How CreditMatcher can help you
Why should I use CreditMatcher?
CreditMatcher is a free online service that gives you your Experian Credit Score updated every 30 days and then matches you to the personal loans and credit cards you're more likely to be accepted for, based on your credit information.
Using CreditMatcher to search for credit won't affect your credit rating. When you apply directly to a bank or lender, a 'hard search' is recorded on your credit report, whereas CreditMatcher leaves a 'soft search' which lenders don't see, so it doesn't affect your credit score.
By using CreditMatcher to find products you're more likely to be accepted for, you reduce the risk of your application being turned down, and help to protect your credit report and score.
How does CreditMatcher find me credit products?
Experian works with major high street banks and many other lending institutions in the UK. When you start your search, we use the information you provide us along with your credit information held by Experian and other credit reference agencies, such as Equifax and Call Credit, to calculate your eligibility against credit cards and personal loans.
To get results on how likely you are to get products from some lenders, we may share your personal data directly with them. This enables them to do a 'soft search' to verify your details. It returns the likelihood of you being accepted for their product.
Please note: the eligibility rating is not an indication of whether a product is suitable for your financial circumstances. If you require this advice, you should speak to a financial adviser, Citizens Advice Bureau or the Money Advice Service
If you're already a customer of one of the providers, additional information they hold may be utilised to assess your eligibility and this may impact on the results shown.
How do Equifax and CallCredit use my information?
To find out more about how Equifax or CallCredit use your information please contact them directly – their contact details are:
CallCredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or call 0870 0601414
Equifax PLC, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 1140, Bradford, BD1 5US or call 0844 335 0550
What happens if I share finances with a partner?
If you have a partner and you share your finances – for example a joint mortgage or bank account – we will also take their credit information into consideration when providing eligibility ratings. Based on this information, we filter through hundreds of products to carefully match you with the individual lenders' criteria for each available product and provide you with matches and eligibility ratings (for cards and personal loans).
Why don't I have any matches?
Occasionally, if your credit report doesn't have much information in it (for example if you've never had any forms of credit before), you may not get any matches. If this is the case, we can help you by putting you in touch with a broker who may have access to alternative products.
Understanding the role of my credit report and score
What is a credit report?
If you're over 18 and have ever taken out credit, it's likely a credit reference agency (like Experian) will hold a credit report on you.
Your credit report details your personal credit information, including mortgages, credit cards, overdrafts, mobile phone contracts and even some utilities such as gas, electricity and water. Banks and financial institutions use your credit information to help them decide whether to give you credit or not.
Each credit reference agency may hold a slightly different credit report for you, as not all lenders supply all of their information to all agencies. We recommend checking your credit report before making credit applications.
What is a credit score?
Your credit score is a rating based on the information in your credit report. It can change at any time, depending on how you're managing your credit accounts.
When you apply for credit – such as a credit card, loan or hire purchase on a car – the lender takes a look at your credit information. This information includes things such as whether you make payments on time, the credit limits on your credit and store cards, and how many applications you've made for credit recently. Your report may also reference people you share finances with (such as someone you have a joint mortgage with) and this information may also be used by lenders when deciding whether to lend to you.
They use this information, along with what you put on your application form, plus any existing details if you're already a customer, and give you a credit score. The higher your credit score, the higher the chances you will be accepted for credit.
Different lenders use their own scoring systems. However, you can get an indication of how they may see you by viewing your Experian Credit Score.
How can I see my Experian Credit Report and Score?
You can see your Experian Credit Score by joining CreditMatcher. If you want to know more about your Score and Credit Report you can see your Experian Credit Report and Score together by joining CreditExpert, a service from Experian which helps you understand your score and learn how to improve it with a credit report, expert guidance and the personal support of our award winning team. This is free to all new customers for a 30-day trial period, and then it costs £14.99 a month. If you change your mind, you can cancel your membership at any time by giving us a call.
Alternatively, you can request to see your Statutory Credit Report, which Experian can issue for a £2 admin fee. Your Statutory Credit Report is a snapshot of your current situation and will not include your Experian Credit Score.
For more information on choosing the right product for you just go to the Which product is right for me? page.
When you calculate my eligibility matches, will it show on my credit report?
Only you will be able to see a record of the search we make on your credit report, it won't be visible to lenders and will not affect your credit rating in any way.
If you do go ahead and apply for any products however, this will leave a footprint on your credit report and will be visible to lenders.
Will applying for a product affect my Experian Credit Report?
Using CreditMatcher to search for credit products will leave a 'soft search' record on your credit report. This is only viewable by you and isn't seen by lenders.
However if you do go on to make an application for credit with a bank or lender a 'hard search' is recorded on your credit report. Potential lenders can see these hard searches and may view them negatively when considering you for applications. The 'hard search' will stay on your credit report for 12 months.
The addition of a new credit account can impact your credit score and report.
Understanding my CreditMatcher results
What is an eligibility rating?
Experian CreditMatcher gives you an eligibility rating for credit cards and personal loans.
Your eligibility rating is a guide to show how likely a lender is to accept your application for their product. Put simply, the higher the rating, the more likely you are to be approved. The lower the rating, the less likely you are to be approved.
But remember, your eligibility rating is just a guide – there's no guarantee of approval. The decision remains at the discretion of the lender. If your application is successful, the lender may still choose to offer you an annual percentage rate (APR) and credit limit that's different to the one shown in the search results. If this is the case, the lender will make you aware of this once they've assessed your application, but before you agree to take the product.
Below are the eligibility ratings and what it could mean for you. Join CreditExpert if you want to understand your score and learn how to improve it even further with a credit report, expert guidance and the personal support of our award winning team.
Where a product is marked as 'not rated' it means we currently don't have enough information to show you a rating. This may be because the provider hasn't shared their lending criteria with us, or because we haven't been able to find your credit information.
Occasionally, you may not be eligible for a product. This could be because your credit report doesn't have much information in it (for example if you have never had any forms of credit before), if your income is too low, or if we simply haven't been able to find a product that we think you'll be accepted for. In this case, we can put you in touch with a broker who may have access to additional or alternative products.
10% - 20% Very low chance of approval
With this eligibility rating you're likely to be turned down for most products. Very few people with similar credit information to you have been accepted for these products.
30% - 40% Low chance of approval
You're unlikely to be accepted for products with this rating. A few people with a similar history of managing credit to you have been accepted for these products.
50% - 60% Fair chance of approval
You have a fair chance of being offered products with this rating. A reasonable amount of people with a similar history of managing credit to you have been accepted for these products.
70% - 80% Good chance of approval
You're likely to be accepted for products with this rating. Many people with a similar history of managing credit to you have been accepted for these products.
90% - 95% Excellent chance of approval
You're very likely to be accepted for products with this rating. Most people with similar credit information to you have been accepted for these products.
Based on the information provided and credit information we have access to, if you apply for this product your application to the lender will be successful. However, when you contact the lender to apply for the product, you may find that the rate may vary.
Is it worth applying for credit if my eligibility rating is low?
It doesn't mean you have no chance of being accepted, but the likelihood is lower. For credit cards as an example, an eligibility rating of 20% means 2 in 10 people with similar information to you will get the product, but 8 in 10 people won't.
Before you apply for credit, remember that each credit application is recorded on your credit report and that a high number of applications can cause your credit score to go down. So make sure you've considered all your options before you apply. And remember, CreditExpert can help if you want learn to how to improve your score with a credit report, expert guidance and the personal support of our award winning team.
Could I be turned down for a product where I have a high eligibility rating?
A high eligibility rating means that you're likely to be approved for a product. However, lenders may still overlay additional information that only they have access to before they make their final decision. So there's no guarantee you'll be accepted with any of the products displayed in CreditMatcher – the outcome of your application remains solely at the discretion of the lender.
Is a pre-approved eligibility rating a guarantee of acceptance?
A pre-approved eligibility rating means that based on the information you've provided, alongside the credit information we have access to, your application to the lender will be successful. However, pre-approved doesn't guarantee you'll be accepted. Your application still remains solely at the discretion of the lender and subject to the rules below.
Why wasn't I accepted for a pre-approved or 100% approved product?
If you applied for a pre-approved product you should be successful in your application, however, there are several reasons why you could still be declined:
- If you delayed completing your application (your circumstances may have changed in the meantime)
- If you applied for the product via a different route, i.e. other than via Experian CreditMatcher
- If you submitted different details when you made your application than what you entered on the CreditMatcher site
- If you did not pass the lender's ID, verification and fraud checks
- If you applied for multiple products
- If you have an existing credit agreement with the lender
If you do not believe any of the above reasons apply to you, please email us email@example.com
What is CreditMatcher?
CreditMatcher is a free online service that gives you your Experian Credit Score and then matches you to the personal loans and credit cards you're more likely to be accepted for, based on your credit information.
Using CreditMatcher to search for credit products doesn't affect your credit score and can help to reduce your risk of a credit application being turned down.
You also don't need a CreditExpert membership to use CreditMatcher.
How do I sign up to CreditMatcher?
It's quick and easy sign up to Experian CreditMatcher – just go to the CreditMatcher homepage and sign up. If you're an active or previous member of CreditExpert, you can log in to CreditMatcher using your existing login details.
How do I close my CreditMatcher account?
If you would like to close your CreditMatcher account you can do so by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting an account closure. For security purposes please ensure you contact us from the email address registered on your CreditMatcher account.
Will using CreditMatcher cost me anything?
CreditMatcher services are provided to you completely free of charge.
How can you provide the service for free?
