A credit report contains numerical data about your past credit history in the form of a credit score. This outlines your risk level as a potential borrower. Lenders require this information to assess the chances that you will be able to repay what you owe.
Banks and loan companies want to be confident that potential borrowers will pay them back, so a good credit score is imperative. People with a low credit score are usually seen as high risk, and are less likely to be granted credit.
Requesting your credit report
There are various ways to check your credit score. Obtaining a copy of your credit report is very straightforward. There are three main consumer credit reference agencies in the UK: Experian, Equifax and Callcredit The cost is usually minimal. The credit reference agencies have seven working days from receiving your request to provide a copy of your file.
Providing further details
To check your credit you’ll need to provide the credit agency with details such as your full name (and any other names you have been known by), your full address including postcode (and any other addresses you have lived at in the last six years) and your date of birth. This information is to prove your identity and match it with your records.
If your credit report has errors these can usually be amended within 28 days. It’s always a good idea to check your credit rating before applying for credit to be aware of, and take necessary moves to rectify, any credit problems before they interfere with bigger plans.