How to check your credit score


It is essential that you know how to check your credit score if you want to borrow money, for example with a credit card Where mortgage.

This is because your credit score and information held about you by credit agencies is used by lenders to determine whether to approve your application.

But, there are many common misconceptions and misunderstandings about credit scores.

Below, we explain exactly what a credit score is, why you want to keep up to date with yours, and how to check your credit score without having to shell out a dime.

How to check your credit score

First, it pays to establish what your credit score really is.

When you apply for a form of credit, such as a credit card, personal loan, or mortgage, the lender will want to do their due diligence on you. They will want to check how you are doing when it comes to paying your bills, to determine if they are comfortable lending to you.

They do this by looking at information about you held by one of the UK’s three main credit agencies, which covers things like your address, bank and credit accounts held in your name, and whether you have missed or overdue payments in your name.

These agencies will use this information to give you a credit score, basically a score indicating your degree of creditworthiness. The higher the score, the better you research lenders and, therefore, the more likely they are to lend you at their best rates.

On the other hand, if your score is not perfect, it may mean that lenders will only offer you higher rates on your loan, or even refuse your application altogether.

Do I have only one credit score?

A common misconception about credit scores is that you only have one, the overall credit score. In reality, you have several different ones.

For example, each of the agencies will assign you a score based on their own calculations and the information they hold about you, but this may vary between them. Also, lenders don’t just take this score as provided to them by the agency – lenders will have their own scoring system that they use.

This is why it can be very useful to check your credit score with the three main credit agencies, in order to eliminate any inconsistencies. That way, if you apply for credit, it doesn’t matter which agency the lender goes to – they’ll get the correct information about you and your payment history.

Why should I check my credit rating?

It’s a good idea to check your credit reports and credit score to make sure they’re accurate.

After all, if there are errors in your credit score, it could negatively impact your chances of getting that mortgage or credit card.

For example, you will want to check that the address held on the different accounts is up to date, to ward off any fear of identity theft.

Likewise, there may be incorrect records of missed payments. You will want to have them corrected before applying for credit or you may be denied.

Checking your credit score can also give you insight into some factors that could be hindering your chances of successfully obtaining credit, but which can be fixed relatively simply.

For example, one of the things lenders look at is your credit usage – basically how much credit you already have available to you. If you’re only using a tiny fraction of the credit in your name — for example, because you still have a few old credit card accounts open — a lender might not be too keen to add to that. Canceling these old cards could therefore increase your chances.

How can I check my credit rating?

Each of the major credit bureaus allows you to check your credit score with them, based on the information they have about you. Different packages will be offered – some let you get the basic information for free, while others require you to pay for a more comprehensive overview.

How often should I check my credit score?

There is no hard and fast rule as to how often you should check your credit score. It’s certainly a good idea to check it relatively regularly, maybe once a year. This way, you can spot any issues that may have arisen and fix them before they prevent you from getting a new credit product.

It’s also a good idea to check your credit score directly before applying for credit, so you’re in the most informed position possible about your chances of being approved.

It’s important to remember that checking your credit score has no impact on the score itself – you won’t damage your score by checking it more frequently, for example.

Earn money by checking your credit score

Checking your credit score isn’t just a good idea if you’re about to apply for some form of credit, it can also help you earn a few bucks in the process.

This is thanks to cashback sites like Quidco (opens in a new tab) and TopCashback (opens in a new tab). These sites are great when shopping online. By following the links on a cashback website to the retailer you want to shop with, you then get paid cashback based on the money you spend with that retailer.

It’s not just traditional retailers that reward you with cash back, as you can also get paid by credit score providers.

For example, opening a new account with Experian through the link on TopCashback will net you £7, while signing up for ClearScore will net you £6.50.

Quidco and TopCashback both offer free subscriptions, so you’ll be able to keep every penny of that cashback, although you can also sign up for premium subscriptions which offer additional benefits like higher cashback rates on your purchases and more payouts. fast.


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