ClearScore is one of the UK’s leading financial-technology businesses, providing its users with access to their credit report and credit score completely for free, forever.
A useful, genuinely free credit report is hard to come by, which is part of the reason why ClearScore has been such a success since its launch in 2015.
Here, we provide you with an in-depth ClearScore review, where we explore its main products and services, including both its free credit report and free credit score.
UK credit scores explained
A credit report is essentially a record of data and information regarding your credit history and activities. Part of that report is your credit score, which gives you a figure representative of how likely you are to be eligible for credit.
When you apply to take out a mortgage, loan or mobile phone contract, lenders will look at your credit history to determine whether you’re eligible for credit (borrowing), so checking your own report is a useful way of receiving an insight into how you’re viewed in the eyes of lenders and how you could improve your credit score if needs be.
What is ClearScore?
ClearScore is a UK-based company that gives its customers access to their free credit report and credit score for free, using data issued by Equifax – one of the main credit reference agencies in the UK.
It’s widely regarded as one of the most trusted and easiest ways of acquiring a totally free credit report, with around eight million users worldwide.
Sign up to ClearScore UK
Signing up to credit-checking agencies can be tedious and you’re often asked to enter a pretty significant amount of information about yourself, but ClearScore does its best to make the signing up process as easy as possible.
>>> Sign up to ClearScore here <<<
When you enter the ClearScore UK website, you’re greeted by a homepage that is not too text-heavy and is pleasing on the eye. You’re prompted to enter an email address to get started with your free credit score and report, and you are nicely reassured that ClearScore’s services will be ‘free, forever’.
You then type your email address again (for whatever reason), and go on to enter your full name and date of birth, as well as creating your ClearScore account password. And, just like that, you’re half-way there.
The next page asks you to enter your home address and your annual income, and then you must answer some identity-verification questions that are based on your financial history.
These questions are rather specific and you may need to double-check some answers, because the information you’re about to receive is highly sensitive and must remain confidential, but you should be able to answer the questions without too much thought. You’re then ready to log in to your ClearScore account!
Once you’re logged in, the dashboard will open and display a credit score of 0 – and it remains like this until you verify your email address. You do so in your ‘My Account’ tab with little effort, and when that’s done, you are free to roam your free credit report and score as and when you please.
ClearScore Credit Report and Score
Your ClearScore credit score is clearly presented and explained as you open the dashboard, and is compared with the UK average as a reference point once you enter the report itself.
The web portal is straightforward and easy to navigate, allowing you to browse through pages and sub-sections of the ClearScore credit report comfortably. If you only want the basic information, everything you need is available on the dashboard, but more experienced users are also able to delve deeper into the report with ‘Accounts’, ‘Corrections’, ‘Searches’, ‘Timeline’ and ‘Coaching’ tabs.
The full ClearScore credit report provides users with in-depth information, including the factors that made an impact on the report, which explain what you’re doing well, and how you could improve (by taking out a credit card to build a credit history, for example).
Your free credit report contains all sorts of information from the last 6 years of your credit history, including a list of all accounts held in your name, selected offers tailored to your situation, any corrections made, and details about any searches conducted into your credit file.
A new report is generated each month when you sign up, so you’ll get an updated free credit score every 31 days if you continue to log in. Handily, ClearScore’s report also contains a visual timeline, illustrating how your credit score has risen or fallen with each update, so you can manage your financial activity with more caution and control in the future.
Your ClearScore credit report also provides a resourceful ‘Coaching’ feature, where you are able to set goals and receive hints on how to achieve them – whether you want to buy a car, buy a house, or re-mortgage your property, for example.
The whole website is easy to use, including the credit report itself, and you’re able to disable all communications hassle-free in ‘My Account’, so you can avoid any unwanted emails regarding special offers and news updates.
ClearScore’s service is impressive overall, allowing users to view their free credit report through a secure, personable, yet professional website.
What is a Good Credit Score?
Because all credit reference agencies and credit checking services use various factors and data sources to calculate your score, there is no universal credit score – meaning that you could have a ‘Good’ score with one website and a ‘Poor’ score with another. The best way to gauge an idea of your average credit score is to try as many of these free agencies as possible, but try not to panic too much if your credit is rated poorly by one or two websites.
In order to confuse things further, most agencies use different bands to categorise their users’ scores, which means that most agencies have differing maximum credit scores.
However, as a (really general) rule of thumb, the higher your score is, the more likely you are to be accepted for credit from lenders.
