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How to check your credit rating

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The One Show Team | 15:41 UK time, Friday, 27 November 2009

Looking to get credit? Dom Littlewood recommends checking your credit record. Here are his top three tips to clean up your rating...

  • Check your credit rating with all three agencies;
  • When you move house, don't forget to take your name off all the bills;
  • Keep unused credit limits low.

How do I check my credit rating?

A copy of your credit record is held by the three credit reference agencies in the UK.

These are: Experian, Equifax and Callcredit.

It is worth checking your credit file with all three credit reference agencies as some information may be different and also with the rise of identity fraud.

You can write to any of the credit reference agencies and ask for a copy of your file. This will cost you £2.

You letter should include:

  • your full name -also any other names you have been known by e.g. your maiden name;
  • your full address including postcode;
  • any addresses where you have lived over the past six years;
  • your date of birth; and
  • a cheque or postal order for £2 made payable to the credit reference agency.

Experian Ltd
Customer Support Centre
PO Box 8000
NG80 7WF
T: 0844 481 8000

Equifax Plc
Credit File Advice Centre
PO Box 1140
T: 0844 995 0550

Call Credit Plc
Consumer Services Team
PO Box 491
T: 0870 060 1414

How do I stop financial associations?

A financial association or link is created by joint credit applications, joint accounts, joint County Court Judgements (CCJs).

This means the other person's name appears on your credit report.

Lenders who are checking your credit report CAN check this other person's credit report as well and MAY take this information into account when deciding whether to grant you credit or not.

If you are no longer financially connected to this other person, you will need to create a financial disassociation so their name no longer appears on your credit report.

The only way to do this is to contact all ALL three credit reference agencies and fill in a form formally requesting "financial disassociation".

Useful links:

The Information Commissioner's Office: Information section on credit, your rights and what to do if things go wrong.

County Court Judgments (CCJ): More about CCJs.


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