Callcredit shakes up industry with free for life credit reports for 40 million consumers

Britons have spent more than £22 million on 'rolling' monthly subscriptions for credit reports that they didn't realize they had to pay for.1

A new study reveals that more than three-quarters of a million people have unwittingly signed up for a 'free credit report', only to discover they are being charged a monthly fee once the money is taken from their bank account.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) say they were attracted to these deals in the first place because they thought they were 'free'.2

Britons are calling for an end to this practice, with nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) believing that in the credit report market, 'free should mean free'3

The online study was commissioned by credit reference agency Callcredit to mark the launch of a new service, Noddle, which plans to give over 40 million Britons free access to their full monthly credit report for life.

It reveals that, despite being signed up for an average of four months, nearly a quarter of subscribers (22 per cent) only look at their credit report once - netting millions for the industry.

One in five struggle to unsubscribe from these deals, with the majority (59%) unable to find details on how to cancel monthly payments on the company's site and a third (32 per cent)4 encountering unhelpful customer services handlers when attempting to unsubscribe themselves.  One in ten (8 per cent) find it so difficult to unlock themselves from these deals that they give up trying.

Noddle will also partner with innovative analytics company HD Decisions, and a leading price comparison site, to help people use their credit rating to search out a shortlist of money saving deals on financial products they are most likely to qualify for. This will help consumers as it reduces potentially embarrassing declines for lending and will help lenders as it increases the chance of them only receiving applications that meet their lending criteria.

Delroy Corinaldi, director external affairs, Consumer Credit Counselling Service said:

"Helping consumers to help themselves is flavour of the month at the moment but the launch of Noddle offers a practical way for consumers to keep on top of their credit rating and to identify the best value credit products for their circumstances. Choice is good, informed choice is better."

Commenting on the launch of Noddle, Tom Ilube, Managing Director of Callcredit Consumer Markets said:

"A credit report is like your financial passport.  Companies look at your credit report all the time and make decisions about you based on this information, from approving a mortgage application to giving you a mobile phone contract.  We believe consumers need to get into the habit of doing the same and think it's only right they have ready access to the personal information these important decisions are based on."

"We want to make sure every adult in the UK has free access to their personal credit report whenever they want it."

Noddle is being trialled with ten thousand consumers and will be publicly launched in the Autumn.

To pre-register for the service or to find out more information visit www.noddle.co.uk