What does your credit report reveal — and why should you care?
20 May 2019
A successful application for a loan or mortgage will depend on a positive credit report. But how many of us know exactly what the report is, or what information it holds?
A poor credit rating will limit your options for borrowingEileen Adamson, financial coach
Speaking on Clever about Cash, financial coach Eileen Adamson explained why we should all be aware of what our own credit report reveals.
“A good credit history is likely to mean that more lenders will want to lend to you, offer you better rates of interest and they may offer to lend you larger amounts,” said Eileen.
"A poor credit rating will limit your options for borrowing, and you’re likely to be charged a higher rate of interest.”
Your credit history
The three main credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and Transunion – gather information about your credit history and from there create a credit report.
The purpose of the report is to demonstrate how well you manage credit, for example whether repayments are made on time and in full. This information will stay on file for at least six years. The report contains the following details:
- Name, date of birth, address
- Details of bank accounts, cards, loans, some mobile contracts and utility bills
“[The report is] used to help lenders decide how much of a risk you are, and can be used by employers and landlords to check basic information about your credit history,” added Eileen.
A positive or negative report can directly impact our lives and, as such, consumer organisation Which? recommends that we check our own credit score regularly, although it has found that most households have not done so.
Check your credit report
Give your credit report an annual once-over and check for errors which may be contributing to a bad score.
- Make sure addresses are correct, even on accounts you no longer use
- Check for any default, late or missed payments, and query them if you think they're incorrect
- If you no longer have joint accounts, make sure that is reflected in the report
- Cancel unused credit and store cards
The following wesbites allow you to check your report for free: