Check your credit rating

The UK has three main credit reference agencies that all keep their own records of factors they believe are good indications of people's credit worthiness.  They are Equifax, Experian and CallCredit.

Each agency offers an online credit scoring service for those wishing to check the information held about them:

  • ClearScore (Equifax partner) is a free for life service and shows you your credit rating and report via an attractive and simple dashboard.  You do not need to enter your card details to sign up to ClearScore.
  • CreditExpert (Experian) offers a 30 day free trial, at the end of which you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription.
  • Noddle (CallCredit Information Group) also offers a free service but you will need to enter your card details to use it.

It’s important to note that each agency works in a slightly different way and what’s more, every lender looks at different factors when deciding whether to lend you money or not, so you should always try and check all three if possible.

Whilst it’s never a good idea for someone in serious debt to borrow more money, it’s still worth taking the time to understand what credit companies think about you as it can also affect how competitive your insurance products and mobile phone contracts are.

www.moneysavingexpert.com has some useful information debunking credit myths and can also help you to identify any weaknesses that you may wish to address.