The Best Credit Reference Agencies in the UK | https://bobatoo.co.uk

What are the best Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) and Credit Score Websites in the UK?

Bobatoo has reviewed all of the CRAs in the UK, including the ones not seen on comparison sites - here are the top 4!

LAST UPDATED: 15 JULY, 2019

Credit scores and reports can be confusing, right? But don’t worry; whether you’re looking for a free credit score check or a detailed, full report, Bobatoo’s got you covered.

Bobatoo tested and reviewed all the main credit reference agencies (CRAs) and credit reporting websites available in the UK to give you a list of the very best.

So, what is the best site to check your credit score? Here’s a list of the best ones, followed by a quick review of each:

RankCompanyMain benefitFull review
1CheckmyfileUses all four main UK CRAs for a fuller and more detailed credit report Read review
2TotallyMoneyYour live, free credit score updates each time you log in Read review
3ClearScore100% free and offers tips for improving your credit score Read review
4ExperianFree credit score and more detailed premium service Read review

1. CheckMyFile – The best credit report site in the UK

Here is Bobatoo’s BEST credit score site and credit reference agency in the UK – Checkmyfile!

Checkmyfile is genuinely very different from others in the market, standing out by combining the credit reports of all four main CRAs in the UK (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion and Crediva) and presenting their data all in one place.

Rather than using just one CRA, Checkmyfile optimises its services by creating a multi-agency credit report to show you exactly what information each credit agency holds on you.

Checkmyfile is easy to use and presents all its data in an understandable manner, and new customers are able to sign up to a free month’s trial with absolutely no obligation, so if you don’t like the service you’re getting, you can cancel anytime.

You are required to enter card details when you sign up, but you definitely won’t be charged if you cancel your account before the end of the 30-day free trial. You’ll receive a reminder too, letting you know that it’s about to end.

Within Checkmyfile’s credit report, you get information about the following (for each CRA):

  • Active accounts
  • Adverse accounts
  • Electoral roll information
  • Addresses you’re linked to
  • Financial associates
  • Court judgements
  • Fraud warnings
  • Credit applications

With a fuller and more detailed report compared to other credit report websites, it gives you the exact information you need in a clear and concise manner, using all four main UK CRAs side-by-side for a quick comparison.

As well as the above, you also receive clarification on what is affecting your Checkmyfile credit score – both good and bad – and hints and tips to help improve your current credit rating.

Your dashboard includes a timeline, which you are able to use to monitor your credit progression (or regression) quickly, without having to sift through a load of jargon and lengthy text.

You’re also able to personalise accounts through Checkmyfile, so if you have two accounts with the same bank (a current and joint account, for example), you can name them “Joint Barclays Account” and “Personal Barclays Account” rather than them both being labelled the same name, in order to avoid confusion.

If you come across any financial associates listed that are incorrect, you can remove them through Checkmyfile. An advisor will talk you through the process, but it’s generally easy and could help you out in the long run, because that inaccurate financial associate could be negatively impacting your credit score.

Checkmyfile is so good, in fact, that it’s been rated 5/5 on Trustpilot from over 500 consumer reviews!

If you like what you hear, take a look at our extended Checkmyfile review for more information!

Or visit their website to check your score for free here!

2. TotallyMoney

TotallyMoney, like ClearScore, offers a free credit score with no credit card details required.

It provides services to help its members improve their credit eligibility, giving them a better chance of being accepted for credit cards, loans and mortgages.

As with most of the best credit reporting websites, signing up is quick and easy - because if it was difficult, people would simply go elsewhere.

The data used to generate the TotallyMoney credit score and report comes from TransUnion, so the ratings range as follows:

  • Very poor: 0-550
  • Poor: 551-565
  • Fair: 566-603
  • Good: 604-627
  • Excellent: 628-710

The TotallyMoney credit report consists of many features to help you better understand your current credit rating, which you’ll really appreciate because it can become quite confusing without some explanation.

Its features include a credit score, credit card eligibility and comparisons, a list of your current debts, borrowings, missed payments and a unique “borrowing power” feature.

“Borrowing power” is essentially an additional score, which has been specifically designed to tell you how likely you are to be accepted for credit at that time.

Rather than presenting endless amounts of various graphs and numbers, TotallyMoney makes your credit report actually mean something to you.

While some credit websites only update every week or even every month, the TotallyMoney credit score updates each and every time you log in. This means that you will maintain an accurate idea of your credit, and your credit score will never be outdated.

