Credit Reports – What you need to know

Credit Reports are the most important factor to consider for all your financial dealings, as it can be the only thing that stops you getting a loan or a mortgage.

What is it?

A credit report is a summary of your ability to deal with money and debt all condensed into one file and summarised in a number. Much like a CV, a credit report tells a lender all they need to know about you and helps them decide whether they want to lend to you, and whether you are reliable when it comes to money.

A credit report will compile the details from all credit interactions you have had, from credit cards, to bills, and tells the lender whether you have paid your bills on time and in full. It also contains personal information about you so as to help the lender identify you to make sure you are who you say you are.

There are three major credit reference agencies who supply your credit report: Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit. As such, there may be 3 slightly different credit reports out there.

Why do I need to know my credit score?

Your credit rating can be the deciding factor in whether you get that mortgage or not, so it is important to know your score so that you apply for financial products you are likely to be accepted by.

Experts recommend that you check your score before making applications for credit, or once a year. Your score is not affected by how many times you check your account, so you can check as many times as you feel you need to make sure you are confident in your credit status.

Do I have to pay?

No, you do not have to pay to view your credit score! Some websites do charge for you to view your credit score, but there are a few that can show you yours for free. Here at Search My Credit you can click through to complete a FREE credit score check.

There is some wrong information on my credit file

If you spot a mistake on your credit report then you must report it ASAP. You can contact the company providing the credit file and request a change in the information. Whilst the information is being checked and changed, it will be seen as ‘disputed’, making sure that any credit lenders know that piece of information may be incorrect.

If the ‘disputed’ information is not edited by the credit referencing agency, then you can make a ‘notice of correction’, stating why you believe the facts listed to be wrong, or any matter of circumstance that may change the perception of an action on your credit file.