Experian receives no payment from providers for displaying products in our results tables but we do receive a fee from some lenders and brokers when you choose them from our search results and click through to their site or make an application. For some products, we're also paid a commission when you make a successful application. For example, for introducing you to a mortgage broker Experian will be paid a fee of between £2 and £30, typically £2, or (ii) 25% of the broker’s revenue (broker revenue varies, typically it’s 0.36% of the mortgage and a £1,500 broker fee), or (iii) both of and (ii). For Insurance, Seopa Limited trading as Quotezone, receive a commission from insurers and brokers when you take out an insurance product, in turn Experian receive a share of Seopa’s commission.
Will you contact me when I make a search?
We may email you when you make an enquiry and a broker may contact you if you request them to do so. Some brokers work with a selective panel of lenders who may contact you directly to assist you.
Will CreditMatcher push specific providers to me?
CreditMatcher will give you an impartial list of cards and personal loans matched to your credit information. No preference is given to any of the lenders or brokers for their products to be featured in a higher position in the search results. For products with eligibility ratings the order in which they are shown is primarily based on your eligibility. For products without eligibility ratings the order is based on other factors, for example lowest APR first. You choose to order results differently from the default displayed.
Why shouldn't I just apply to the lenders directly?
CreditMatcher takes into account your credit information held by Experian and other credit reference agencies (for personal loans and credit cards) and shows you the lenders and brokers whose products you're more eligible for. If you were to apply to a lender directly and were unsuccessful, any further applications may affect your credit score.
Will CreditMatcher show me all the deals available on the market?
Experian acts impartially and independently. Although CreditMatcher shows products for a wide range of lenders, it does not cover the whole of the market - so other products may also be available to you.
Below is a list, correct as of 23/01/17, of the providers we work with. Please note, these are subject to change at short notice.
Credit Cards – AA, Aqua, Aquis, Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Chrome, Clydesdale Bank, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, Marbles, MBNA Ltd, nuba, Ocean Finance, Origin, Sainsbury's Bank, Santander, Tesco Bank, TSB, Vanquis Bank, Virgin Money, Yorkshire Bank.
Loans – Zuto, Creditplus, CarFinance247, What Credit, On Stride, Lendable, Bamboo, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank, Sainsbury's Bank, Santander, RateSetter, Everyday Loans, Amigo, Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, M&S Bank, Moneyway, 118 118 Money, cahoot, Trusttwo, UK Credit Limited, Likely Loans, besavvi, Zopa, AA, 1st Stop Personal Loans Ltd, HSBC, Tesco Bank, Prestige, TLE, Shawbrook, Masthaven, Together, Norton, Central, Spring, Stepone, Equifinance, Paragon, Lesley Stephen co.
Mortgages - Chorley Building Society, Natwest, Barnsley Building Society, Abbey (Santander), Tipton & Coseley Building Society, Buckinghamshire Building Society, Earl Shilton Building Society, Mansfield Building Society, Marsden Building Society, West Bromwich Building Society, Clydesdale Bank, Ulster Bank (NI), Platform, Woolwich (Barclays), Halifax, Progressive Building Society, Scottish Widows Bank, Ecology Building Society, Coventry Building Society, Holmesdale Building Society, Virgin Money, Newbury Building Society, Penrith Building Society, Ipswich Building Society, The Family Building Society, Cambridge Building Society, Monmouthshire Building Society, Darlington Building Society, Bank of China (UK) Ltd, Aldermore, Skipton Building Society, Leek United, Furness Building Society, Beverley, Nationwide Building Society, Hanley Economic Building Society, Newcastle Building Society, Kensington, Dudley Building Society, Hinckley & Rugby Building Society, Principality Building Society, Scottish Building Society, Manchester Building Society, Stafford Railway, Bath Investment & Building Society, Teachers Building Society, Melton Mowbray, HSBC, Nottingham Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, NatWest Int Sols, Santander, Saffron Building Society, Leeds Building Society, Vernon, Kent Reliance, TSB, Accord Mortgages, Royal Bank of Scotland, BankofIreland4Intermediaries (NI), The Mortgage Works, Fleet Mortgages, Foundation Home Loans, Paragon Mortgages, Precise Mortgages, Mortgage Trust, BM Solutions, Godiva Mortgages, Barclays, Airdrie Savings Bank.
What if I can't finish my search?
At present you can't save a search once you've started it, so make sure you give yourself enough time to complete it. Once you've completed your search, the details will be saved if you are logged in. You can check and edit your saved search criteria when you make new searches.
What if I have a complaint?
We hope you won't have reason to make a complaint, but if you do, simply email us at email@example.com and we'll do everything we can to put it right for you, plus see how we can improve in the future.
