How To See Your Credit Score For Free

Posted by Jamie Mackenzie Smith in Credit Score on 2 October 2018

When thinking about your finances and your eligibility to take out a loan, credit card or any form of borrowing, it’s tempting to boil your creditworthiness down into one single ‘make-or-break’ Credit Score. It’s not quite that simple though.

As we’ve written many times in the past, your Credit Score isn’t nearly as important as the information that sits behind it. It’s best to think of your Credit Score simply as a handy way to gauge how ‘healthy’ your Credit Report is at a glance, and to see how a typical lender is likely to interpret the information it contains.

Every lender has their own acceptance criteria based around the sort of customer they want to take on at any given time. The scorecards and algorithms behind those decisions are closely-guarded secrets, so no one can say with 100% accuracy how much certain information will affect your Credit Rating. You might have read elsewhere about how much difference certain actions (for example opening or closing an account or missing a payment) can make to your score, but it’s best to take specific statements like that with a big pinch of salt.

One thing is safe to say is that positive information (such as a good credit history) adds to your score and your chances of being accepted, whereas negative information (missed payments or CCJs) lower this number and have the opposite effect on your chances of acceptance.

There are two really simple ways you can see your Credit Score for free using checkmyfile:

1. Use our free calculator

You can get an estimate of what your Credit Score might look like by using our completely free Credit Score calculator. It takes into account much of the same information about yourself as the information used on your Credit Report to generate an estimated score based on your circumstances.

Our Score Calculator takes into consideration:

  • Your postcode
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Employment Status
  • Existing Credit Agreements/forms of finance
  • Any late payments, arrears, court information or insolvencies that you think you have

Remember: The Credit Score we generate here relies to a large extent on the answers you give about whether you have any negative information recorded against you being accurate. It’s a good place to start though as it’s built on the same foundations that a typical lender will use.

With our Score Calculator, you can also see how big life events such as moving house or getting divorced might impact on your rating.

For a score that uses the same information that lenders use when assessing an application for credit, you will need to check your Credit Report.

2. Try our Multi-Agency Report for free

While our Calculator provides you with a quick glimpse of what your Credit Rating might look like, you won’t know the specific information that lenders will assess you on until you check your Credit Report for yourself. This will show you a score based on your own circumstances, and more importantly, reveal the information behind it, plus a simple indicator of what is good, bad, or somewhere in-between.

As we’ve said time and time again in the past, the Credit Score you see on a Credit Report is not the same as the Credit Scoring used internally by lenders (it’s just a guide for your reference), so your focus should be on the information being reported about you by the UK’s Credit Reference Agencies, not just a number.

If you’re considering taking out any form of finance, it’s important to make sure that you see what lenders see by checking your full Credit Report before you apply. Ideally, you may want to do this a while in advance just in case there are any errors that you need to amend.

That’s where checkmyfile’s Multi-Agency Credit Report is unique. It’s the only UK Credit Report to take data from four Credit Reference Agencies, not just one – giving you a much more in-depth look at the information held about you.

When you check your Credit Report, you’ll be able to see:

  • Up to 6 years’ of payment history (as reported by Equifax and TransUnion)
  • Any linked addresses
  • Your Electoral Roll information
  • Any Financial Associations or Aliases
  • Any Court Records
  • Any Search Footprints
  • Your Electoral Roll status
  • Any Cifas fraud alerts being reported
  • Any Notice of Correction currently on your Credit Report
  • Other checks including Death Registration Information

To get the UK’s most detailed Credit Score and Report, you can try checkmyfile FREE for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel anytime online.

Why do I get different Credit Scores?

The first ever idea of a Credit Score was introduced in the 1950s in the United States. Almost by accident, as Bill Fair and Earl Isaac discovered that a study looking at a potential predictor of ill health could be better used to predict bankruptcy and default. They teamed up to form Fair Isaac, Inc, now FICO, to sell credit scores to lenders. FICO scores are now household names by consumers in the US, as they are used extensively, with little competition.

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