The 3 best ways to check your credit score & records

Keeping a watch on your credit stories is a good suggestion, however how will have to you do it?

In 2021 there are greater than seventeen other ways to check your credit document!

The fantasy of a unmarried credit score

You don’t have “one credit score” or “one credit record”. You have 3 other ones.

This is as a result of there are 3 primary Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) in Britain:

  • Experian;
  • Equifax; and
  • TransUnion  (used to be referred to as Callcredit).

Each CRA has a document of your knowledge which has been despatched to them by way of the lender. Some lenders record to all 3, however maximum lenders simplest record to one or two CRAs. About 50% of lenders simplest record to one CRA, for instance, many payday lenders simplest record to TransUnion.

So a record on your Experian document can glance very other from a record on your Equifax document. None of them are “better”, they’re simply reporting on data from other lenders.

Man looking at the many different ways to check his credit score

Statutory Credit Reports – why easy is steadily best!

I’ve modified my thoughts on those. I used to suggest the “top three” stories indexed underneath.

But in 2020 and 2021 I’ve noticed other folks increasingly more fight with those stories and now I believe that the statutory credit stories are very steadily higher.

They are:

  • loose;
  • real-time – you at all times see the most recent data;
  • transparent – most of the different stories glance fancy with colors and charts, but when you need to see what the default date is, or see all your accounts, closed in addition to open, the statutory stories are easy and easy;
  • simple to obtain – so they’re simple to stay and simple to ship on to somebody else, eg the ombudsman you probably have a criticism.

The problem they don’t have your credit score on them.

The most sensible 3 credit stories if you need your credit score – all loose!

Tens of hundreds of individuals are paying for dear subscription services and products when they might get all of the data they want free of charge.

If you need your credit score, use one of the most following most sensible 3 credit document checkers or, even higher, all 3 to get the whole image:

They are all loose, no sneaky first month loose then a top rate when you omit to cancel. They are paid for by way of lenders paying to be integrated within the “you are eligible for” or “you could be eligible for” suggestions. This is solely promoting, it’s now not the most affordable credit you’ll be able to get.

What do all of the other stories provide you with?

Score Records Tips Match Freq Cost
Simple transparent stories ( no score)
Experian statutory report no EX no no day by day loose
Equifax statutory report no EQ no no day by day loose
TransUnion statutory report no TU no no day by day loose
score however no records
Free Experian account EX no sure sure per 30 days loose
score & records
Experian Credit Expert EX EX sure sure day by day £14.99/month
MSE’s Credit Club EX EX sure sure per 30 days loose
Equifax Credit Report EQ EQ sure no day by day £7.95/month
Clear Score EQ EQ sure sure per 30 days loose kingdom EQ EQ sure no per 30 days £12.99/month
Credibble EQ EQ sure sure per 30 days £7.99/month
Credability EQ EQ sure ues per 30 days loose
Credit Karma TU TU sure sure weekly loose
My Credit Monitor TU TU ? ? ? now not on site!
Totally Money TU TU sure sure per 30 days loose
Credit Reports Matter TU TU ? no per 30 days £19.95/month
UK Credit Ratings TU TU sure no day by day £35.95/month
Check My File EX,EQ,TU EX,EQ,TU sure sure per 30 days £14.99/month

In that desk:

EX = Experian; EQ = Equifax; TU = TransUnion/Callcredit.
Tips – slightly obscure tips about how you will be in a position to strengthen your credit score
Match – suggests what different loans or credit playing cards you will be licensed for
Freq – is how steadily you’ll be able to see a brand new record. Some services and products will let you see the up to date state of affairs each and every time you employ them (“daily”). Others take a snapshot each 30 days (“monthly”).
? signifies that the corporate used to be not able or unwilling to resolution my questions!

Never pay for a record!

There isn’t any excellent reason why to join the services and products that rate you anymore.

You can get all of the data you need, free of charge, each month from the opposite choices.  So don’t waste your cash.

