We often talk about how important it is to check your credit history regularly.
The UK has three credit reference agencies – Equifax, Experian and Callcredit – that collect information on your finances to build a report out of they can show lenders you apply to.
This report is used by lenders to work out whether or not you’re a responsible borrower. This information forms part of the basis of whether or not your application is accepted and, if it is, the details of your credit agreement (such as how much interest you’ll pay).
Here, we take a closer look at how to get your Equifax credit report for free.
Free for 30 days
Equifax gives you the option of signing up to get either your credit report or your credit report and score.
As we’ve mentioned before, there is no such thing as a universal credit score that lenders can see. The score you’re given is based on Equifax’s own system – and each credit reference agency uses a different system. Your score can act as a useful guide to what state your credit history is in, but no more.
Whichever option you decide on, you can enjoy it free for the first 30 days. If you sign up to receive just your credit report, Equifax promises to give you a “clearer understanding” of your credit history. Or you can get a score too, which it says will help you work out if you’re likely to be accepted for credit.
Alternatively, you can pay £2 to get your statutory credit report. This is a one-off snapshot of your credit history as it stands right now.
If you sign up to either of the first two services, you will be charged after 30 days.
There is another option, though. Equifax actually offers a free credit-checking service called ClearScore. Sign up to this and you can get unlimited access to your credit report and score for life.
Equifax isn’t the only credit reference agency that lets you check your credit history for free. Callcredit provides Noddle, which is a similar service to ClearScore. See how we think they match up here.
Meanwhile, Experian recently launched CreditMatcher. This gives you a just a score rather than access to your credit history. However, it does suggest credit cards, loans and mortgages you’re eligible for based on your credit history and lets you compare them.
As you can see, there’s a lot of choice out there when it comes to checking your credit history – so there’s no excuse for you not to be doing it.
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Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender.