How CreditMatcher can help you
Why should I use CreditMatcher?
CreditMatcher is a free online credit comparison service from Experian that shows you your Experian Credit Score and matches you to loans, credit cards and mortgages based on the credit information you provide and your credit information. We show your eligibility rating for personal loans, credit cards and mortgages based on your credit information held by Experian and other credit reference agencies, so you can see how likely you are to be accepted for these products.
Each time you apply for credit, a hard search is recorded on your credit report which is visible to potential lenders who may view having a number of these as a negative factor when assessing future applications you make. CreditMatcher leaves a soft search which lenders don't see and so searching for and comparing credit products doesn't affect your credit score.
By using CreditMatcher to see products you're more likely to be accepted for, you can 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?
CreditMatcher is provided by Experian, a leading credit reference agency. Experian holds and maintains credit information and provides credit referencing to all major high street banks and many other lending institutions in the UK.
When you start your search, we use the information you provide to us and your credit information held by Experian and other credit reference agencies, such as Equifax and Call Credit, to calculate your eligibility against credit products. 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
The matching results are worked out differently based on the product you require. Mortgage matches are based on your Experian credit information. Whereas credit cards and loans are based on credit information from Experian and other agencies.
If you have a partner and your finances are joined – for example a joint mortgage or bank account – their credit information may also be taken into consideration. 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 loans).
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.
Occasionally, and 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 fail to get a match. If this is the case, we can help you by putting you in touch with a broker who may have access to additional or alternative products.
Please note that CreditMatcher isn't responsible for third party products or offers. If you have any queries you can contact the providers directly.
Understanding the role of my credit report and score
What is a credit report?
A credit report details your personal credit information, including details of 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 when deciding whether to give you credit.
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.
Each credit reference agency may have a different credit report for you as not all lenders supply all of their information to all agencies. It’s worth checking your credit report for accuracy and as a preliminary step to making a credit application.
What is my credit score?
Your credit score is a rating based on the information in your credit report. It can change at any time, according to 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. That information includes things such as whether you make payments on other accounts 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 your financial associates (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've put on your application form and details they have 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.
You don't have just one credit score because different lenders use their own scoring systems. However, you could 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 Report and Score together by registering for CreditExpert, another service from Experian. This is free to all new customers for a 30-day trial period, after which it becomes a paid for service costing £14.99 a month. You may cancel at any time within the free 30-day trial period without charge.
Alternatively, you can request to see your Statutory Credit Report which Experian can issue you with for a £2 admin fee. Your Statutory Credit Report is a snapshot of your current situation and will not include your Experian Credit Score.
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. For mortgages any joint applicant will also be able to see a record of the search we make on their credit report, it won't be visible to lenders and will not affect their credit rating in any way.
However, if you go ahead and apply for any products, this will leave a footprint on your credit report and for any joint applicant a footprint on their credit report and that will be visible to lenders.
Your credit report only includes your records and any joint applicant credit report only includes their records.
Will applying for a product affect my Experian Credit Report?
When you apply for credit, lenders will do a search of your credit information to help them decide whether to accept your application. Experian, and other credit reference agencies, will make a record of this and the search will stay on your credit report for 12 months from the date it was first conducted.
Credit searches carried out by lenders will then be visible to other lenders if you apply for credit again in the future. Lenders are allowed to use these to make decisions about you, because certain patterns can indicate high risk. For example, a lot of credit applications in a short space of time can signal someone applying for more credit than they can afford or could be a sign of fraud.
Other types of searches, including the search made when you look for credit products through CreditMatcher, aren't visible to lenders and don't affect your score. You can also check your own report as often as you wish and this won't harm your credit rating.
Understanding my CreditMatcher results
What is an eligibility rating?
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 an independent financial advisor 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 if my eligibility is 20% or less?
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 will not.
This doesn't mean you have no chance of being accepted, but the likelihood is quite low. Before you apply for credit, remember that each credit application is recorded on your credit report and that a high number of credit applications is likely to cause a decrease in your credit score. Make sure you've considered all your options before you make an application.
Will I definitely get approved if my eligibility rating is above 90%?
No, there is no guarantee of acceptance with any of the products displayed in CreditMatcher – the success of your application remains solely at the discretion of the lender.
Could I be turned down for one of the products where I have a high eligibility rating?
A high eligibility rating means that your chances of being accepted for the product are high, as you satisfy most of the criteria specified by the lender. However, lenders usually overlay additional information only they have access to, for example if you're an existing customer, in order to evaluate your application and make a final decision.
Therefore, there's no guarantee of acceptance with any of the products displayed in CreditMatcher – the outcome of your application remains solely at the discretion of the lender.
Why wasn't I accepted for a pre-approved product?
If you applied for a pre-approved product you should be successful in your application, however, there are reasons why you may be declined:
- If you delayed completing their 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 pre-approved 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 contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
What is CreditMatcher?
