Help & Frequently asked questions
If you have a problem, or suggestions for how we can improve the tool, you can email us at email@example.com
Access to Credit Club is completely free – we will never charge you to look at the information about your Experian Credit Score, Experian Credit Report, Affordability Score or Credit Hit Rate.
We also include details in Credit Club about your eligibility for loans and credit cards.
If you choose to apply for one of the financial products we’ve given you an eligibility score for and get accepted, we get paid by the provider. We use this cash to fund Credit Club, pay our suppliers – and hopefully make some profit too.
But don't worry, as ever, MoneySavingExpert's editorial independence is sacrosanct. Nothing in Credit Club is driven by anything other than giving the best information possible to you.
MoneySavingExpert.com’s Credit Club provides you with your Experian Credit Report, Experian Credit Score, an analysis of your affordability and your Credit Hit Rate - in the real world (how likely you are to be accepted for credit cards and loans compared to everyone else). Then we explain how to improve it.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be shown your credit dashboard, which includes:
- Your Experian Credit Report. Lenders assess your future behaviour by predicting it from your past. Your credit report shows your credit history, your payment history, the number of recent applications you’ve made and more.
- Your Experian Credit Score. Your credit score is based on the information in your credit report, and gives a good at-a-glance indicator of whether lenders are likely to view you as a good risk or not.
- Affordability. This is how much lenders think you can afford to borrow, factoring in income and expenditure (this is based on the information you give us).
- Your MoneySavingExpert.com Credit Hit Rate – in the real world. What really counts is if you apply for products, will you get ‘em? We show your chances of getting a basket of top credit cards and loans, and which lenders you have the best chances with.
- Credit cards & loans eligibility calculator. Product by product, what are your odds of getting each top deal? Home in on the best without impacting your credit score.
- Things you need to know about YOUR credit profile. We give you insights into things about your credit profile that affect your ability to get credit, eg whether you’ve missed payments or are on the electoral roll – and explain what to do about it.
We also tell you which cards and loans you have the best chance of getting, if you’re looking to apply for new credit.
Access to Credit Club is completely free. But if you choose to apply for one of the financial products we give you an eligibility score for and get accepted, we get paid by the provider.
We share some of this cash with Experian, which provides your Experian Credit Score and Credit Report to Credit Club.
Your Experian Credit Score does not take your income into consideration. It's mainly an indicator of how lenders perceive your credit worthiness. i.e how well you manage debt.
Your Affordability Score, however, assesses whether you're likely to be able to afford a product based on the information you have provided on your income and expenditure.
Our MSE Affordability Score mimics lenders' income assessments for credit cards, loans and (coming soon) mortgages. However, it is worth noting that each lender will have its own affordability criteria. So you may see weak affordability on your Credit club dashboard but high eligibility scores for individual products (or vice versa).
As always, please carefully consider whether you need further finance before applying for it as it could harm your creditworthiness if you take products out which you later cannot afford to repay.
We face costs every time we update your Credit Club dashboard. In order to keep this service free, we only update your Experian Credit Score once a month, though your eligibility results will update each time you log in.
We will continue to update your Experian Credit Score, Affordability & Credit Hit Rate once a month in the background. The latest data will be ready to access the next time you log in to Credit Club and in the future, we'll show you how these trend over time.
Your Experian Credit Report will update when you log in, unless it’s been less than 30 days. If you don’t log in each month, then your Experian Credit Report won’t be generated for the months you haven’t logged in.
During sign up, and in your settings, you will be able to decide how often we email you. You can choose a monthly email when your score updates, a quarterly email, or just to hear from us once every six months.
We will also send you an email to verify your account when you first sign up to Credit Club.
It’s worth noting that if you also sign up to MSE’s Money Tips when you register, we’ll email you every week with the latest MoneySaving tips, tricks and hints (you can sign up or unsubscribe to this separately at any time).
We strongly suggest that you’re signed up to the monthly email option, which will alert you that your scores have been updated but not to what has changed. We will be looking to add new features in the future that provide more accurate indicators of what may have changed.
Credit Club isn’t a credit monitoring product, so it won’t alert you, for example, every time there’s a search done on your credit report, or an application made.
No. In order to get your Experian Credit Score, Experian Credit Report and eligibility chances, we use a ‘soft search’ of your credit report(s).
This means that if you view your credit report(s), you’ll be able to see we’ve searched it, but lenders usually won’t – and where they can they can’t use it – so there’ll be no impact on your creditworthiness.
