How is your credit score calculated?
Your credit score is calculated based on a few factors, including: your borrowing history, your financial stability and the verification of your identity. Checking your credit report allows you to you see what the lenders will see.
Where to check your credit score
There are three main credit reference agencies:
It’s best to check your report with all of them, as different lenders refer to different agencies. You can check your Equifax report for free with CredAbility.
What’s in my credit report?
Some details your report will contain, include:
- your name, date of birth, address
- details of your current credit accounts and any held within the last six years (including how much available credit you have and your repayment history for each account)
- how many credit applications you’ve made in the last six months
- if you’re on the Electoral Roll
- if you’ve got any CCJs, bankruptcy rulings or IVA records against your name
- if you’ve been a victim of fraud
- if you’re financially linked to someone (e.g., anyone you’ve shared a financial product with, such as a joint mortgage).
Your credit history
One important factor in your credit rating is your borrowing history. However, your file only stores info on this for the last six years. This means that even if you have a CCJ or default account, this will be removed from your file six years later, and the impact of the negative marker will decrease over that time.
If you’ve received a negative marker like this, you can see on your report when it was added. From this, you can calculate how much longer it will stay on your report.
Getting any mistakes put right
If there’s a mistake on your credit report, such as an incorrect address, you should contact the lender and/or the relevant credit reference agency to get it corrected. Failure to update your details could have a negative impact. You should check:
- your address on your current credit accounts
- your name and date of birth
- details of the accounts connected to you
If you’re linked to someone who you no longer share a financial product with (such as an ex-partner) you can ask for a notice of disassociation, which means that their credit history won’t impact yours.
Before you apply
If you’re planning to apply for credit, make sure you don’t make several applications within a short space of time.
When you make an application for credit, the lender will perform a “hard” check, which will leave a mark on your credit history. Too many credit searches by lenders in a short space of time might suggest you’re desperate for credit. However, you can check your credit file as many times as you like as this doesn’t leave a mark.
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Intelligent Lending Ltd (credit broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender.