What is a credit report?

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What is a Credit Report

Your credit report contains all of your current and historical borrowing.

Whenever you take out a loan, mortgage, credit card, mobile phone contract, store card or enter into a hire purchase agreement, a record of your borrowing is held in your credit report.  It will indicate how much lending you currently have and how long you have had it.  Whether it has been paid or you have defaulted on payments, how many credit cards you have or have had in the past.  If you have filed for bankruptcy or whether you have been taken to court for failing to pay.

When you apply for any lending from a company, the company will check your credit score.  The score you are given is based on the information contained in your credit report.  So, if you defaulted on a loan, mortgage, monthly credit card payment etc, your score will reduce each time you do so.

This score allows the lender to make a decision on whether to lend to you.  The only way to improve it is to ensure that you do not default or delay making your monthly payments on your borrowing.  We understand that at times this cannot be prevented, so if you find yourself in this position click here for guidance on how to deal with debt.

Your credit report may also contain the financial behaviour of family members living at the same address as you.  If your family members have defaulted on loans, credit cards, mortgage(s) etc, this can have an impact on you.  If you need to financially disassociate yourself from them, click here for guidance.

Why would I need a credit report

  • To check your current and historical lending.
  • After you have applied for a credit score and found it to be lower than you expected.
  • If you were refused lending for having a low credit score and had not checked your credit score first.
  • If you were refused borrowing because you have no debts, credit cards, store cards, loans or mortgage(s).
  • To financially disassociate* yourself from family members that live in the same property as you so that their financial behaviour does not affect you.  Depending on their financial behaviour, disassociating yourself from them may help to improve your credit score.  Click here for guidance.
  • If you want to check whether you had been mis-sold PPI by any of the lending company’s you used, you can use this report to get all your current and historical lending information.  For guidance on how to check your PPI for free, click here.
  • To positively impact your credit score.  To do this, you need to have some form of credit so that companies that view you can see a credit history to help decide whether to lend to you.  We do not encourage people to borrow, but if you have to improve your score, click here for guidance.
  • To verify that lending companies can see if you are listed on the electoral roll.
  • After I have received my credit report, how do I amend it if the information displayed is incorrect

  • Write to the company that displays the incorrect information (i.e. loan company, mortgage, credit card company).  Explain why you believe the information is incorrect and ask them to change it.
  • Ensure this is put in writing, that way you have a record of your contact with each company.  If you are able to get an email address, this would be ideal.  To get assistance with this click here.

How to apply for a credit report*

Always check with an independent financial advisor what method works best for your circumstances.  This is only a guide, it does not constitute getting independent financial advice.*

  1. If you do not know your credit score, make sure to check your free Experian credit score first.   An Experian account lets you access your Experian Credit Score for free which is updated every 30 days each time you log in. Your credit score could make the difference to your chance of getting a mortgage, and Experian believes that everybody should be able to access it without paying a penny. Buying your first home is an exciting life step and you want to ensure you are in the best position to be qualified for a mortgage. Lenders look at several factors including, your salary, debt and savings when considering your application. Your score is a number from 0-999 that’s based on the information in your credit report.  The higher your score, the greater your chance of getting the best mortgage deals.
  2. If you already know your score, apply for a credit report with Experian (CreditExpert).*

*For CreditExpert a monthly fee of £14.99 applies after your free trial. You may cancel during your 30-day free trial without charge. New customers only. Free trial period starts on registration – further ID verification may be required to access full service which may take up to 5 days.

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*This website and the authors of the articles contained herein have not been approved or authorised by the FCA or by any financial regulatory authority.  If you require regulated financial advice you should consult with an independent financial adviser.

*The guides and information on this website can be used to manage all aspects of your home/property.  Where a specific product or service is linked to a third party, we always recommend you seek advice from an independent entity (financial advisor/mortgage lender/broker) and ensure that you have fully researched any specific products and services yourself before committing to any purchase or entering into any contract. Affiliate links may appear in this guide.

*If you use any of the information contained on this website, you do so at your own risk and we cannot accept any responsibility or liability if anything goes wrong.

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