Managing your credit score is easier than ever, with all three major credit referencing agencies now offering their own apps. But before diving into the apps, there are a few key things to remember about how your credit scores work.
The scores are compiled by three agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. All three search for financial data about you in order to build up a credit profile. This includes information such as where you are registered to vote, how many bank accounts you have, if you have any credit cards and loans, or mortgages and overdrafts. All of this data is then compiled to give you a ‘score’. These scores are not standardised and vary by the agency.
All three of the above agencies now have consumer-facing brands which offer information on your score for free: Equifax via ClearScore and TransUnion via Credit Karma. Experian uses the same name for its consumer-friendly online services. While all three offer you basic information for free, some such as Experian offer premium products and subscriptions to give you more detail and control over how your score works. To read about how to improve your credit score, click the image below.
The Best Apps
When it comes to credit score apps, there are really only three you should consider. Those all come from the above agencies through their consumer brands.
Here, we break down what each app offers, and how it rates among its users.
Credit Karma’s app gives plenty of key information on your credit score and its breakdown, based on data from TransUnion.
It offers weekly updates plus a full report of factors affecting your score. You can also get alerts when your score changes from the app, plus it offers personalised tips to help you improve it. Credit Karma says you can check your score as often as you like and it won’t affect your rating.
At the time of writing users rate it 4.7 stars out of five on both the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
ClearScore’s information comes from Equifax and offers free reports, in its own words, “forever.”
The app lets you see your score, credit accounts and any financial associations you may have such as bank accounts. It will also let you look at whether any credit searches have been made against you. You can also track basic financial information such as your spending, and how much you have on your cards.
ClearScore also offers checking tools, so you can look at how likely you’ll be to get accepted for credit cards, car finance or personal loans applications. You can log in using fingerprints or facial recognition too.
At the time of writing the app is rated 4.8 stars out of five on the Apple App Store and 3.9 stars out of five on the Google Play Store.
Experian: Credit Score
Experian’s app lets you check your credit score on the go and will give you factors affecting its level. You can also do credit card and loan comparisons, plus check your eligibility without it affecting your rating. The app also offers handy tips, videos and other information to help you improve your score and prevent it from having any issues.
Experian has a premium level on offer too, called ‘CreditExpert.’ You can get a 30-day free trial before paying £14.99 per month. The CreditExpert plans help improve your score through personalised tips and detailed information on what is affecting it. It will also update your score daily and offers UK customer support relating to your score
[At the time of writing] The app is currently rated 4.8 stars out of five on the Apple App Store and 4.6 stars out of five on the Google Play Store.
At Lendwise, we conduct an initial soft credit search when we receive a loan application. This will not affect your credit score rating. A hard search is only conducted after a student accepts the loan offer and proceeds to a formal loan agreement. Read more about credit scores as well the “do’s and don’ts” here.
Credit Score Boosting Apps
There are multiple apps specifically designed to improve your credit rating by creating actionable steps for you to follow. Below are a few examples;
Pave helps you build credit the proper way. Say NO to credit card debt, hard credit checks, interest or APR and being sold more debt. Pave works with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to build your credit score. The credit builder works with you to improve your credit score every month and gives you personalised credit fixes so you can improve your score efficiently.
Pave has 3 membership tiers alongside the free account. Note, if you have had a CCJ, IVA or bankruptcy in the past 12 months, Pave may not be able to help.
LOQBOX grows your credit score by helping you prove your creditworthiness to credit reference agencies (CRAs) – the people who compile and keep your credit report.
In turn, lenders are more likely to trust you with their money, giving you better borrowing deals and saving you on the interest you’ll pay on things like credit cards, loans, mortgages and phones. LOQBOX helps in the following three steps; save, grow and unlock.
LOQBOX has 2 tiers, a free account and a paid membership. They don’t currently have an app but they are working on one. You can find out more info on their website.
*9.2% Representative APR (fixed). Credit is subject to status. Only those over 18 can apply. T&C’s apply.
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