As well as providing a free credit check, it also uses online tools to help you find the most relevant credit card deals for your personal situation, because there are offers out there for almost everyone, regardless of their credit history.

The Totally Money Credit Report app gives members full access to their credit score in the palm of their hand and at a tap of a screen.

The app is one of the best out there at the moment, providing users with all the credit resources they need, and it even allows them to dispute any mistakes they notice.

For more information and a complete guide, head to our full TotallyMoney review.

TotallyMoney is near-enough perfect, so it’s taken something pretty special to beat it to our number one spot!

3. ClearScore

Next up is ClearScore – which rightfully takes its place amongst our top three credit checking websites.

ClearScore is a UK-based company that uses data from Equifax (one of the main CRAs) to provide its members with access to their free credit score, as well as a pretty detailed report.

Yep, it’s 100% free! Unlike Experian, and most credit reference agencies for that matter, there are no charges or membership fees, and it’ll stay that way forever – there’s no catch. Even if you wanted to pay, you can’t!

Signing up takes just a few minutes and you’re able to view your ClearScore credit score almost immediately.

It’s also worth noting that it’s one of the nicer websites to look at in terms of design and formatting -it’s probably the best of the bunch.

Here’s how ClearScore’s credit score ranges:

  • Very Poor: 0-279
  • Poor: 280-379
  • Fair: 380-419
  • Good: 420-465
  • Excellent: 466+

A good ClearScore credit score is 420 and above, with its maximum score being 700. It’s quite odd that the ‘excellent’ rating is by far the largest category, but there’s probably some sort of reason for it.

As well as a clearly presented credit score, the ClearScore credit report includes data such as any credit accounts in your name, searches conducted into your credit history, a ‘coaching’ section, and a whole load of other credit-related resources.

The ‘coaching’ part of ClearScore’s credit report essentially provides tips on how you could improve your credit rating, and you’re also able to set goals and monitor them as time goes on.

ClearScore provides a very good free credit reporting service, with a brilliant app (rated 4.8/5 on iTunes), access to your credit score and various features within your report, and reliable customer service.

The report itself could be slightly more detailed, but for free, it provides more than enough.

Head to our full ClearScore review for a detailed explanation of the company’s services and how we felt after using them, as well as a walk-through for those looking to sign-up.

>>> Sign up to ClearScore here <<<

4. Experian

Experian has become one of the most popular and successful credit report sites in the UK, as it boasts an impressive customer base of over 5 million users. You know that ‘Meet Your Data Self’ TV ad? Well this is those people.

Two types of services are offered by Experian, one is free and one isn’t.

Free Experian credit score

Experian’s free credit score is suitable for those who don’t really want to know much about their credit status and history, but simply want to get a general idea of how their mortgage, loan or credit card eligibility is looking.

You get free access to your Experian credit score, your credit card and personal loan eligibility, credit product comparisons, and some handy tips for people interested in improving their score. What’s more, you can get all this on both the website and smartphone app.

The maximum Experian credit score is 999 and the average is between the ‘fair’ and ‘good’ ratings – somewhere in the range of 721 to 960.

Only the very best will be rated ‘excellent’ (961-999), but even then, there’s still no guarantee that they’ll be accepted for credit.

What is a good credit score with Experian? Here’s how its ratings range:

  • Very Poor (0-560)
  • Poor (561-720)
  • Fair (721-880)
  • Good (881-960)
  • Excellent (961-999)

Subscription-based Experian Credit Expert

If you’re someone that wants to know the ins and outs of your credit status, and you have a few quid to spare each month, then you should look into Experian’s Credit Expert feature.

It costs £14.99 per month for this, but you get the following:

  • A detailed credit report along with your credit score
  • Score influencers which display the factors affecting your score (good and bad)
  • Text and email alerts when there’s a change to your score
  • A visual timeline that summarises your progress

For more details regarding what the Credit Expert product offers, take a look at our full Experian credit report review.

There’s no doubting that Experian is one of the best options to check your credit, but if you paid the £14.99 fee and have since found that it isn’t for you, there are ways of cancelling both online and via telephone, so you’re not trapped at all.

To summarise, Experian offers a free credit score service, a well-rated smartphone app, information about score influencers and your eligibility progress, as well as live alerts.

Our in-depth Experian review will talk you through everything including its services and products, how to sign-up, and how its users have rated their experiences.

So there you have it – Bobatoo’s best credit reference agencies in the UK! For more information, take a look at our useful credit score guides and reviews here.