However if you do then go on to apply for a credit card or loan through Credit Club, the lender will do a hard search on your credit report(s) to check they’re willing to lend to you, and for ID checking purposes. This search WILL be visible to other lenders searching your credit report in the future.
We do two different soft searches of your credit report(s) for Credit Club. These will appear in a separate 'other searches' section of your credit report – not in the 'credit searches' section with the 'hard' credit application searches.
This means that if you view your credit report(s), you’ll be able to see we’ve searched it, but lenders usually won’t – and where they can they can’t use it – so there’ll be no impact on your creditworthiness.
Credit Club will record two different searches on your credit report:
Once a month, on or around the anniversary of you signing up to Credit Club, we update your Experian Credit Score. To do this, we need to search your Experian Credit Report. If you then check it, this will show as MSE CREDIT CLUB – SCORE.
When you sign in to Credit Club we will do a soft search of your credit report(s) in order to get your updated eligibility results for cards and loans, although if you have logged in during the past 28 days, we will use your previous search results. The eligibility check may search one, two or all three of your Experian, Equifax and Callcredit credit reports. If a search has been done, you will see it in the “other searches” or “administration searches” section of your file, recorded as MSE CREDIT CLUB – ELIGIBILITY.
Both the credit score and eligibility searches will be recorded when you register for Credit Club.
Experian is the leading global information services company providing data and analytical tools to businesses around the world.
As well as helping individuals to understand manage and improve their Experian Credit Report and Score and protect against identity theft, Experian also helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making.
You can register on the Credit Club registration page. The first page sets up your Credit Club account, then we will ask for some details about your financial and family circumstances so we can assess your affordability alongside your credit score.
Once we've done this, we need to do some further verification checks to ensure you are who you say you are and that we are giving you the right credit score information. For this verification, we pass you over to Experian, our credit reference agency partner in Credit Club.
This is an issue affecting a few people, and our technical team is currently looking in to this issue to try and fix it.
In the meantime, try adding firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list; this will ensure it's not being blocked by spam filters.
At the moment, we need at least three years – and ideally six years – of UK address data to match you with your credit record.
If you've lived in the UK for six years or more, then there shouldn't be an issue.
However, if you've not lived in the UK for this long, it may not be possible for us to match you with your Experian Credit Report. Much will depend on how many addresses you've lived at in the UK. If you've lived at two or more addresses here, and been registered with a bank at both addresses, or you've been on the electoral roll at both, then we've a much better chance of finding your credit report.
If you've only lived at one address in the UK, and you've lived there for less than six years, then it's much less likely we'll be able to find your Experian Credit Report. It may be - unfortunately - that you won't be able to use Credit Club at this time.
We are working to improve this, but our address data is provided by a third party, so we're dependent on it for updates to the list.
Unfortunately we can't currently accept manually entered addresses because of the way we match addresses entered to Experian's data on your Credit Report. We are looking for ways around this so it's something we may be able to allow in the future.
Credit Club has been built in partnership with Experian and data analysis firm HD Decisions (part of Experian).
Unfortunately there are instances where this tool won’t be able to match you with your Experian Credit Report and we won’t be able to provide your Credit Club results. We are constantly working to improve this. We can suggest that you try the following:
- Ensure you've put in correct details on the application form for every section.
- Make sure you’ve entered your full name as used on any existing accounts (eg, Thomas instead of Tom).
- Make sure you’ve put in at least six years’ worth of address history.
- Ensure your addresses are correct on your bank accounts and that your history is up-to-date.
- Ensure you’re on the electoral roll at your current address.
What if all my details are correct?
We’re sorry. We know how frustrating it is that you haven’t been able to access Credit Club so we want to give you a little more information to explain why.
Due to the sensitive nature of the information that Experian holds about you, it goes through a number of rigorous identity checks when you apply to see your Experian Credit Score. This helps to stop fraudsters gaining access to your personal financial information.
There are a few reasons which may stop Experian from being able to verify your identity; for example, you may have a 'thin file'. This just means there may be too little information held about you to be able to verify your identity.
Or you may have moved house recently - if this is the case, it can take a while for electoral roll records to be updated and for lenders and utility providers to update Experian with your new details. Or it may be that you answered the verification questions incorrectly.
Older accounts can also cause verification issues...
