Getting a Credit Report from Experian CreditExpert

Written by Karen Bryan

experian logoI was offered a 12 month free trial of Experian CreditExpert so that I could try out the service. However, everyone is offered a 30 day free trial. After this period the price is £14.99 a month.

I signed up to Experian CreditExpert online, but I had to wait almost a week to receive a PIN in order to access my report.

I was alerted that my free trial period had already started. In my opinion, the free trial should start on the day which you enter the PIN, because until that time, you can’t see any useful information on your account.

After entering the PIN, I was able to see my full credit report, which gave an Experian Credit Score out of 100 and a rating band (there are five bands ranging from very poor to excellent). It’s important to bear in mind that every financial organisation will score you differently.

There was a list of five positive and three negative factors which contributed to my good ratings in Experian’s Credit Score. The positives included that I was only utilising a small percentage of my total available credit, I pay off some credit cards in full every month and I’m not using all my credit accounts.

I was already aware of the negative factors in that I’ve applied for more than one new credit accounts in the last six months, which had lead to a drop in my Noddle credit score from excellent to very good.  These applications were not because I was desperate for the cash, it was because of great offers on credit cards such as 23 months interest free on purchases and balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee from the Santander 123 Credit card.

I also opened some current accounts over the last 12 months. Some pay a much higher rate of interest than a savings account (e.g. 4% on a Club Lloyd’s Current Account) and/or give you access to monthly savings accounts (the M&S Bank Monthly Saver pays 6% interest) and they are showing in my credit search history. New credit accounts mean that you are viewed as a higher risk than having long-standing accounts.

In my opinion, my credit score has been disproportionately reduced because of applying for new credit accounts. I’ve never been in arrears with any credit card payments and I don’t use the overdraft facility on any of my current accounts. Surely the fact that I am using such as low percentage of the credit available to me is the best indicator that I am not experiencing any financial difficulties.

I suppose that’s the problem with using a formula to work out credit scores. Assumptions are being made about why certain actions are taken, which may not be the correct explanation.

The good thing is that it’ll be easy enough to increase my Experian CreditExpert score up again if I don’t apply for any new credit accounts for the next few months.