Credit File

Credit of any sort – from bank loans to mortgages and credit cards – has never been freely given by lenders. You have to prove you are in control of your finances. If you do, your chances of getting a loan when you need one will be greatly increased.

It’s always been the case that lenders are choosy. If you are among those who have been refused credit recently or if you are thinking of applying for credit soon, don’t panic – take action instead. A good place to start is your credit report, which lists your borrowings and how well you’re managing your repayments. It gives you a snapshot of your credit history, what credit accounts you’ve had in the last six years and how you have coped.

Your credit report can also help you to see where you could cut back and whether you could close some accounts altogether. Lenders check it when they decide whether to make you an offer and, with some credit, what terms to set – such as interest rates. It is crucial that it’s up to date and accurately reflects your circumstances. It pays to manage your money well because a better credit history makes you more likely to get accepted and obtain a better deal.

It is a common mis-conception that you have ‘a credit score’ when in fact although each of the providers below will show their interpretation of ‘a credit score’, you do not have a single score. Each and every application for credit is credit scored at the time of application.

This will take into account data on your credit file (from whichever agency the bank or financial institution uses) in addition to other aspects of the application/your situation

i.e. what you do for a living, how long you have been in your current job, marital status, if you are a homeowner, any children, conduct of credit, number of previous credit searches, type and purpose of credit, percentage being borrowed etc

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK

Generally each of these will offer a free trial period to your credit report and beyond that ongoing access for a monthly fee, Callcredit run a free version of their credit file information (it only updates the data once a month whereas the other fuller reports show data to the previous day).

Please be aware that all the above also make money from affiliate services i.e. trying to convince you to switch utility companies and have links to credit providers too. You should take caution in the links provided and only take advantage of offers that are necessary. Certainly be wary of anything that purports to ‘improve your credit history’.

One last point, you can obtain the information from the credit reference agencies at any time for payment of a £2 fee. This will provide you with a copy of your statutory credit report and credit history as a one-off snapshot. It contains financial information about you and lenders will use it to make a decision whenever you apply for credit.

You have the statutory right to access your personal credit information, and each company can charge no more than £2 under the Data Protection Act 1998 to for fulfilling each request.

Understanding your credit file is not easy, especially with a ‘score’ that can lead you to believe you are credit-worthy when in fact the data seen may point to the opposite

Please contact us with any queries that you have or you do not understand the information obtained.