In the dark about your credit history? Luckily, it’s never been easier to check what your lenders can see when you apply for credit.
ClearScore and Noddle are free credit checking services offered by Equifax and Callcredit respectively. You can sign up to these services to get a breakdown of your credit history over the last six years and find out what your lenders can see.
So far, so good. But how accurate is the information offered by ClearScore and Noddle? Let’s take a look.
What is your credit history?
Your credit history is a record of all the lines of credit you’ve opened over the past six years. It also includes information on any late or missed payments, as well as any formal debt solutions you’ve been on, like an IVA or bankruptcy.
If you have shared finances like a mortgage or credit card account with someone else, their details could also be included on your credit history. And even if you have a credit account that you no longer use, like an old store card, this will also be included in your credit history if you haven’t closed it.
Whether you choose to check your credit history through Noddle or ClearScore – or both – you will be able to see this information. And this is also the information any lenders you apply to will see and upon which they’ll base their decision on whether to lend to you.
What’s the difference?
Of course, ClearScore and Noddle don’t offer exactly the same things. ClearScore has an app, which means you can check out your credit history on the go. And Noddle’s layout is simpler and features a button that allows you to swiftly dispute any personal information you think is wrong. You can find out which we think is the best credit checking service here.
Another difference is the way the two score you. Noddle gives you a mark out of 710 and grades your attractiveness to lenders on a scale of 1 to 5. ClearScore, meanwhile, scores your credit history out of 700 and just tells you whether your record is higher or lower than the average in either the UK or your area.
However, it’s important you don’t get too caught up with these scores. There is no such thing as a universal credit score that’s used by every lender to determine whether to lend to you or not. While the scores given by Noddle and ClearScore can give you a useful guide as to your chances of being accepted for credit, they should be seen as a guide and only that.
What do lenders look for?
When they look at your credit history, lenders want to see how much credit you currently have available to you. If it’s a lot, they may not feel confident lending you more in case it stretches your finances too thin.
They also want to see how well you’ve managed your credit in the past. If you have made at least your minimum payments on time every month, it shows lenders that you can manage your borrowing responsibly. If you have missed payments or been issued charges by your existing lenders, or if you’ve entered into a debt solution to help with your finances, it paints a very different picture. Lenders who see this may worry that you present too great a risk as a borrower.
What if the information is wrong?
The information on ClearScore and Noddle should be accurate. If it’s not, though, you can get it corrected. If there are missed payments showing up or a line of credit listed as open you think you’ve closed, you need to get the information updated – or it could stand against you.
If you spot something on your credit history you think is wrong, contact the credit reference agency as soon as possible. In fact, we advise you sign up to both Noddle and ClearScore to check the information they have is correct. Different lenders use different credit reference agencies (Equifax, Callcredit and Experian), which is why it’s worthwhile making sure your details are correct across all of them.
We hope you’ve found this blog useful. For more information on checking your credit history, read this post.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.