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Credit Reports And Credit Scores

How To Check Your Credit Reports

We’re pretty sure that there has been an occasion where you think how a loan lender or a banking institution determines if they should give you credit or not? A major tool that these companies use is a credit reports or a credit file. This report gives companies details about your past history with credit and helps them work out how much of a risk you are if they lend to you.

Who Puts Together Your Credit Reports

There are three major companies in the UK that compile your credit report and shows how well you make payments and manage credit. They are:

  • Equifax
  • Callcredit
  • Experian

What Information Does Your Credit Report Hold

Here is a list of what your credit report typically includes:

  • All your credit accounts. This will include any credit arrangements you have such as loans or stores cards as well as any credit cards and bank accounts. Surprisingly to some people the report will also include any utilities you pay for in your name. With all this information in the report, it will show if you have made your repayments in full and on time. If you have missed payments or paid bills late, these will show up on your credit report and could stay there for up to 6 years. Also, if you have had court judgements against you or have been declared bankrupt or entered into an individual voluntary arrangement these too will show up on the file
  • Information about an individual who may be associated with you financially. This would mean someone who you may have joint credit with such a family member or friend
  • Any information held on public records such as being declared bankrupt, repossessed homes and County Court Judgements. These tend to stay on your file for 6 years after they have happened.
  • Public record information such as County Court Judgments (called ‘Decrees’ in Scotland), house repossessions and bankruptcies for six years after they occur.
  • Your bank account provider but will only include details of any overdrafts you may have with them
  • Check to see if you are on the electoral register which helps with verifying your address
  • Your date of birth
  • What your current address is as well as any previous addresses you have lived at
  • If you have stolen an individual’s identity or committed financial fraud this will be under a section called CIFAS

Who Searches Your Credit Reports

When applying for any type of credit you will have to allow permission to a lender to access your credit report to get more information about you. A credit provider will include all sorts of companies that would search your credit file here are a few:

  • Building societies
  • Banks
  • Loan and Credit Card Companies
  • Mail Order Companies
  • Telecommunication and TV companies
  • Utility Companies

The list is extensive and they will search your details thoroughly to make sure they understand the risks of giving you credit. Companies will also check whether you are listed on public registers such as electoral roll, County Court Judgement or if you have been or are bankrupt.

Your Credit Score

A credit score is an indicator of how good or bad a risk you are if a credit company is considering giving you credit. Even though you may have a good credit score this doesn’t guarantee that you will be given the credit as different companies have different criteria’s you need to meet to be considered for credit.