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A guide to checking your credit report

Your credit report contains information about your financial history – each time you apply for a loan, mortgage or credit card, your report is used to help lenders decide whether your application should be approved or declined.

Dependent on your credit rating, this may determine the terms on which you are accepted, i.e how much interest you pay.

What information does my credit report include?

The majority of the information on your report comes from banks, building societies, credit card providers or other companies you have borrowed from in the past – or currently owe money to.
The report is also populated by data from the electoral roll, so it’s important that you make sure you are registered with your local council.

The information that is held will probably include the following:

  • Name, address and date of birth
  • Whether you are registered on the electoral roll
  • Any outstanding debt you have with current lenders
  • Late or missed payments on existing borrowing
  • Late or missed payments on past borrowing
  • Any County Court Judgements (CCJs) you have against you
  • Whether you have had your home repossessed
  • Whether you have entered into a Debt Management Plan or IVA
  • Whether you have ever been declared bankrupt

It doesn’t include any of the following:

  • How much money you have in the bank including current account or savings
  • Salary information
  • Your medical history
  • Criminal record

The information is solely related to your basic details and borrowing history.

How to check your credit report

If you are looking to apply for credit – then it may be wise to check your credit report in advance so you don’t get any nasty surprises.  Information on your credit report can be wrong so it’s important to check it in detail. If information held on you is incorrect, then you can apply to have this removed.

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK. These are Experian, Equifax and CallCredit.

You have a legal right to check your own credit report and it is now a fairly simple task, however there is a small charge to do so.

All the credit reference agencies offer an online service where you can check your credit report for a £2 fee (per agency).

Equifax

Experian

CallCredit

Alternatively, you simply need to send them a letter with the following information:

-Full name
-Any other names you legally held in the last 6 years (i.e. maiden name)
-Full address and postcode
-Previous addresses for 6 years
-Date of birth
-Payment of the £2 fee by cheque or postal order

You may be asked to send them a additional information such as proof of ID or a bank statement.

 


THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

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