- Was your account opened recently? If so, it might take a few months for it to be reported by your provider to Experian.
- Was your account opened before 1998? If so, your bank may not be sharing the account details with Experian as it was opened before the Data Protection Act came into force. To remedy this, you can contact your bank and ask that it applies a marker to ensure your account details are shared with the credit reference agencies.
The process for doing this differs from provider to provider, but once amended, the account should show on your credit report within a couple of months, so you could try again then. Read more on how this works at Experian.
This is generally down to a problem in fully matching you to your Experian Credit Report, though the problem's not prevented Experian from verifying your identity.
We're working with Experian to try and fix this, though it may take a little while.
Our data only comes from two sources:
1) What you tell us when you sign up
2) Your Experian Credit Report
If you think this is wrong, it's crucial to check and fix it as many lenders and other firms (eg, gas & elec or mobile phone providers) use this info to assess you. If the details you gave when you signed up to Credit Club are wrong, log in, and then click on your name at the top of the club. You will then be able to click on “Settings” where you can change your details.
If something’s wrong on your Experian Credit Report, then – once you’re on the “Credit report” tab within Credit Club, you can use the “Need more help” support to contact Experian and explain what’s wrong. It will be able to liaise with the lender on your behalf to see if the lender’s willing to remove the information. Or, you can contact the lender which supplied the wrong information directly.
At the moment, it isn't possible to change your email address from within your Credit Club settings as it forms part of the verification we do on your account.
This means that if you'd like your alerts to go to a different email address, you'd need to log in to your account using your old email address, then delete your account (via the settings menu). You can then set up a new account using your new email address.
If it's been more than 30 days since you last logged in to Credit Club, we’ll prompt you each time you do log in to check that the details you’ve given us are still correct.
This is important, as things like changes in income, number of dependents, or moving house can have an impact on your credit, affordability and eligibility scores.
To do this, log in to Credit Club.
At the top right, you'll see your name. Click on this, and then click on "Settings". You'll then see a page with the personal details you gave us when you registered.
Click on the large green "Edit my account" button on the right hand side. You will then be able to edit most of your personal details.
If it's been more than 30 days since you last logged in to Credit Club, we’ll prompt you each time you do log in to check that the details you’ve given us are still correct. This is important, as things like changes in income, or moving house can have an impact on your eligibility scores.
Simply log in, click on your name at the top right of the dashboard. Then click “Settings” and then the big red 'Delete my Account' button.
We are sad to hear that you want to delete your account, and would love you to tell us why by emailing email@example.com - we’ll do our best to fix the issues you bring up.
We all forget our passwords from time to time, so don't worry!
On the Credit Club log in page, you can ask for a password reset. Just click "Oops, I've forgotten my password", which is directly under the log in area. The link we send you is valid for a week, or until you've used it.
Managing your credit well may enable you to lower the costs of your current credit but it can take time. If you do have debt problems now see our debt help guide for tips on sorting your debt, plus where to turn for free non-profit one-on-one help.
Experian, Equifax and Callcredit (who provide Noddle) all get information from different sources.
Some lenders will report to all three credit reference agencies, some will only report to one or two. So given the information is different, the scores will be different.
However, the other big factor is that the credit score that each credit reference agency works out is its own view on how the information they have on your credit report might be seen by lenders, and represents this as a credit score. Each credit reference agency has its own methodology to work this out, so your credit score will differ.
A credit report shows you the last six years of your credit history. It will contain details of credit products you have applied for including mortgages, loans, credit cards, payday loans and overdrafts. Some utility and mobile phone providers will also be on there.
It will also have details of your address history, whether you're on the electoral roll, whether you've ever been a victim of fraud, and will contain details of anyone you've taken out a joint credit product with.
You can view your Experian Credit Report within Credit Club. For how to see other credit reports, read Check your credit report for free.
The Experian Credit Score in Credit Club is updated every 30 days, but in Credit Expert it is updated instantly each time you log in. This time difference will have an effect on the information used in creating the scores, as data is updated daily by lenders to your Experian Credit Report.
Another element that can make a difference is the information you provide. If you present different addresses or personal information into each of the services, this can also mean you access different information and will present a different score.
Just log in to (or register for) Credit Club, and if Experian can match you to your credit report, then it will be displayed within the club. Once you get to the dashboard, there will be a prominent tab at the top, which when you click on it will take you to Experian where you’ll be able to see your latest credit report.
