We regularly talk about how important it is to check your credit history regularly, and Noddle is one of the services that lets you do this for free.
That’s right – it’s 100% free.
Noddle is owned by Callcredit, which, along with Experian and Equifax, is one of the UK’s three credit reference agencies. These agencies hold information on your finances dating back over the last six years, and this is used by lenders you apply to so they can work out whether you’re a responsible borrower.
Each lender in the UK uses a different credit reference agency, and many use a combination of the three. It’s therefore a good idea to sign up with all three so that you can check the information they store on you is correct.
When you sign up with Noddle, you’ll be given a credit score and rating. The score is out of 710, and the higher it is, the lower the risk Noddle thinks you present to lenders. So, if you have always made your repayments on time and in full, this is likely to help push up your score.
Noddle also gives its users a rating of between one and five. Again, this gives you an insight into how attractive you’re likely to appear to lenders.
When lenders look at your credit history, they’re not simply presented with a single score to base their entire decision on. In fact, each credit reference agency has it’s own scoring system, so it’s not possible to get the same mark from each of them anyway. Plus, lenders use scoring systems that are unique to them, too.
You do not have one credit score hovering over your head that defines your entire future as a borrower. What’s more important is your credit history, which is the record of your borrowing Noddle and the other agencies keep.
This is what lenders look at to work out how great a risk you’re likely to present to them if they go ahead and lend to you. It’s this you should pay the most attention to – and keep the score Noddle gives you simply as a useful guide to whether or not your credit history needs improving.
What else does it offer?
As well as your score, rating and a record of your financial commitments, Noddle also lets you see your outstanding balances on each of your accounts, along with how much you’ve paid off each month.
You’ll also be able to see information on your current and previous addresses (always check these are up to date), and whether you’re on the electoral roll (if you’re not, you can register for free here). Plus, you’ll be able to see any searches that have been made on your history in the last two years, perhaps when you’ve applied for credit.
What if something’s wrong?
If you spot something on your Noddle account you don’t agree with, like a missed payment you think you made, you’ll need to get in touch with the lender in question. Noddle gets its information from your lenders, so that’s why you’ll need to contact to get this information corrected. However, you can also ask Noddle to get in touch with your lender on your behalf.
Should I stop at Noddle?
Noddle gives you free access to your credit history for life, and it’s worth checking it at least every three months, as well as before you apply for credit. That way, you have a good idea of what your lenders can see.
However, our advice is to also sign up with ClearScore, which is Equifax’s free credit-checking service. This will give you an even more rounded view of what your lenders see when they check your credit history.
And why stop there? Experian recently launched CreditMatcher – another free service. While this doesn’t offer such a detailed look at your credit history, it does suggest deals on credit cards, loans and mortgages that are suitable based on your credit history. Why not give that a try too?
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Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender.