Up until recently, it was the norm to have to pay to access your credit history.
You may have been able to get a free trial for some credit-checking services, otherwise you’d have to fork out if you wanted to be alerted to changes to your credit report.
These days, things are different. It’s now possible to check your credit history as often as you like for free – thanks to two of the leading credit reference agencies.
Keep on top of things without spending a penny
Both Equifax and ClearScore (two of the three credit reference agencies) allow you to check your credit history using their free services.
Equifax has teamed up with ClearScore to offer you a way of checking your credit report for free.
Callcredit’s alternative is called Noddle, and allows you to do much the same thing.
Before, you may have had to pay to access your credit report from one of the main reference agencies. If you wanted a copy of your report, you could pay (you can still do this) a set fee to receive it in the post. Of course, it goes without saying that it’s good news that you can now do this for free.
With both services, you can head to their websites and sign up. You’ll be asked for your current address, and you may be asked for your previous address if you moved only recently. If you’re not signed up to vote, you may have trouble registering to check your credit history – you should get yourself on the Electoral Roll as soon as you can.
You can find out which credit checking service we think is best by heading to our blog here. We think opening an account with both free services is a good idea, as sometimes mistakes can crop up on one but not the other.
Why you should check your credit history
Having unlimited, round-the-clock access to your credit history is useful to help you keep track of how lenders judge you.
You’ll be able to see all the different lines of credit you have open, as well as how much you owe to each and in total. There should be information on your current and previous addresses and any past borrowing within the last six years. If you’ve missed payments or received CCJs, you’ll be able to see them here too.
It’s really important that you check your credit history – once a month is enough – so you can keep track of all these pieces of information and make sure they’re correct. As this is what lenders see when you apply for a credit card, loan or mortgage, you want to make sure what they are seeing is what’s really going on.