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How often should I check my credit history?
Checking your credit history is important, and should be something that you do often. There’s no need to check on things each and every day, but it’s certainly a good idea to log in and have a read through your credit history each month.
The reason for checking your credit history monthly is the simple fact that any credit agreements you have – whether they be for loans, credit cards or mortgages – you’re likely to be paying in monthly instalments, so your credit history could potentially change with the same regularity. Not only that, but if you’re looking to improve your credit history, checking monthly means you’ll get a good idea of your progress as the months go by.
When you do check, bear in mind that credit reference agencies usually update your account once a month, so you may have to wait until the end of the month before your details are updated. It’s also a good idea to check your details whenever you log in just to make sure they’re all up-to-date and correct.
Will checking it affect my credit history?
While checking once a month is a good habit to get into, there’s nothing stopping you from checking more often. Logging into your credit file won’t affect your credit history, as this will only be recorded with that individual credit reference agency, and lenders won’t be able to see it.
You can therefore feel free to log in as often as you please.
Which credit reference agency should I sign up with?
Lenders all use different credit reference agencies – either Experian, Equifax or CallCredit – to access your credit history. That’s why it’s worth signing up with each of the credit reference agencies so you can check that they all hold the correct information about you.
Once you’ve done this, it’s a good idea to check your credit history through the reference agencies you don’t regularly use at least once a year. This will alert you to any changes that may appear on one agency’s record of you but not the others. Sometimes mistakes or outdated information such as financial links or old CCJs can crop up on one of the services, and these may work against you when applying for credit in the future.
Fortunately, Equifax and CallCredit now offer a free credit-checking service in the form of ClearScore and Noddle respectively. As these don’t cost a penny for you to use, you can sign up to both and check your credit history as often as you like. From here, you might want to consider checking both ClearScore and Noddle once a month, while checking your report with Experian once a year.