Free Credit reports for life

Last post: Mar 6, 2012

Free credit reports now available

Last month saw the formal launch of a very useful new service: free access to view your Credit Report and the best bit is, so the company doing this tell us, is that it will be free for life. Check out So I logged on and got an account to see if this was everything it claims to be and the answer is: well yes, sort of. In comparison to the other major provider of Credit Reports, CreditExpert by Experian, the detail in Noddle seems to be slightly less. My AmEx was listed but my Mastercard was not and though it gave details of my current mortgage, older ones I've held were not listed and both if these items can be seen on CreditExpert. The scoring system is different too with CreditExpert providing scores on a more granular basis out of 999 whereas Noddle simply score you out of 5. However, Noddle also has a lot of plusses going for it: I found Noddle a lot easier to navigate than CreditExpert - the user interface is cleaner and it just feels simper to operate - and I was also very easily able to see who had done credit searches on me in the last 12 months (a few insurance companies where I'd take policies and someone doing an anti-money laundering check) which is a useful thing to be able to keep an eye on. And of course, let's not forget the best bit of all: Noddle is completely free whereas CreditExpert costs £14.99 per month (albeit you can sign up for a free 30 day trial but just remember to cancel it before the 30 days expire!!)! So how do they manage to offer this for free when other companies have to charge? The answer is fairly clear once you first log in. The free Credit Report seems to be just a hook to get you in so they can cross sell you other financial products. The moment you first log in, before you can even get to your Credit Report, the first screen offers you an array of credit cards. Below that is affiliate offers they have with major retailer: 3 for 2 at Boots, freebies from Hotel Chocolat, 50% off bouquets of flowers etc. Is this a problem? While some people get grossly offended at advertisers pitching to them, I don't mind at all. I feel there's a fair trade off here: show me my Credit report and I'll glance at your adverts plus, you never know but some of those offers might actually be useful. Certainly the 50% off flowers ahead of Mother's day certainly did catch my eye! To me it's worth it. Of course the one thing to remember in all this is that even if you look at your Credit Report with both Noddle and CreditExpert and they both look good, banks and Lenders generally do their own credit checks anyway. Now, while it all should be coming from the same data and should generally say the same thing, you just never know. With banks these days there are no guarantees. But it is certainly useful to know roughly where you stand and to be able to monitor searches on your account or fraudulent use of your personal data to take credit so we do recommend you check out Noddle.