What is a Credit Report?
A credit report is a file that shows how much credit you have. Also whether you are making your repayments on time. Lenders will look at your report before deciding whether to grant you any credit that you may have applied for. As well as your financial information it also contains personal information. Such as your address, date of birth and the details of anyone that you may be linked to financially.
Your credit report is compiled by a Credit Reference Agency (CRA). There are three main CRAs in the UK – Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. Different lenders will all have their own preferences. However hich of these firms that they use when making lending decisions. Read More >>
How the Credit Agencies use information
Each CRA will hold slightly different information. Although overall your report should be roughly the same across all agencies. For example, you are not going to have one report that is really good. Where the other ones are terrible.
When you apply for any form of credit you will usually have to sign a document to give permission for the provider to get access to your credit report. Credit providers are anyone that will lend you money to allow you to pay for a service after you have used it. This will include credit card, loans and mail order companies. As well as mobile phone companies if you have taken out a contract.
Can I Access My Credit Report Myself?
We are all entitled to contact any of the three Credit Reference Agencies and ask for a copy of your report. You may decide to contact all three so that you can get a complete picture. Also you can request a paper copy of your report and this will be sent to you via the post. The disadvantage of getting this type of report is that you won’t be able to get an updated report. That is without ordering another paper copy.
Callcredit and Equifax both offer an online service where you can sign up and check your report whenever you want to. This means that you can monitor your credit report on a continuous basis which can be very useful. There is no fee for getting your report online and so it is something that is definitely worth doing. Your credit rating will not be affected if you check your report yourself . Therefore you can do this as often as you like.
What Are The Advantages Of Getting My Credit Report?
There are several advantages of keeping up to date with your credit report.
– Any Suspicious Activity Will Be Picked Up On Immediately. This means that if any fraud is picked up on any of your accounts. It can be dealt with quickly. If your report went unchecked for a period of time it is possible that this fraud may be missed, especially if it involved an old account.
– You Can See How It Is Improving. If you have had problems with credit in the past then you may want to see how your credit rating is improving. Checking your report regularly is a good way to do this, especially if the report also comes with a credit score as you should be able to see your score rising over time.
– It Can Give You An Idea Of Whether You Will Be Accepted For Credit. If you are thinking of applying for Personal Loans or credit cards. Then you may want to check your report first. Making an application that is rejected may harm your credit score in the short term. But checking beforehand gives you a better idea of whether you will be accepted.
– Any Mistakes Can Be Rectified. If there are any mistakes on your credit report this can prevent you being accepted for credit. Checking your report can help you identify if there is a mistake and get it removed from your report.