What is a Good Credit Score on ClearScore?
ClearScore credit scores range from 0-700, therefore the closer you are to that maximum amount, the better your chances are of being eligible for the best credit cards, personal loans and mortgages. The average credit score in the UK is noted as being 414 with ClearScore, so if you’re there or thereabouts, you’re not doing too badly.
Remember that ClearScore gets its data from Equifax, so your Equifax and ClearScore credit score will usually be the same.
Here’s the ClearScore credit score range:
- Very Poor: 0-279
- Poor: 280-379
- Fair: 380-419
- Good: 420-465
- Excellent: 466+
So, a good ClearScore credit score is anything from 420 upwards, with the best rates being offered to those with ‘Excellent’ scores of 466+.
It’s important to remember that the ClearScore credit score is merely a guide (just like any other); you aren’t guaranteed to be accepted for credit if you have an ‘Excellent’ ClearScore rating, just as you aren’t guaranteed to be rejected by lenders if you have a ‘Poor’ rating.
Is ClearScore Safe?
ClearScore is safe and secure to use, so much so that the data of its millions of users around the world is encrypted with 256-bit encryption in order to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
ClearScore also refrains from spamming you with unneeded communications, even stating on its website that ‘Everyone hates unwanted emails. So do we, so we don’t send them’. You can’t help but notice that there’s a very personable feel to the website, thanks to the friendly nature of the language used, which only adds to the site’s trustworthy feel.
You are also able to check your ClearScore credit report as often as you like and it will not affect your credit from the viewpoint of lenders.
Is ClearScore Free?
ClearScore’s credit report and credit score is completely free, forever. It’s really as simple as that.
Because ClearScore makes its money from commission when users purchase financial products suggested by the website (loans, insurance, car finance, mortgages etc.), its services are able to remain free for all consumers.
Services similar to that offered by ClearScore can often cost more than £100 a year, and despite being slightly less in-depth than the paid services of other websites, ClearScore is a brilliant way of checking your credit score and report for free.
>>> Sign up to ClearScore here <<<
ClearScore vs Experian
On the surface, the most obvious difference between ClearScore and Experian products is that the former offers a free credit score and report, whereas the latter gives users a free credit score but the full report comes at a cost of £14.99 a month.
However, there is also a difference in the type of company they are. Experian is a credit bureau (like Equifax and TransUnion), acting as one of the main agencies that are licenced to collect information about your finances and place it in a report.
ClearScore, on the other hand, is not a bureau, but a financial-technology business that gives UK customers free access to their credit report from Equifax (a credit bureau, like Experian). ClearScore doesn’t generate its own score, but acts as a distributor working with Equifax, giving you free access to a credit report that you’d be required to pay for in most other instances.
The ClearScore app
All the great products and services offered by ClearScore can now fit in your pocket with the ClearScore app, available on both Apple and Android smartphones. You get access to your free credit report and score regardless of where you are, and as often as you like.
You are able to quickly view the financial information that lenders will use to judge your credit eligibility, and you’ll even be able to manage your report on the go.
Launched in 2015, the ClearScore app is attractive (as is the webpage) and has been designed professionally with the needs of smartphone users in-mind, with pretty seasonal wallpapers adding to the overall consumer experience. Additionally, not only is the app easy on the eye, it also works exactly how you’d expect and has impressive functionality, as suggested by its 4.8/5 iTunes rating.
‘Free’ seems to be a recurring theme with ClearScore, because its app is also available at no cost.
ClearScore Reviews in the UK
ClearScore reviews from leading consumer-based websites in the UK paint a good picture of the company, as listed below:
- Trust Pilot: 4/5
- Smart Money People: 4/5
- Review Centre: N/A
- Overall: 8/10
Users seem to be pleased with the overall customer experience offered by ClearScore, with 71 out of 76 people on Smart Money People rating it as 4 or 5 stars and 75% of TrustPilot reviewers marking it as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Great’.
Our ClearScore Review Summary
Overall, it’s hard not to be impressed with the service provided by ClearScore, most notably its free credit report and score, as well as the unique coaching feature.
ClearScore provides useful credit information for free, in a personable and easily accessible manner, and it doesn’t flood your emails with spam should you not want to receive offers and news.
If you want a slightly more in-depth report, then you may be interested in taking a look at our Experian Credit Expert review. However, the ClearScore credit report is far from bare and is thorough enough to meet the needs of most consumers in the UK without the need for a monthly fee.