Your credit report is a one-off profile of your borrowing activity as it looks when it’s requested.
It’s key in helping lenders decide whether to accept or reject your application for credit.
In this blog, we take look at what information will be included on your credit report, and how to get your hands on a copy.
Why is it important?
Your credit report contains personal information like your name and address, whether you are on the electoral roll, existing credit agreements and whether you are financially connected to anyone.
When you apply to borrow, lenders want the reassurance that you are a responsible borrower and can be trusted to pay back what you owe. For this reason, lenders will request a copy of your report to help them decide whether you pose a risk of missing your repayments.
Lenders will request a credit report from one or more of the credit reference agencies to get an idea of how reliable you are as a borrower. If you’ve struggled with your repayments in the past or missed paying them altogether, your credit history is likely to have been marked. Lenders often see these footprints as a danger sign, which can make them think twice about accepting your application.
On the flipside, if you have managed your repayments well, this puts you in a better position. Having a positive credit history is also likely to improve your chances of being accepted for a lower interest rate.
How do I get one?
When you apply for credit, each lender will access your credit history through one of the three credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. You have a right to access this information too.
It’s a good idea to regularly check your credit history, as any errors or out-of-date information can affect your ability to borrow. Plus, by keeping a close eye on your credit history, you can look out for any activity that appears suspicious or fraudulent.
You can request a statutory credit report from each of the credit reference agencies for £2.
However, there is a way to keep a close eye on your credit history at no cost at all.
Each of the three credit checking agencies offers a free credit-checking service – Noddle, ClearScore and CreditMatcher. By signing up to at least one of the above, you can check your credit history whenever you like.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.