Noddle (Credit Karma) Review
UK's first free-for-life credit report
Information from all main banks and credit card companies
In-depth view of your financial situation
Noddle is a credit report service offered by TransUnion that provides a free-for-life credit report. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and can help you track your credit score in a hassle-free and prompt manner.
Noddle also puts your free credit report into practice, offering a service that searches the market for the best credit cards and loans that you would be eligible for, based on your financial situation.
Here, we give you an extensive Noddle review and take a look at how their free financial services could benefit you!
Recently, Noddle was bought by American personal finance company, Credit Karma. Credit Karma currently provide free credit reports for over 85 million consumers across the USA and Canada, and will now take control of Noddle.
The credit report will remain free and customer service will stay in the UK, but Noddle will take an entirely new design as it becomes part of Credit Karma.
As a member, you don’t have to do much yourself because engineers are moving the data from Noddle to Credit Karma. Once that’s complete, you (and all members) will receive an email inviting you to the new site, where you log in using your old Noddle details.
The information in this article is correct as of May 2019.
Why Do Credit Reports Matter?
Your credit report matters as it is used by lenders to assess your financial history and how well you manage the money you borrow, most notably when you apply for a mortgage, personal loan, mobile phone contract, or a credit card. If you are deemed to have bad credit, you could be denied these entities, so it’s definitely worth checking up on your credit report regularly.
Your free credit report from Noddle gives you in-depth access to your finances and how you are viewed in the eyes of lenders, presenting the information in an accessible and easily understandable format.
Using your desktop, signing up to view your free credit report is straightforward and accessible.
The first section consists of you entering your personal details – including your name, date of birth, email address and mobile phone number – and completing some simple tick-boxes.
You are then asked to provide your home address, which you can find automatically by entering your post code.
Once your address is entered, you answer some general questions to confirm your identity – such as ‘When did you last open a personal current account?’ and the examples shown below.
The next step is to enter some general details, including your chosen username and password for the site. You then activate your account by simply clicking the link that’s been sent to you in an email and logging in online, following which you should be able to view your Noddle credit report!
Your Noddle credit report login page should look a little something like this:
You will receive a list of your credit accounts (including credit cards, loans, and bank accounts) and a six-year payment history that indicates whether or not you made repayments in full and on time.
As part of the free service, you are provided with a list of what organisations have searched your credit file in the last two years, details of people you are financially linked to, and electoral roll information for your current and previous addresses.
Your Noddle credit report is updated every seven days and – as long as you remain a customer – you have free access to your report as often as you require, with there being no restrictions in terms of when or how regularly you view it.
Noddle also usefully allows you to compare your credit score with the average in your area and the average in the whole of the UK, so you get a good idea of whether you are on-track or need to improve your score.
It’s great to be cautious about where you input personal details online, but Noddle is a safe and highly regarded credit report service to use in the UK. It is regulated by the FCA and the information you share should remain perfectly safe and secure, under normal circumstances.
As always though, read the small print, check how the company can use your information, and be wary of which boxes you tick in terms of marketing permissions – if you want to avoid a load of spam, don’t tick them!
The maximum Noddle credit score is 710, so the closer your score is to that, the less of a risk you pose to lenders, according to Noddle.
You also receive a free credit rating (a number between one and five), which again represents how much of a risk you are to lenders, with 1/5 being high-risk and 5/5 being low-risk.
What is a Good Credit Score in the UK?
It depends which agency you retrieve your credit report from, but Noddle’s average credit score across the UK is 616 as of April, 2019.
People that have always made repayments in full and on time are likely to have a higher score and rating. The perfect Noddle report would be a 710 credit score and a 5/5 credit rating, but a typical young adult may have a Noddle credit score of 590 and a rating of 3/5, for example.
Agencies tend to use different bands to classify your score and consider varying factors to calculate it, so you’re likely to get somewhat differential reports with each company.
However, Noddle gives you a useful, general idea of how your credit history looks to lenders, despite varying slightly from one website to another.
As well as providing you with valuable information regarding your financial history, a free credit score and a free credit rating, Noddle also offers a service to check your eligibility for the best credit cards in the UK before you apply for one.
Noddle compares a range of credit cards, from the likes of Halifax and NatWest, to Nationwide and Lloyds TSB. The site uses your credit score to assess your eligibility for these credit cards, meaning that you can avoid receiving numerous rejections and you won’t be blacklisted by other lenders.
There’s also a similar and useful service that allows you to check your eligibility for personal loans, again based on your Noddle credit report.
Some credit checking companies can charge a monthly fee, including Experian CreditExpert and Equifax that charge £14.99 and £14.95 a month respectively. However, unlike many other websites, Noddle gives you access to your credit score and report for free, forever.
There are some additional options that require payment though, including Noddle Improve and Noddle Web Watch, which were off-sale at the time of writing due to updates to Noddle’s products and its transfer to Credit Karma. However, Credit Karma recently emailed members reassuring them that its services will remain completely free, so there’s no need to worry.
Noddle Improve is a product that essentially tells users how they can increase their credit scores.
Whether it’s worth it or not generally depends on how much info you require, and how much you want to improve your credit rating by. There’s no doubt that your credit report matters, so if you want more information on how you can increase your credit score, then Noddle Improve could be a valid option for doing so.
However, if you simply want to check your rating and score quickly, there’s no real reason to pay anything. It’s also worth noting that there are free articles online that outline the best methods of increasing your credit score.
Remember that Noddle Improve may not be available when the company is taken over by Credit Karma, so keep an eye on their website for more information.
A Noddle app is also available on Apple and Android mobile phones, which is free and gives you access to your credit report (including both your free credit rating and credit score) in the palm of your hands.
The app is theoretically useful and looks nicely laid out (when it works), but many users complain of its basic and limited functionality, as well as some problems with the app freezing at times. You also have to log in and type your details each time you open the app and there’s no ‘Remember Me’ or fingerprint entry, which comes as standard in most of today’s apps – including the Experian app.
It’s more of a web portal than a mobile-friendly app as such, so you’d see near-enough the same screen if you entered the site on your mobile’s internet browser.
With an unimpressive iTunes App Store rating of 1.7 out of 10 and a modest Google Play rating of 2.2 out of 5, you’re likely to have a better user experience if you use your desktop, but it certainly has potential to be a useful asset with some software development.
Here’s how Noddle has been reviewed on leading consumer review websites, on average:
|Review company||Rating (out of 5)|
|Smart Money People||4|
Overall, Noddle is a reliable and useful credit reference agency. It provides both a free credit report and a free credit score, which is not common in the industry, with Experian (its main rival) charging almost £180 a year for a very similar service and some additional features. Noddle provides customers with a satisfactory user-experience and is very easy to use, generating and distributing reports in just a matter of minutes.