How do I Check my Credit History?

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Your Guide to Checking Your Credit Record.

Lenders decide whether to offer you a credit card based on their judgement of your ability to handle monthly repayments. They need to make a decision about how responsible you will be in paying back the money they lend you before they give you a card.

They do this by referring to their own records (if you are an existing customer) and searching your Credit Record. Your Credit Record is a history of all your past credit held by Credit Reference Agencies such as Experian and Equifax. It may also include the Credit Score they have calculated for you. Generally, a higher score suggests that you are less likely to have problems repaying credit.

Check Your Credit Record and Credit Score

It’s important to make sure that the information about you on your Credit Record is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. This is because you can’t influence how a lender will to calculate your Credit Score (because that score is based on the information held on your Credit Record) but you can ensure that they have all the right information to give yourself the best chance of getting a good credit score.

The best way to increase your chances of being accepted for credit is to manage your finances and your existing credit responsibly and prudently. Maintaining accurate information on your Credit Report won’t change anything if you continue to over-commit or stretch yourself with credit commitments you really can’t fulfil, miss payments, make late payments, go over-limit or fail to advise lenders of any change in your circumstances.

Check Your Credit Record

It’s really important to keep a regular check on how healthy your general credit rating is. By regularly checking your Credit Record you will also be able to detect the early warning signs of identity fraud. Your adverse credit rating could have been the result of someone else stealing your personal details such as date of birth or your current and previous addresses without your knowledge to buy goods, get loans, passports, credit cards or bank accounts using your name.

You have a legal right under the Consumer Credit Act to see your file held by these Credit Reference Agencies. You can do this quickly and easily online by checking your credit record and following the instructions.

If you’re not online, you can write to the Credit Reference Agency, which then has seven working days to get back to you with the information. Ensure that you give them any other names you have been known by (such as your maiden name), your full current address and any other addresses where you have lived over the past six years, something that proves your name and address like a gas, electric or telephone bill (you can ask for them to be returned), your date of birth and a cheque or postal order (do not send cash) for £2 made payable to whichever credit agency you are contacting. Experian and Equifax are the two main agencies most lenders use.

Experian Ltd

Experian Credit Report Services
PO Box 1135
Warrington
WA55 1EP

Equifax Plc

Credit File Advice centre
PO Box 1140
Bradford
BD1 5US

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