CreditMatcher is a free online comparison service provided by Experian that uses your credit information to match you to products you're more likely to be accepted for. We show your eligibility rating for personal loans, credit cards and mortgages so you can see how likely you are to be accepted for these products. As well as matching you to credit products, CreditMatcher also gives you free access to your Experian Credit Score, updated monthly when you log in. Using CreditMatcher to search for credit products doesn't affect your credit score and can reduce your risk of a credit application being turned down. Please note that you don't need a CreditExpert membership to use CreditMatcher.
How do I sign up to CreditMatcher?
You can sign up to CreditMatcher quickly and easily by heading to the CreditMatcher homepage and following the signup instructions. If you're an active or previous member of CreditExpert, you can log in to CreditMatcher for free using your existing login details. CreditMatcher sign up and login is provided by a secure Experian Identity Service. Information on the Experian Identity Service can be found by heading to the [INSERT IDaaS LINK WHEN FINALISED].
Will using CreditMatcher cost me anything?
CreditMatcher services are provided to you free of charge. However we will receive commission payments from lenders or brokers we introduce you to. Experian acts as a credit broker and not a lender, meaning we show you products offered by lenders. Experian acts independently and, although CreditMatcher shows products for a range of lenders, it doesn't cover the whole of the market meaning other products not shown may be available to you.
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 (i) 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 (i) and (ii). For introducing you to a secured loan broker Experian will be paid a fee of (i) £45 or (ii) 50% of the broker’s revenue (broker revenue varies while broker fee is 12.5%).
Will you contact me when I make a search?
We may email you as a result of your enquiry and a broker may contact you if you request them to do so. Some partners 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 a list of products 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.
Why shouldn’t I just apply to the lenders direct?
CreditMatcher takes into account your credit information held by Experian and other credit reference agencies (for 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 direct unsuccessfully, making further applications may affect your credit score as multiple applications can make lenders think you're reliant on credit or be a sign of potential fraud.
Will CreditMatcher show me all the deals available in the market?
Experian acts independently and although CreditMatcher shows products for a range of lenders it does not cover the whole of the market meaning other products may be available to you.
Below is a list, correct as of 17/10/16, of the providers we work with. Please note, these are subject to change at short notice.
1st Stop, AA, CarFinance247, Clydesdale, Amigo, Aspire Money, AvantCredit, Bamboo, Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, besavvi, cahoot, Capital One, Central Trust, CreditPlus, Equifinance, Everyday Loans, FinSec, Halifax, Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, HSBC, Lendable, Lesley Stephen co, Likely Loans, Lloyds, M&S Bank, Masthaven, Moneyway, Nationwide, NatWest, NewDay, Norton Financial Services, Ocean Finance, On Stride, Optimum, Paragon, Precise, Prestige, RateSetter, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sainsbury's Bank, Santander, Shawbrook, Spring, Stepone, The Loans Engine, Together, TSB, UK Credit Limited, United Trust Bank, Vanquis, Virgin, What Credit, Yorkshire, Zopa and Zuto.
What if I can't finish my search?
At the moment, you won't be able to save your search once you've started the process, so please allow sufficient time to complete it. Once you have completed search details they will be saved for future searches if you are logged in. You can check and edit your saved search criteria when performing new searches.
What if I have a complaint?
We hope you'll never have a complaint, but if you do we want to hear about it as that gives us the chance to put it right for you and see how we can improve. You can make a complaint by emailing email@example.com.
To find out more and 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.
How long does it take for my Experian Credit Score to update?
With an Experian CreditMatcher membership, your updated Experian Credit Score is available every 30 days when you log in, starting from the first time you log in to Experian CreditMatcher.
Your score will be updated based on any changes to your Experian Credit Report. Your Experian Credit Report contains information such as how much you're borrowing, the credit accounts you have, how much credit you have available, and other information. If anything changes with your borrowing, this could result in a change to your credit report, and that 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 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 covering 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 related to you.
How do I improve my Experian Credit Score?
There are lots of ways to 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 take 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 rather than using the Experian Credit Score. Our 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.
Why can't I log in to CreditMatcher?
For the majority of login issues you should be able to resolve them yourself by following forgotten details links or additional authentication steps. If you're still having trouble logging in to the Experian Identity Service head over to INSERT LINK WHEN FINALISED.
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 and you should always check your card or loan terms to understand the rates charged and under what conditions they are applied.
Balance Transfer Rate or Purchase Rate
This is the interest you will be charged on balances transferred onto the card from other credit card accounts or for purchase transactions you make. Lenders often provide promotional rates on Balance Transfers and 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 (also known as Typical 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 get your feedback but please first ensure it is Experian you wish to contact and not a bank, credit card company, loan company or other financial body displayed in CreditMatcher, as these need to be contacted 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.