A TV ad for Clear Score, a provider of personal credit score information, seen on 18 August 2018, stated "... the better your credit score, the better deals you can get on mortgages".
The complainant, who worked in the financial sector and who believed that an applicant's credit score was used to determine whether or not they could be lent to, not the mortgage rate they would be offered, challenged whether the claim "... the better your credit score, the better deals you can get on mortgages" was misleading.
Clear Score Technology Ltd said they worked with a mortgage partner to provide mortgage offers for their users, and that the credit score was an important factor (amongst others) that affected the range of mortgage offers available. Users with better credit scores would generally have a greater choice of mortgage lenders and offers, so they believed it was true to say that those users could get better deals. They pointed out that the ad did not say those with a better credit score would receive better rates. The ad promoted their service as an aggregator of mortgage deals, and referred to the direct relationship between the credit score on the app and the deals that were suggested to the user.
Clearcast did not believe the ad implied that the mortgage rate offered would be affected by an individual’s credit score. They reiterated ClearScore’s observation that the word “rate” was not mentioned in the ad at all and pointed out that instead it referred to “better deals” on mortgages if you had a better credit score. They said users with better credit scores would find more lenders prepared to lend to them, resulting in a wider variety of available deals and a greater chance of finding the right deal than those with a poor credit score who had more restricted opportunities.
The ASA considered that viewers would understand from the ad that the ClearScore app enabled users to monitor their finances and that by doing so they could better manage their credit score, which would in turn allow them to take advantage of better deals on mortgages.
We understood that credit score was one of the factors used by lenders to determine whether or not to lend to an individual and that a higher score made it more likely that a lender’s mortgage offers would be made available to an individual. Although we appreciated that individuals did not receive mortgage offers with rates tailored specifically to them based on their credit score, we considered there was a clear relationship between credit score and the availability of good mortgage deals. For that reason, we concluded that the claim “… the better your credit score, the better deals you can get on mortgages” was unlikely to mislead.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (misleading advertising) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.