Credit Score

As all 3 CRAs have free apps it’s best to look at those.
Though the Experian app only gives a score so is useless.
The score from any of them is just a marketing tool to sell you more credit products, that’s how the CRAs make money.
My Starling account appears on CallCredit and Noddle.

there are two reasons for that

firstly comparing credit scores between different agencies is not possible, as there is no standardized system, so it is like comparing potatoes and watermelons, there just is not a way. Secondly as different financial institutions report to different agencies you will naturally get different scores as one account may appear on one agency but not another.

However, more importantly the credit score is meaningless! As a lender they just use the info in your credit file not your score, and that info is applied to internal criteria. That lender may also not use the same criteria for every account type or every service. So even disregarding the score (which more a marketing hype to get people to sign up to them) just because you have a certain level of borrowing or income or repayment record may not mean anything in reality. Other factors like your address or profession or the amount of fund they have available to distribute at that rate are just as likely to impact a decision.

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So, I’ve just had a bit of a deep dive into the 3 reports for myself, and wondered if someone could suggest a theory to the below…

Transunion (Noddle), shows all of my accounts that are reported.

However, it has the fewest searches on there (seemingly, only Nationwide bothered to check them when I was applying for a mortgage earlier in the year).

Equifax (Clearscore) is next, and they report everything apart from my Monzo account.

But, the Barclays hard search (from Experian), is only a soft search here… Nationwide hard search also appears.

Last we have Experian (though MSE) who don’t report Starling or Monzo.

Weirdly, it looks like Nationwide hasn’t searched here, but the Barclays hard footprint in there.

Finally, for anyone who still cares, N26 doesn’t appear anywhere other than 2 soft searches with Experian.

It all seems very muddled up, and the Noddle UI needs destroying…

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It’s really quite simple: Different institutions report to and search different CRAs, and even if they search multiple CRAs they may perform different types of searches with the different CRAs.

Looking at it logically it makes perfect sense to me for a lender to do a hard search with 1 or 2 reports, and a soft search with the others just to double check for any obvious red flags, depending on their risk appetite.

Oh yes!

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I guess I meant that there doesn’t seem to be any consistency. You certainly couldn’t predict what each of them would do at any given point.

I get why they are searching across CRA’s, but it would seem hardly any of them bother to check Transunion (probably because they can’t bear the interface :laughing:…)

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I wouldn’t expect consistency here: I would assume that each lender has their own processes based on a mix of historical accidents, deals they have with the various CRAs, and risk assessments.

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I’d expect N26 to start reporting soon once they launch overdrafts.

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Here’s what I know about who’s currently reporting to whom:
Monzo --> Transunion (CallCredit) only
Starling --> Equifax & Transunion
Barclays --> All 3

Someone had a question on Monzo’s community about the effect on their credit history should they choose to go full Monzo (no accounts with other institutions):

Monzo stated in that thread that they intend to integrate with the other two agencies starting early 2019, but it seems that this is a very low priority task in their development pipeline (my personal opinion, not a fact).

Clearly never going to happen then. Monzo stated we’d all be using in app cheque depositing by now…

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I am.

Just not with Monzo.

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Hey @tga, welcome to the forum :wave:

I agree with you - The heavy emphasis on profit doesn’t work with the extra cost of reporting to two more CRA’s, so I don’t think we’ll see this soon.

The whole “is going full Monzo bad for my credit score”, is such a hard one for Monzo… Because the answer is “Yes (more than likely)”, but obviously Monzo can’t say that.

Just look at my post above - Applying for a mortgage, and they didn’t even check Transunion (Noddle) - So if I had no other accounts apart from Monzo, they’d have found nothing (other than historical data).

My main account (Monzo joint), isn’t even reported at all…

Even if they don’t report to all 3, they should definitely add another one to their list (Equifax or Experian).

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Thank you!

Yes, I would say your experience is a good case against going full-Monzo at the moment.

It’s strange that they don’t report joint accounts. It possibly may not have much of an effect if both members of the joint account also have individual accounts at Monzo (I believe it’s a requirement at Starling, not sure if it’s same at Monzo). On the other hand, I can imagine that it may have an effect if your overdraft is on the joint account only (again, not sure if that would be the case with Monzo), or if you wish to have your financial association on the record in your credit report.

On the upside, they seem to be still intent on reporting to other CRAs in the future. Hopefully that’ll include joint accounts (for all CRAs). It does however look like it’s still a very low priority for them.

This would be true, if Monzo (or Starling) had an overdraft for joint accounts (which they don’t currently).

I imagine once they do, they’ll report the account to a CRA.

Ultimately, you can use Monzo as your main account, providing you leave your older one(s) open.

I wouldn’t close everything down and just use Monzo - If nothing else, for things like cash, cheques and other bits they aren’t good for.

If you have a built up history with other banks or accounts, I wouldn’t worry too much.

Monzo is my main (in fact, the Monzo joint is my main which doesn’t even show up), and my credit scores are as high as they can be (that sounds far more “lar-de-dah” when said out loud than I intended) :joy:

I didn’t know that. I also believe you’re right about the reporting bit, they’ll probably have to given that they’ll be providing credit through overdraft.

Congratulations on having a perfect credit score!

:partying_face:

The one thing I’ve learned… Is that it really doesn’t matter too much! :joy:

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Decided to log into my Noddle credit report last night and bizarrely my Starling account shows up. I’m beginning to think that perhaps I must have missed it last time I logged in, but it is there.

I realise it makes absolutely no difference, but I do find it odd that I have a ‘perfect’ credit score with Experian (via MSE Credit Club) but my Noddle score isn’t ‘up there’ in the top score range. Doesn’t matter, it hasn’t prevented Virgin Money from upping my credit limit to a rather bloody ridiculous amount, so much so, I’m going to reject their increase notification because there’s no justification for offering the amount they want to set it to.

Just a little update on this… Recent changes to how Credit Reference Agencies report the information means that the following is all now available to companies.

Whether or not you only paid your minimum payment on an account.

Whether or not you have withdrawn cash on your credit card.

You credit utilisation, this was shown for some things in the past, but this now shows for all accounts whether its a bank account, credit card or loan etc.

Defaulted closed accounts, show that the account wasn’t paid off despite having a settled flag. That’s if you didn’t pay it off and the company chooses not to chase you for it.

There will be a few more changes upcoming.

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Just wanted to share a thought that I recently had on the topic of credit scores:

So, does anyone else find credit scoring agencies creepy and unnecessary? They gather data on you without your permission then sell that data to make profit - they don’t even bother safeguarding your information, given the data breaches that occurred a few years ago. People worry about Facebook, but I think these companies are worse.

I recently found an article (https://www.businessinsider.nl/credit-score-around-the-world-2018-8/?international=true&r=US), which discusses credit scoring systems across the world, and I was surprised to find that some countries actually don’t use them at all. They just record when you have negative habits e.g. you fail to pay your rent. Otherwise you’re assumed to be solvent and worth lending to. The Netherlands, where I live the other part of my life, is such an example. It just made me think that personal finance doesn’t have to be this series of arbitrary hoops to jump through, which are in the end determined by someone more interested in profit than a genuine understanding of people’s ability to pay. Credit scoring companies are a perfect example of creating a demand for something that nobody actually needs and getting disproportionate influence as a result.

Whilst I agree with what you’ve said, for me personally, it’s all pretty irrelevant to be honest. What I mean by that is your own Government collects enough data on you. Every time you step out of your home country into someone elses, they collect data on you. My profile is undoubtedly sat on a large computer in the US and on many of the other 100 plus countries I’ve actually travelled to in this world. Some of them keep your data for 100 years.

Whilst I should be bothered about all of this, I’m not because there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. Unless I had been born in Tristin da Cunha and never left there, then it’s fairly obvious that no matter where I go, my data is available somewhere, often to people who probably shouldn’t have it.

Sadly, credit reference companies and credit scoring is here for life. It’s never going to go away.

I understand that it all seems a bit out of control. However, almost nothing in society is necessarily so. Hence I pointed out that other countries do it differently, as evidence that there are alternative systems. Importantly, there are meaningful differences between the actors that collect your data:

Government - collects virtually everything on you, but there are constitutional systems of checks and balances. In Western Europe at least, they are also accountable to the citizens, civil society, and to opposition parties. I’m actually not that bothered about a (democratic) government collecting my data as long as there are checks and balances and it has predetermined limits, criteria, and conditionalities as set by a legislature.

Private corporations - no democratic accountability but they offer a service in return for your data and you can always choose to leave. You can stop using gmail, you can stop using an iPhone, you can close your Facebook account etc. So if you’re really not happy with a service or their data gathering, you can leave. Competition for your custom can encourage corporations to do better with your data (see recent Apple marketing).

Credit score agencies - no democratic accountability because they are private corporations, don’t offer you a service, and you can’t opt out of their data-gathering. If someone’s going to make profit off my data, I should at least have the option of denying them said data at will. But instead, I have to pay them to access it when they are holding it without my permission and without offering me a service and without checks.

If the concept of a credit score is actually helpful for society (which I highly doubt), it should either be derived by the banks themselves or by some kind of QUANGO/government agency that is democratically accountable.