Jun 21 2018

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Check your credit report for free

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Free credit report online instantly

Updated August 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 Credit Club which allows you to check your Experian Credit Report for free.

In this guide.

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.

3. If you no longer have joint accounts with someone, ensure you financially delink (ie, separate).

4. Always check your credit reports after rejection. Read why here.

5. Cancel unused credit and store cards. Find out why unused cards can count against you.

Should I check all three credit reports?

If you’re doing a specific application for a company and you know which credit reference agency it uses, it’s obviously a priority to check that one. But as a general housekeeping rule we suggest you check all three credit reports at least once a year, because they all have an impact.

Don’t worry about over-checking your credit report. It’s not recorded on it, and it’s something that only you and the credit reference agency will know about. Check EVERY detail and do it regularly. PLUS always check before making any big applications to minimise your risk of rejection. It can all be done online, it’s quick and easy.

However, if time is short and you can only use one, then choose Experian (the biggest) or CheckMyFile (checks Equifax and Callcredit). It’s a good idea to do a check-up roughly every 12 to 18 months. Always do one in good time before making any important applications.

Your right to check your file (costs Ј2)

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 checks are all done online so they’re quick and easy to do (and are much more efficient than the old mail-only method).

The statutory report contains your personal details, info on financial links to other people, whether you’re on the electoral roll, the credit accounts you have, any missed payments or defaults, and a list of other recent searches of your credit report (though these only stay on your file for a maximum of one year). All three credit reference agencies will provide you with a statutory report:

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The MSE Credit Club – now includes Experian Credit Report

Free credit report online instantly

We’ve launched our revolutionary, FREE 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

Free credit report online instantly

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 Ј180 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.

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