is only updated once a month and won’t provide you with updates each time anything changes on your record; however this is great way to access the information held about you by what is probably the UK’s biggest and most used by lenders credit reference agency.
If a poor credit score is affecting your availability to access affordable credit and you are beginning to struggle with problem debt, don’t bury your head in the sand, simply contact Scotland Debt Solutions today. We have been helping Scots find a realistic and practical way out of their debt issues since 1989, and will take the time to understand your situation before suggesting the right avenue for you; whether that be a Debt Arrangement Scheme, Trust Deed or Sequestration.
Contact Scotland Debt Solutions on 0800 063 9250 today to take the first step to your debt free financial future.
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