UK consumers can gain access to their credit scores for the first time, with the launch of an online service.
Thousands of people are blighted by poor credit histories
Credit scores are a common measure used by lenders to judge whether an applicant has a good repayment record.
Experian, one of the UK's three credit reference agencies, is offering consumers a similar scoring service.
It ranks someone's credit worthiness from 0 to 1000, with a higher score indicating it should be easier to borrow money or buy goods on credit.
The service also categorises the score as "excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor - and will compare an individual's credit score to the UK average score.
However, the score is only an indication of credit status and will not guarantee that someone can get credit.
This is because lenders also use their own criteria when making lending decisions.
Nottingham-based Experian is not offering the service within its standard credit report, which costs £2.
It is only available for an additional fee to subscribers of its online Credit Expert service, which costs £49.99 a year.