Three digits could stand between you and the mortgage you need to finance your dream house. Your credit score is an essential part of many lenders’ decision-making processes. While best known for being a price comparison site that can help you save money on things like your broadband, MoneySuperMarket.com also provides a free credit score and credit history analysis to help you understand what you’re doing right and what you could improve. But how is it calculated? What can you do to improve it? And how can you make sure that it is as accurate as possible?
Things like missed payments, maxing out your credit cards, or even having too many lines of credit all play a role in calculating your credit score. The number is calculated based on your financial history, your ability to keep up with financial commitments, and even simple things like whether you are on the electoral roll.
There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Lenders base their decisions on the information held by these providers. And financial companies like MoneySuperMarket use information from credit reference agencies to provide you with your credit score and insights from your report.
The average credit score in the UK is:
- 383 out of 700 (Equifax)
- 759 out of 999 (Experian),
- 610 out of 710 (TransUnion)
If your credit score is low, look at your credit report to find the root cause. Checking your personal credit report will not affect your credit score. We bust some other popular credit score myths here to help you navigate this complex field.
MoneySuperMarket’s Credit Monitor provides you with free access to your credit score and report. Its app notifies you when your credit score changes so you can tweak your financial behaviours if necessary. But how can you be sure that MoneySuperMarket provides an accurate, trustworthy service? And what exactly does the service offer?
What is MoneySuperMarket’s Credit Monitor?
MoneySupermarket’s Credit Monitor is a free service that allows you to view your credit score and report. It updates monthly, gives you pointers to help you improve your score, and lists things you are doing well to help reinforce good financial habits. These could include being registered to vote, paying your bills on time, and ensuring that your credit utilisation remains low.
To view your score and report, you will need to answer a few verification questions about your financial information. These are used to confirm your identity - you won't be able to access your information unless you answer them correctly. To ensure that you can gain access to your information, MoneySuperMarket advises you to check your accounts rather than guessing if you are unsure about particular answers.
The Credit Monitor service will not have information on you if you are not a UK resident or have a 'thin' credit file.
What are the benefits of using MoneySuperMarket’s Credit Monitor?
Once you can access your file, you will be able to benefit from personalised financial product offers. This could be helpful if you are looking for loans, credit cards with features such as cashback, a mortgage, or even car insurance. The service will look at your credit score and report to advise whether you are pre-approved for products like credit cards and what kind of terms you might get.
If you are not pre-approved, you will get an estimated chance of approval for products. You will also be advised if the service believes you will be rejected by certain providers. This is helpful as making numerous applications for credit in a short period could lower your credit score.
The MoneySuperMarket website also offers an app to help you navigate various aspects of your finances. Your credit score and report will be at your fingertips, and the app will even alert you if they notice any suspicious activity around your credit file. The app includes the Car Monitor service, which reminds you when your MOT is due and when to check for new insurance deals. You also get the Energy Monitor service, which helps you find cheaper energy.
Where does MoneySuperMarket get its information?
MoneySuperMarket’s Credit Monitor is powered by TransUnion, which acquired Callcredit in 2018. Callcredit was one of the largest credit reference agencies in the UK, with a two-decade history of championing a consumer-first approach. Headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion collects and aggregates information on over 500 million businesses and individuals worldwide.
Well-known UK based financial service providers, including TotallyMoney, Credit Karma, and Checkmyfile, are partnered with TransUnion to provide credit reporting data.
Like other credit reference agencies, TransUnion gets its information from several sources, including the electoral roll, local councils, and lenders. The accuracy of this information is partially dependent on you updating your records when you move or when there is a change in your circumstances.
Because MoneySuperMarket is powered by TransUnion, you can be confident that the information that appears on the website is accurate. It is based on the same credit report and score used by other providers working with TransUnion.
What can I do to ensure my MoneySuperMarket credit information is as accurate and complete as possible?
The best way to ensure that your score is accurate is by checking that the information on your credit report is up to date. If the information that comes through the MoneySuperMarket website is inaccurate, you will need to contact TransUnion to request a correction.
You can take several steps to ensure that your TransUnion file is as accurate and as complete as possible. For instance, you could raise a dispute if you believe the company holds incorrect information about you. TransUnion will respond to your concerns within 28 days of submitting a dispute; however, you may be required to provide evidence to back up your claim.
You are also able to lodge a notice of correction (NOC). This can be done when the information on your file is correct, but you would like to provide some context around it. For example, it could be helpful to submit a NOC if you believe there are mitigating circumstances that a lender should consider when viewing certain information on your file. A NOC could be beneficial if you wish to explain why you have a missed payment record on your file, for example.
You could do this by submitting a 200-word statement relevant to your credit file. You can't blame anyone, submit confidential information, or name any third parties. TransUnion will get in touch if the statement is inappropriate and will even suggest alternative wording.
It is worth keeping in mind that your NOC will not automatically carry over to other credit reference agencies. If you're also looking at your Equifax and Experian credit score, you will need to submit a separate NOC to Equifax and Experian to ensure lenders using those credit reference agencies have the most complete information about you.
Also, a NOC could delay future credit applications as lenders will need to review your file manually to make their decisions.
Another way to ensure that your credit score is as accurate as possible is by making a notice of disassociation. This is a request to remove financial associates from your file. For example, if you have separated from your partner and no longer have a joint mortgage or account, you may wish to remove the link from your file so your credit score is as accurate as possible.
This is especially pertinent if your partner has a bad credit rating. Even if you have a good credit score, this could impact your chances of receiving the best credit deals. Before making a notice of disassociation, you need to ensure that all joint accounts have been transferred to a single name, thereby severing the ties with the other person. You can then download a form from the TransUnion website to make the request.
To recap, there are three ways to ensure that your credit information is accurate. They include:
- Raising a dispute
- Submitting a notice of correction (NOC) to all credit reference agencies
- Submitting a notice of disassociation
While MoneySuperMarket provides insights from your credit report, it is helpful to view the full version. You can request a free, full version from TransUnion. This will help you spot any inaccuracies that could be affecting your score.
Should I be using MoneySuperMarket to keep an eye on my credit score and report?
MoneySuperMarket provides a free service that allows you to view information about your credit score and credit report. It is powered by TransUnion, one of the UK’s main credit reference agencies. The website also includes insights about your financial habits, pointing out things you do well and things you could do to improve your credit score. There are also personalised offers available to users.
Because MoneySuperMarket uses TransUnion, you can be confident that your information is correct. However, if you wish to make corrections or add context to your report, TransUnion allows you to do so by raising disputes, submitting notices of correction (NOCs), or submitting notices of disassociation.
MoneySuperMarket is a great tool to help you stay up to date with your score and understand your credit report.