In Credit Club, your Experian Credit Score updates every 30 days, whether or not you log in to view it. But, while a new Experian Credit Report is available for you every 30 days, if you don’t log in, then a report isn’t created until you do.
This means that some people’s Experian Credit Score refresh date will be different to their Credit Report refresh date.
Everything! But, seriously, you should check:
- Your name’s correct, including any maiden names or other names you’re known by
- Your address details are correct, and that if you’re on the electoral roll, your credit report also shows this
- That your payment record’s correct (though there can be delays in reporting, so your current balance is unlikely to be your actual current balance; it’ll be what it was the last time that lender reported to Experian)
- That any financial links on your credit report are current; you can remove old links if an account’s paid off and closed
- That any public information (CCJs, decrees, IVAs and bankruptcies) are correctly recorded
If you do find anything that you think is wrong on your report, you can use the ‘Need more help’ support when you view your Experian Credit Report in Credit Club, and Experian will be able to help you dispute the information.
Your Experian Credit Report will be updated when you log in, unless it has been less than 30 days since the last time you visited Credit Club, in which case you will see the Report that was created the last time you logged in.
If you don’t log in in any month, you won’t get your Experian Credit Report for that month – instead, one will be created the next time you log in.
There are two different sorts of credit reference information. The first lot is about your financial accounts, and will come from lenders, banks, mobile phone contract providers and utility companies.
The second lot of information is called ‘public information’ and comes from your local council (electoral roll info), courts (CCJ, decrees and bankruptcies) or CIFAS (information if you’ve been a victim of fraud).
If you do find anything that you think is wrong on your report, you can use the ‘Need some help’ support when you view your Experian Credit Report in Credit Club, and Experian will be able to help you dispute the information. Experian will then have 28 days to respond to you with its findings.
Alternatively, you can contact the lender directly to dispute the information it has provided to Experian.
If you do get something corrected with the lender directly, it’s worth checking that the change is also carried across to your Equifax and Callcredit credit reports, if relevant (not all lenders report to all three agencies). Any corrections made the lender directly can take 4-6 weeks to impact your report(s).
Your Experian Credit Score is likely to drop when you move house as being in one place for a long time is a sign of stability, and lenders like stability when deciding who to lend to.
Your address stability isn’t a major factor on its own of whether you’ll get credit or not, so if you have just moved house, it’s best to concentrate on ensuring that the rest of your Experian Credit Report is looking good. See our tips on how to boost your credit score.
A credit score reflects credit payment patterns over time, with more emphasis on recent information. Here are some things you can do to try and boost your credit score:
- Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on a credit score.
- Keep balances low on credit cards and other 'revolving credit'. High outstanding debt can affect a credit score.
- Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Don't open accounts just to have a better credit mix. It probably won't improve your credit score.
- Pay off debt rather than moving it around. Also, don't close unused cards as a short-term strategy to improve your credit score. Owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your credit score.
- Applications for credit show up as inquiries on your credit report, indicating to lenders that you may be taking on new debt. It may be to your advantage to use the credit you already have to prove your ongoing ability to manage credit responsibly.
It Takes Time to Improve Credit Scores
If you have negative information on your credit report, such as late payments, a public record item (e.g., bankruptcy) or too many inquiries, you may want to pay your bills and wait. Time is your ally in improving your credit scores. There is no quick fix for some bad credit scores.
If you have a joint product with someone else, then their credit history will affect yours when you apply for any future credit.
This is because having joint products financially links you with the other person. If they have a good credit history, then there's no problem, but if they have a bad credit history, then you could find yourself being turned down for products, even if your credit score's tip-top.
It's worth noting that some utility bills will link you to old flatmates. Check your Experian Credit Report within Credit Club to see if you're financially linked, and if it's an old link, use the ‘Need more help’ support to contact Experian and ask it to delete this link. You may also need to delink yourself with the other credit reference agencies (Equifax and Callcredit) as the link may be on other credit files too. You can click on the “Help and guides” section in Credit Club, and then on “Check other credit reports” to find out how to check if this link shows up on your other reports.
To ditch old credit cards, or not to ditch? That is the question... but I'm afraid there's no easy answer as to whether you should always close down old cards. Lenders can interpret your actions in different ways.
Some will welcome you keeping the cards open. This is because a long-standing account with a good credit history can help boost your credit score. However, other lenders may take a dim view. Why? Because of concern that you have such a large credit facility already on tap that you might turn it on at any moment (thus impacting your ability to repay them if they grant you a card).
Yet there's an advantage to cancelling you should consider: cancelling them can also mean you're able to bag "new customer"-only offers sooner. For example, you'd have to wait six months to be a 'new' customer to Barclaycard or HSBC, if you'd cancelled an existing card from one of these providers.
You need to weigh up whether you'll ever likely need to use the cards again, or if you'll be applying for future credit elsewhere. Find a full rundown of all pros and cons in Cancel Old Cards.
Well, it won't have a direct impact on your Experian Credit Score.
But, it will affect whether you'll be accepted for credit products, as the lender wants to know you can afford to pay them back.
In Credit Club, we give you an affordability score, which is partly based on your income (or at least, your disposable income) - this will help you see how lenders might regard you if you were to apply for credit.
Each lender will have a different criteria on how affordability is calculated - we use several measures to try and mimic the checks that lenders do. The factors sitting behind your Affordability Score are:
1. Your Debt Ratio. This is about unsecured debt – credit cards, loans, overdrafts, etc. It looks at the level of debt you have in relation to your take-home pay.
2. Your Credit Utilisation. This is taken from your credit report and is a measure of how much of the credit available to you you've used. For example, this score will be quite poor if you're maxed out on all your credit cards.
3. Your Disposable income. This looks at the money you have left each month. It takes the income you told us you earn, and then takes off your rent or mortgage payment, then estimates other expenses to estimate how much you have left at the end of the month.
Even if your Affordability Scores are poor, you may still be eligible for individual products but as always, you need to carefully consider whether you actually need a product (and can afford to pay it back) before taking it out.
You can see a full breakdown of how each of these is used in the 'Affordability' tab in Credit Club.
If you started university after 1998, then your student loan will definitely not appear on your credit report.
If it's not on your report, then it's not counted towards your debt to income ratio or credit utilisation ratio within Credit Club.
But, in the real world, if you are repaying a student loan, it is going to impact on the amount of disposable income you have, so lenders will take it into account when deciding whether to lend to you.
If you took out your student loan before 1998, then the Government has sold these loans to three debt collection agencies. You can defer payments if you earn less than £29,126, but without an official deferral, if you don't pay, then these agencies can mark you as in arrears on your credit report(s).
In our eligibility calculators, we have the top credit cards on the market.
If you can't see a provider there, it's likely that they don't have any top cards (or at least don't have any top cards in the card category you're looking at).
Your eligibility score is calculated by HD Decisions Ltd, a company we've partnered with in Credit Club (and in our eligibility calculators). HD has worked closely with lenders to learn details of the types of customer they're looking for to lend to for credit cards and loans.
HD Decisions looks at details of your credit report(s) as well as the information you've given us (eg income) to see how well you match lenders' criteria for a range of cards and loans.
If you're a good match for a particular lender's criteria, you'll get a high eligibility score for their products. Similarly, if you've none of the attributes a lender is looking for, you'll get a low or zero score, as that lender would be unlikely to lend to you if you've applied.
Eligibility scores are calculated by our partner firm, HD Decisions. They look at lenders' criteria for granting new credit, and compare how well you meet those criteria.
A score of 90% means that nine out of 10 people in your situation would be granted that particular card or loan. But, that still leaves one out of 10 people who would be rejected, and - unfortunately - that happened to be you.
Some lenders featured on the eligibility calculators in Credit Club have gone so far as to share lists of their perfect customer with our eligibility partner firm, HD Decisions.
If you're pre-approved, it means that you've passed the credit check for that card. However, the firm will still need to do ID and fraud checks, so there's still a tiny chance that you won't get the card, even though you're fully approved by the credit check.
It's worth noting that even though Credit Club only leaves a soft search on your credit report(s) to find your eligibility, if you then go on to apply for the card, that'll leave a hard search on your report - other lenders will be able to tell that you've made an application for credit, and this footprint will last for 12 months.
Your Credit Hit Rate is an overall calculation of how likely you are to be accepted for products from our panel of lenders.
The number you see is the percentage of products from those lenders that we've calculated you have a 70% or higher eligibility score on.
If you have any queries or concerns about the operation of Credit Club, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, the email address you joined with and your Credit Report ID.
Please note that because this a secure account, we won't be able to look at your account or reset your password for you (there's an automated process that allows you do to this). We also can't give advice about your Experian Credit Report, or any products.