If you’re applying for any form of credit, a lender will check your credit score to make sure it meets their lending criteria before approving you. To manage your financial health, it’s important to check your credit score, regular check-ups also allow you to spot and resolve any errors, so they don’t become a problem when you’re applying for credit.
In the UK, the three main credit scoring agencies are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, all three allow you to check your credit score once a month for free, they also offer extra services for a monthly fee such as daily updates of your score and alerts when major changes happen.
Just in the UK there are 7 million people who use Experian for their credit score. To access your credit score and report for free, you can sign up to the Money Saving Expert Credit Club
. With this you'll get free access forever and can also compare the best of a number of financial products for you based on your financial profile. You can also access your Experian score through Experian
Experian's paid service costs £14.99 a month and gives you access to your daily credit score, credit report and email alerts about any changes. You can sign up for a 30-day free trial of its CreditExpert
service if you are new customer.
To view your Equifax credit score for free, you will need to use ClearScore
. They obtain your credit score and report from Equifax and will provide you with it for free for life. They make commission on any products you take out via their website, so it is important to always do your research on the best financial products for you.
Like Experian, Equifax offer a full credit monitoring service
for a fee of £9.95 a month, they also offer a free 30-day trial of their service to new customers.
You can access your TransUnion credit score for free via Credit Karma
(formally Noodle), as part of their free service they will update your score every week. Just like the other agencies they will recommend different products you are eligible for and receive commission on any products you take out via their website.
How often should you check your credit score?
When it comes to checking your credit score, it’s best to check your credit score and report once a month, so you can monitor your score closely and keep an eye out for any errors. This is especially important if you are planning on applying for credit, like a loan
, or trying to improve your credit score, as any errors may negatively affect your score. As part of the free subscription, each credit agency will update your score once a month. You don’t need to check all three agencies each month, but we do recommend you check them at least once a year because they may all have an impact.
What is a good credit score?
Here comes the confusing part, there’s no universal ranking system for credit scores, each credit reference agency uses a different one. This means, a score of 540 with Experian is ‘very poor’ but with Equifax its ‘excellent’. Generally, the higher the number the better your score is. If your score is low and you don’t know how to improve it, take a look at our blog
Credit reference agency
How your credit score ranks.
Very poor: 0 - 560
Very poor: 0 - 278
Very poor: 0 - 550
Poor: 561 - 720
Poor: 279 - 366
Poor: 551 - 565
Fair: 721 - 880
Fair: 367 - 419
Fair: 566 - 603
Good: 881 - 960
Good: 420 - 466
Good: 604 - 627
Excellent: 961 - 999
Excellent: 467 - 700
Excellent: 628 - 710