The Best Sites to Get a FREE Credit Report and Score
Do you want to check your credit score without having to pay?
Here is a list of the UK’s best websites that allow you to check your credit report and score, completely free-of-charge:
What is a credit score?
When it comes to lending money, whether that’s for a mortgage or shiny new car on finance, the lender will check your credit score beforehand to get a good idea of how well you pay borrowed money back; if you pay it back in full and on time.
In order to check your score, lenders will use the most reputable credit-checking websites and credit reference agencies, and some may use just the one, while others may use a few to get an overall picture of your credit history.
If your score is ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ when they check it, it is likely that they will have no problem in lending you the money, as they have the reassurance that you’ll pay them back. If it is ‘fair', ‘poor', or ‘bad’, then the lender, quite understandably, may refuse your loan.
Generally, the better your score, the better the deal you tend to get on whatever you’re purchasing.
This is why it is a good idea to regularly check your score online and continue to build it up where possible.
For more information, read our complete guide to credit scoring in the UK.
What is a credit reference agency?
In the UK, there are three main credit reference agencies (CRAs); Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (previously named CallCredit).
These three CRAs are the companies that hold information and data regarding your credit history, and they are the ones that create your credit report and calculate your score.
It is also generally these companies that lenders will use to see your credit history before they accept or decline your credit application.
When you borrow money, or take out a loan etc, the provider who is lending you the money will give information to each CRA listed above regarding the credit you have and how good you are at paying it back.
In our table above, we have listed ClearScore as one of the best credit-checking websites, and while this is not a credit reference agency, ClearScore provides you with your Equifax credit score and report for free (as the Equifax website is only free for the first 30 days).
The main credit reference agencies listed in this article are free to use when checking your credit rating, while there are many websites that offer the same service, but at a cost. In many cases, you will be required to sign up to a 30-day free trial, and will be charged thereafter (if you don’t cancel your account), but you’re much better off sticking to a free service when checking your credit score.
ClearScore credit score
So, what is ClearScore? It is a popular, easy-to-use website that allows users to create an account to check their credit report and score at no cost, whenever they like.
ClearScore doesn’t accumulate the data itself to create its own score and report for you - instead, it provides you with your Equifax credit score, from which they have bought the data.
One very useful feature of ClearScore is that it provides you with tips on how you could increase your credit score, helping you reach certain goals.
Is ClearScore free?
Yes, it is completely free to use, even after the first 30 days of signing up for your ClearScore login UK account, you never have to pay! If you use the Equifax website to get your score, however, you will be charged £14.99 after the first 30 days, so you may as well use the free tool provided by ClearScore.
So how does ClearScore make money if it’s free? Rather than charging users a fee to check their credit score, ClearScore profits from advertising loans and credit cards to customers, earning commission on any financial products sold.
You can check your score however many times you like, which can also be done with the handy ClearScore app, and it will not have an impact on your current score.
Is ClearScore safe?
The data used by ClearScore has a highly secure encryption, so the free credit checking website is completely safe and secure to use, and it does not bombard customers with spam emails either.
For more information about the free credit checking site and for more detail on how it works, read our full Clearscore review here.
Experian credit score
You can also check your credit history by getting a free credit report with Experian, one of the UK’s most popular credit reference agencies as well as ClearScore.
Experian collects information and data from lenders on their customers lending habits and distributes it in the form of a credit report and score for companies and regular borrowers, giving them an overall idea of how the individual is viewed in the eyes of lenders.
By creating a free Experian account, you can check your score at no cost (your score is updated every 30 days), check whether or not you’re eligible for credit cards and personal loans, and receive useful tips on improving your credit score as well as other related useful content.
It is important to note that the free account with Experian provides you with a very basic report of your credit rating, and if you would like more options, you will need to pay to upgrade.
What is Experian Credit Expert?
If you want a fuller and more detailed credit report from Experian with additional features, you can upgrade to Experian Credit Expert at a price of £14.99 per month.
To find out more about Experian’s free account and the Credit Expert account upgrade, read our complete Experian review here.
TransUnion statutory credit score
Formerly known as CallCredit, TransUnion is the third main credit reference agency in the UK used by lenders and other credit-checking websites to provide information on how individuals manage their credit.
Checkmyfile and Credit Karma (formerly Noddle) are both credit-checking websites that are partnered with TransUnion, using its data to acquire credit-related information on individuals so that they can provide them with a credit report, too.
All UK consumers can get a statutory credit report from TransUnion, which will show you basic information about your credit accounts, any missed payments, unpaid debts, and financial organisations you’re associated with.
The statutory report, however, is a free one-off service and unfortunately, it does not offer a score or rating like Experian and ClearScore.
On TransUnion’s website, it directs you to Credit Karma to get a full credit report, plus other features, for free!
Read our Transunion review for more information, or continue reading to find out more about Credit Karma’s free credit checking services.
Credit Karma (Noddle)
Credit Karma used to be called Noddle, but it continues to offer the same features as a credit monitoring service - free of charge, every time you check!
With a Credit Karma account, you can access your free credit score weekly, receive tips on what’s holding your score back, how to improve it and get an insight into your chances of being approved for products that you’re eligible for and that match your personal goals.
Credit Karma will also alert you if there have been any changes to your score.
Read our detailed Noddle review to find out more about Credit Karma.
Why is it important to check your credit score?
If you want to apply for a credit card, loan, mortgage, finance plan, etc. then it is important to check your credit score first, as this will help give an idea as to your eligibility and where you stand.
If your score is low, then you’ll need to try to improve it if you have plans to apply for credit in the future, as many companies may turn you down.
Checking your score and report also helps identify any fraud issues, as you can spot any information that doesn’t belong to you easily and flag it with the company you’re checking your report with.
Credit reference agencies like Experian can help prevent credit fraud and any misuse of your identity, helping you rectify any problems sooner before they get worse.
For more reasons as to why you should check your credit score and try to improve it, read our article: 8 Reasons to Improve Your UK Credit Rating.
Alternatively, read our useful, related guides below: