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Check your credit report for free

Grab your file and check your score, or even get PAID to do it

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Amy | Edited by Johanna

Updated May 2017

Checking your credit report is in good shape is important if you want to get a mortgage, credit card, loan and more. The big credit reference agencies try to lure you in with free month-long trials, but as you can now see all your credit reports for free, there's no need to pay at all.

This guide explains how you can check your credit reports for free or even how to get paid to check them. Plus, we've launched our revolutionary free MoneySavingExpert.com Credit Club which allows you to check your Experian Credit Report for free.

Why you should check and what you should check

There are three credit reference agencies, Equifax, Experian and CallCredit, and they all hold information on you which lenders use. Even small errors can cause problems, so it's important you check through your credit report. Most of this is explained in detail in our How to Boost Your Credit Rating guide, but below is a quick checklist.

Your right to check your file (costs £2)

The most important thing to tell you is that you have a legal right to check your credit report. This is because it's important you know the information that companies have on you. Here's how to check, however before you read it please see our information on how to check for free and how to get paid to do it.

The MSE Credit Club - now includes Experian Credit Report

MSE’s Credit Club

We've launched our revolutionary, FREE MoneySavingExpert.com Credit Club – a brand new way for you to keep track of your credit record. You can sign up here – please give us feedback on it. Here are the six things it does:

  • We've launched the ability to get your full Experian Credit Report for FREE within Credit Club. See below for full details on how this will work.
  • You'll get a free Experian Credit Score. This gives you an indicator of how lenders see you when assessing you for credit applications.
  • Our unique Affordability Score. This clever tool helps you work out how much you can afford to borrow, using calculations based on your income and estimated spending.
  • Our unique Credit Hit Rate – this shows your chances of success, as a percentage, of grabbing our top cards and loans.
  • Eligibility tool to show your best credit deals. It reveals the likelihood of you getting top credit cards or loans.
  • Your credit profile explained. It shows the key factors affecting your score and how to improve them.

How to check your full credit report for FREE

Credit score checks for free

Credit reference agencies used to make all their money from selling data to lenders. The idea was to help lenders predict your behaviour, which allowed them to assess whether or not you were a good person to lend to.

Then some bright spark at the credit reference agencies realised they could generate a business called "consumer credit management". It meant they could start to sell you monitoring products and all the other sorts of data, including your "credit score", for the first time. You may ask why they sell it to you? Well, it makes them money, and sometimes up to £180 a year.

It used to be that the only way you could check your score for free was to sign up to 30-day free trials of these services, and then cancel before the time's up so you don't get charged. Yet, now, you can check your report on all three agencies for free every month – though they'll make money if you apply for credit cards and loans through them.

Which way you choose to check your report will depend on what's most important to you – a full monitoring service free for 30 days, or a more basic, but free-for-life service. Here's how to do it, broken down by agency.

The three agencies to check

As mentioned above, lenders will use one of three credit reference agencies – Equifax, Experian or Callcredit. If possible, check all of them, as not all providers use the same agencies; see below for how to check them for free.

Experian

Experian is the largest credit reference agency. It's commonly used by lenders, so it's likely to be very comprehensive.

So it's only appropriate that you now have two ways to view your Experian Credit Report for free. You can either sign up to see a monthly report with our Credit Club or you can get it direct from Experian by signing up for its 30-day free trial.

MSE Credit Club – FREE access to your Experian Credit Report

Details: MSE's Credit Club offers for the first time FREE full access to your Experian Credit Report. You'll be able to see details of all credit accounts you have, searches made against your file, financial associations and linked addresses, plus much more. And you won't ever have to pay for it.

How to cancel: It's easy. Just log in to your account, go to 'Settings' then click the big red 'Delete My Account' button. But if you're leaving we'd love to know why – please email us so we can fix any issues.

  • Pros: Unlike Experian's CreditExpert below, this is free forever. Also, you'll have access to your Experian Credit Score, Affordability Score, Credit Hit Rate and more.

  • Cons: You only get a once-a-month snapshot of your credit report and we can't send you updates every time something changes.

Click for full details

Experian's CreditExpert* – Free trial of largest credit agency

Details: CreditExpert* offers new customers a "free 30-day trial, then £14.99 per month" service, which gives real-time access to your credit report and score, plus email alerts when anything changes on your report.

How to cancel: It's very easy. Just call the freephone number 0800 561 0083 (may not be free from mobiles).

  • Pros: If you keep the service it offers monitoring and real-time access to your credit report.

  • Cons: You can only do this free trial once, plus it's expensive if you forget to cancel.

Click for full details

Equifax

There are two ways to see your Equifax file. One provides free monthly reports, the other is a 30-day free trial of its full credit report and credit monitoring service.

Clearscore* – Free access to your monthly Equifax Credit Report

Details: Clearscore* provides free Equifax (the second biggest credit agency) scores and reports, updated once a month (note, Equifax and Clearscore are not the same company). It's not part of a free trial, and aims to give you your credit report free for life, but it will offer you credit cards and loans that you've 'matched' with. It gets commission on any you take out, though you're under no obligation to do so

We haven't got much feedback on it yet, but as it's free you may as well give it a go. Let us know how you get on.

How to cancel: Go to your 'my account' page, and click on 'delete my account', you'll be sent an email to confirm your cancellation request has been processed.

  • Pros: You can get your Equifax report free every month, not just for 30 days like the free trial below.

  • Cons: The website is new and its full functionality isn't yet complete.

Click for full details

Equifax's Credit Report* – Free 30-day trial of the UK's 2nd biggest credit agency

Details: Equifax Credit Report* offers a 30-day free trial, then £9.95 a month, so ensure you cancel at least 24 hours before the free 30-day trial is up. You get online access to your credit report, as well as weekly email alerts whenever there are any changes to your account (e.g. new searches).

How to cancel: To request cancellation, call 0800 014 2955. You'll need to answer some security questions.

  • Pros: 30 days' free access to your credit report.

  • Cons: It's £9.95 a month if you forget to cancel.

Click for full details

Callcredit

Callcredit is the UK's newest credit reference agency, though it tends to not be as widely used as the two massive agencies above. However, you can get free access at any time to your Callcredit report and score.

Callcredit's Noddle – Completely FREE for life

Details: Callcredit provides free-for-life monthly reports through its Noddle service, however, it's not as widely used by lenders as the other two agencies above. If you use Noddle, it will offer you credit cards and loans that you qualify for, though you don't have to apply for anything to continue using the free report service.

How to cancel: Email contact@noddle.co.uk and tell it you wish to cancel the service and deregister from the Noddle site.

  • Pros: It's completely free for life, not just for 30 days.

  • Cons: It may not be as comprehensive as the others. The site has adverts trying to persuade you to sign up for premium credit scoring services. You will NOT have to sign up to this to check your score.

Click for full details

Equifax and Callcredit

Checkmyfile gives you a 30-day trial to see both your Callcredit and Equifax reports in one place. It's really only for those who want the monitoring, as a combination of Clearscore and Noddle will provide monthly snapshots of these two agencies for free.

CheckMyFile – Free 30 days trial gives all the info from Callcredit & Equifax

Details: CheckMyFile allows you to check all the information Callcredit and Equifax hold on you for one subscription. You get a free 30-day trial, then it's £14.99 a month if you want to keep the service.

How to cancel: Call 01872 308637 and tell it you want to cancel your free trial. Alternatively, you can use the secure messaging section of your online account to cancel.

  • Pros: Allows you to see both Callcredit and Equifax credit files and scores for just one subscription.

  • Cons: Doesn't include Experian's data. Costs £14.99 a month if you forget to cancel.

Click for full details

How to get paid to check your file

To get paid to check your file you'll need to sign up via a special cashback website, which pays you a set amount when you click through from it. As we explain above, it's all about signing up then cancelling the free trial so you don't get charged after the trial has ended.

Only Experian and Equifax usually feature on cashback sites, but you can often get between £3 and £10 for getting these free trials.

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