How can I check my credit rating for free?
You used to have to game the system to get a free credit report and sign up to one of the leading agency’s 30-day trial services. Then you had to cancel before the 30-day period came to an end.
At present, ClearScore and Callcredit’s Noddle service will give you free access to your credit report and they make their money by selling a range of suitable services to you in return for your information. Of course you don’t have to sign up for more credit, you can just check your score.
Credit reference agencies used to make their money by selling your data to the lenders, but when identity theft became an issue they saw an opportunity. Suddenly people wanted access to their credit reports and consumer credit management came to the fore. Previously, you would have had to pay a monthly subscription to access and monitor your credit report, but now you can get this data for free.
Millions of Barclaycard and Tesco Bank customers can also check their credit reports online as part of their customer service package.
You can still go the old-fashioned route and pay for access to your credit report from one of the three main agencies, but these other services are free and based on the same data.
You could opt in for constant access to your credit report, and if you think that you may be the victim of identity theft or even if you’re rebuilding your credit then you might want to go for this kind of comprehensive service. For most of us though, the free credit score services are more than enough.
Another way to get a free credit check is to apply for a ‘soft’ credit check for a credit card. Some companies like Barclaycard will offer a pre-application eligibility check, which isn’t a full credit check and so will not leave any kind of lingering trace on your credit file. This will let you know if your credit report is looking good, but it’s not a real substitute for a full credit check.
Information regarding the free credit check services you can access to view your credit rating were based on prices in April 2016 and may no longer apply.