How Can I Access My Credit Report?

Having no credit history does not mean that you have a good credit history. Many people find this hard to believe because they believe that if you’ve never had credit, you’ve never defaulted on payments. Whilst this is true, never having credit also means that you’ve never proved yourself capable of meeting credit repayments. 

Your credit report is paramount to any application for credit cards or loans. Oftentimes, pre-screening of credit scores could rule you out before your application has even been considered. 

This is why it’s so important to be aware of your credit score and the impact that can have on any future applications. Most people don’t know where to start when it comes to checking their credit reports, so we’ve compiled everything you need to know.

Who Puts Together My Credit Report?

Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) compile information about the credit you’ve taken out in the past and how well you stuck to your scheduled repayments. This then makes up your credit report. 

The main CRAs in the UK are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Each of these CRAs will hold a file on you regarding your credit history, although the information that each CRA holds may be different

It is the law that CRAs must provide you with a copy of your credit report for free if you request one. We’d always recommend getting reports from all three of the main CRAs. This is because they hold different information that another CRA report may miss. 

When Should I Check My Credit Report?

It’s always good practice to have an idea of the state of your credit report at any given time. This helps you to make more informed choices when considering your financial options. This is especially important when you are considering applying for products such as loans, credit cards, and mortgages. 

If you check your credit report regularly, you’ll easily be able to spot any inconsistencies. If something on your report seems very wrong, it could be an indicator that you’ve accidentally missed a scheduled payment. 

You’re able to check your credit report as often as you would like without it impacting your credit rating.

Does Applying for Credit Products Impact Your Credit Rating?

Each time you apply for a credit product, this is noted on your credit report. If you’re only shopping around to see what’s on offer, you should make this clear to the lender. You can do this by opting for quotations of soft credit checks.

A soft credit check is where a lender searches your credit record to decide whether you qualify for credit or to provide a quote, without it negatively impacting your credit report. It’s important to remember that not all lenders offer an option of a soft search on your eligibility before your application.

At the time when you make a formal application for credit, a hard search on your credit is conducted which does leave a mark on your credit report.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan