Choose Wisely was created to help inform consumers, so that you can get a great deal which is just right for your personal circumstances. But it can be confusing working out which lender to choose, when so many cards and loans are now available at similar prices. We came up with OPTIOSCORE to help you understand your options, so you can find a lender that will treat you fairly. OPTIOSCORE is an independent measure of how good a product is, based on real data compiled by Choose Wisely.

How does it work?

Although OPTIOSCORE is a single number, it’s based on a variety of different factors, which are combined to calculate the consumer-friendliness of a product. Our favourite is the ‘Mum factor’ - ‘Would you recommend it to your mum?’. But there many other more scientific ways we also use to work out if a product’s worth applying for. These fall into three main categories:

  • Simplicity
  • Features
  • Sentiment

How do I know if I can trust OPTIOSCORE?

OPTIOSCORE is not just our feelings about a product - it also includes information from regulators, customer reviews and the media. We combine our own ratings with complaints data from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Ombudsman Service to make sure that you get a full picture of a product and its provider. Sentiment analysis of social media content, discussions in online forums and comments by the press also allows us to calculate how the public feel about a company.

How are OPTIOSCOREs calculated?

OPTIOSCOREs are largely compiled using some clever robots built by our software engineers here at Choose Wisely. However, the team also spend a significant portion of their time personally researching each product by hand. Once an OPTIOSCORE has been calculated, it’s reviewed by the OPTIOSCORE Committee, which checks and challenges the number to make sure the assessment is impartial and accurate. We aim to refresh each rating at least once every three months, or when we're notified that a product has been updated.


You might be wondering why we don’t show a detailed breakdown of how OPTIOSCOREs are calculated. We feel that it’s important to keep the scoring system a secret, so you can be confident that providers can’t game the system and artificially increase their score. However, we break down the OPTIOSCORE into ‘simplicity’, ‘features’ and ‘sentiment’, which you can see on both the OPTIOSCORE rankings and on each product's library page.

Why doesn't my company have an OPTIOSCORE?

We OPTIOSCORE pretty much every company we know about. If you can’t see your company's library page or OPTIOSCORE it might mean that we haven’t heard of you, or we just haven't quite got around to scoring you yet. If you'd like to give us a nudge, please email us at [email protected]

How much do you get paid for scoring a company?

£0. We provide OPTIOSCOREs to our customers to help them choose wisely. OPTIOSCOREs aren't for sale and providers can't pay us any amount to have their score changed. They can pay for a license to display their OPTIOSCORE on the company website, in adverts and other marketing for £20,000 + VAT per annum.