To find out more about how to make a complaint take a look at our complaints handling procedure. If we can't resolve your complaint this way then you have the right to refer it free of charge to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You can contact them by:
- 0300 123 9 123, or from outside the UK +44 20 7964 1000
Financial Ombudsman Service,
London, E14 9SR
You also have the option to register your complaint using the European Commission Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform. This is a web-based platform designed to help consumers who've bought goods or services online deal with issues arising from their purchase.
How do I get Experian CreditExpert?
It's quick and easy sign up to Experian CreditExpert – just go to the CreditExpert homepage and sign up. If you're already a CreditMatcher customer you can login and follow the CreditExpert sign up links from there.
How long does it take for my Experian Credit Score to update?
With an Experian CreditMatcher membership, your Experian Credit Score is updated every 30 days starting from the first time you log in to Experian CreditMatcher.
Your score will be updated if there are any changes to your Experian Credit Report. If anything changes with your borrowing, this could result in a change to your credit report, which in turn could result in a change to your Experian Credit Score.
How do I update my details?
You can update your personal details at any time by logging in to CreditMatcher online and selecting 'Your account' in the top right hand corner of the screen. Once in your account, just select the change link. You can change your:
- Current address
- Previous addresses
- Contact details
- Login credentials including password and memorable word
To build and maintain an accurate Experian Credit Score, we need your up to date and accurate name and address history over the last six years. We take the safety of your personal data seriously and we want to make absolutely sure we're only showing you credit information relevant to you.
Why can't I log in to CreditMatcher?
You should be able to resolve login issues yourself by following forgotten details links or additional authentication steps on the login pages.
How do I improve my Experian Credit Score?
There are lots of ways you can improve your Experian Credit Score. Some are as simple as registering on the electoral roll (if you're not already) and making credit payments on time (such as your mortgage or an existing credit card or loan).
Here are our top tips to keep your Experian Credit Score healthy and improve a poor score.
- Register on the electoral roll and make sure your registered address is current
- Make all of your credit payments on time and in full
- Think carefully before opening any new credit accounts or taking out any new loans
- Keep using your old credit accounts - the longer you've had them the more they increase your score
- Stay well below your credit limits (so if you're credit card limit is £1,000 try to keep the balance under £500)
- Regularly check your Experian Credit Report and what factors have been affecting it using CreditExpert
- Remember, each bank and lender calculates their own version of your credit score. Our Experian Credit Score is calculated to give you a clear overview of how you're doing financially and is based on the credit report information used by all major UK high street banks.
How do I know how much interest I'll be paying on a credit card or loan?
To understand how much interest you'd pay on a credit card or loan, look out for the rates below. These are summary descriptions, so you should always check your card or loan terms to fully understand the rates charged and conditions applied.
Balance Transfer Rate
This is the interest you will be charged on balances transferred onto the card from other credit card accounts. Lenders often provide promotional rates on balance transfers so be sure to check how long these promotional rates last for before you will be charged standard rates.
This is the interest you will be charged for purchase transactions you make. Lenders often provide promotional rates on Purchases so be sure to check how long these promotional rates last for before you will be charged standard rates.
Representative Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The Representative APR provides you with an easier and fairer comparison rate that can be compared across different credit cards and personal loans. It's not a guaranteed rate you will get on completing an application. A Representative APR is the annual rate offered to at least 51% of successful applicants. Representative APR can vary depending on the lender and things like the size of a loan or credit card terms. For credit cards it's important to remember what you want to use a card for. If you want to use it for a balance transfer the balance transfer interest rate may be a better comparison across cards.
Personal Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Lenders' standard practice is to review your credit score and specific personal circumstances when processing your application for a card or personal loan. The lenders reserve the right to offer you a different rate to the Representative APR shown in the listing, this is known as a Personal APR. All lenders have an obligation to tell you what your Personal APR is before you sign a credit agreement with them.
Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APRC)
Similar to Representative APR for cards and personal loans the APRC is used specifically for mortgages and secured loans to provide customers with an easier and fair comparison of mortgages. It takes into account the initial rate, all fees, charges and the follow on interest rate. This is the overall cost for comparison if you keep the same product until the mortgage is fully repaid. So the APRC may appear higher than the fixed, variable or tracker interest rate for some products. It's important to remember this if you intend on switching mortgages again before full repayment.
What is Experian?
Experian is a global information company with offices in 39 countries. We provide a range of services to organisations as well as individuals, helping you check and manage your credit report and protect yourself against identity theft.
Experian Plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.
How do I contact Experian?
We're always happy to talk to you, but please first make sure that it's Experian you wish to contact and not a bank, credit card company, loan company or other financial body displayed in CreditMatcher, as you'll need to contact these directly.
If you have an enquiry about the progress of an application, or are experiencing technical problems on a third party site, please contact the company in question in order to resolve your query.
For any queries regarding CreditMatcher, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For security purposes, if you have a CreditMatcher account please ensure you contact us from the email address registered on your CreditMatcher account.