Real-time data would possibly sound great nevertheless it isn’t price paying for:

  • the statutory credit stories are all real-time and all loose;
  • credit rankings in most cases exchange reasonably slowly. If you’ve closed an account, or began making bills to a brand new one, it takes a couple of weeks for the lender to replace the records.
  • you probably have simply were given a credit builder card and you’re hoping your credit score will strengthen, come again in 4-6 months!

Numerous the fee-charging services and products make a large factor about serving to you with disputes about your credit document.

This is solely advertising and marketing guff! All they do is ship your criticism to the CRA.  But the CRAs don’t examine the rest, they only ahead the criticism to the lender, who then tells the CRA it’s correct and not anything occurs. So you’ve wasted a month or two by way of going this path.

If you’ve an issue with your credit document, you wish to have to bitch to the creditor at once. Then you’ll be able to cross to the Financial Ombudsman if the creditor refuses to right kind the document.

Information thru your banking app

In addition to those stand on my own stories, some banking apps are offering credit document data.

These are patently loose and don’t want you to join the rest – excellent!

The primary factor to watch out of is that they just record on one credit reference company. For instance Halifax and NatWest use TransUnion. That’s OK for a fast glance each and every month, however in case you are making plans on getting a loan, then you wish to have to check all 3 credit reference businesses.

Which will have to you employ?

That relies on why you need to glance. Here are some standard causes, at the side of my recommendation for each and every state of affairs.

See the main points of your credit records

If you need to know the main points of when defaults will disappear or blank up your credit document after chapter or different sorts of debt control, use the 3 statutory credit stories.  These are loose, transparent and at all times up to date. If you simplest use one you might pass over one thing necessary.

Apply for a mortgage or credit card

Go for MSE’s Credit Club.  You have to give further details about your source of revenue and dependents, however the further “affordability” tests and being in response to Experian knowledge, which is utilized by extra lenders, will have to make their suggestions extra correct.

But keep in mind that the loans or playing cards you’re presented might not be the most affordable you’ll be able to get.

These are the lenders which can be paying to be integrated in your record… this isn’t a assessment of all lenders to see which is least expensive for you, it’s simply promoting!

Going to practice for a loan

Use the 3 statutory credit stories Looking at the entirety from the credit main points to who you’re related to. It’s excellent to do that no less than six, ideally 12 months ahead of you need to practice for a loan so there may be time to type out any mistakes you in finding.

Pay no consideration to the loan eligibility tips about those stories. Talk to a loan dealer, you will be in a position to get a a lot better now not take a punt on a proposal from this kind of services and products.

Surprised to be declined for credit

Checking your credit records will have to be the very first thing you do – use the 3 statutory credit stories. If they don’t display what the issue is, you wish to have to see if your title is in a fraud database.

Send record to the Ombudsman for an affordability criticism

If you’re inquiring for a reimbursement for a payday mortgage or making another kind of affordability criticism you wish to have to ship the Financial Ombudsman a replica of a credit document.

It’s best to ship a TransUnion Statutory report. Most payday lenders simplest record to TransUnion. So that is the record this is possibly to display maximum of your credit historical past, higher than sending FOS an Experian or ClearScore record. And the loose Credit Karma record is hard to obtain.

Why I haven’t integrated some stories…

I haven’t integrated quite a lot of stories together with Credit Hub, Credit Perfect, Credit Angel, Social Credit, Social-score, Scope People or Your Social Presence. There are stories that individuals are signed up mechanically to loose trials from a few of these when they are trying to get a payday mortgage. The trial then expires and other folks in finding the cash debited from their checking account. If this occurs to you, take a look at to get the cash again from your financial institution, bitch to the company and if you’ll be able to’t touch the company, bitch to the payday lender or dealer.

Apart from the dodgy sign-up strategies, all of them rate so much and I believe you can be higher to ditch them and use the superb loose choices.

If you already know a record that’s now not on my checklist, please point out it in a remark underneath!

Updated in April 2021 

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