In this article, I’m going to talk about something which is probably one of the most important numbers for you and your finances your credit score. Now you probably kind of know about it but, like me, you might not have bothered even thinking about it until you applied for something big. For me, it was my mortgage about five, six years ago, but for you, it could have been perhaps a credit card or a loan there’re all sorts of things where the score this number is really important. Actually, the scores are a bit of a misnomer. The important thing is the report, the data, that’s behind it.
The score is more a kind of health check. You kind of get a sense of where you are is you doing well are you doing bad. But the data behind it that is checked every time you apply to borrow money. So the examples as I said just now bank accounts, credit cards, mobile phones, mortgages, loans. The people who are going to lend you this money, even if you don’t think of it as money being lent, they want to get an idea of your financial history. Are you a safe bet? Should they lend you the money? And they do that by checking these reports. Now annoyingly there’s not just one report, there are three different reports from three different credit reference agencies and depending on who you’re going to be applying for the credit from they might check one or two of them. But the information held on them, it’s all a little bit different.
So you need to make sure that they’re all up to scratch. The first one is Experian, the second one is Equifax and the third one’s called Call Credit and up until a few years ago, you could get free trials for each of them but really the way they kind of got you where you had to pay a monthly subscription to get access to all the data and all the services. You can still do that, but now you can check each of them for absolutely nothing and I think it’s one of the most important things you can do, particularly if you’ve never done it because if there’s anything wrong with it you need to take action. You need to try and get it fixed. But the only way to really know about it is you apply for something and get rejected not great or you be a bit more proactive and you look at the free services which all tell you exactly where you stand.
The first one is from Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert and it’s called the Credit Club, which is brand new and this is partnered with Experian. So if you sign up for this Credit Club you’ll be able to access all the information that Experian hold on you. So the bank accounts you have, the addresses you’ve lived at, any loans you might’ve taken out, any debts that you might owe you might even find some which you are unaware of.
Maybe they’re old direct debits for old mobile phone contracts that you thought were sorted but they’ve been bubbling away and somehow not come back to bit you-you but they could, So sign up the Credit Club and you’ll be able to access your Experian file. There are also some fantastic extras that they’ve developed in there to kind of give you an idea of how successful you might be applying for a credit card, applying for loans and things like that. So that’s a really good one.
The second one is the Clear score. I really like this one too. This is the data that Equifax hold on you and you can see your credit score as little graph going across the months and the year depending on how long you’ve been signed up and again that will list all the information that Equifax have on you on their credit report.
The final one is called Noddle. Now, this is through Call Credit, it’s actually owned by Call Credit whereas the other two are partnerships with the organizations. It’s still really important to check it even though is used less often by companies. It’s still important. Like I said check all three of them. So there you go you’ve got Credit Club from Money Saving Expert. You’ve got Clear score and you’ve got Noddle.