Your Credit Report: Why is it so Important?
Welcome to Your Credit Report where we review different credit report companies and help you utilise the best credit rating tools available online. There’s a list of great credit businesses that enable you to check your credit score and finance history and it’s important that you do so, because whether you like it or not, we all have a credit score that can be accessed by lenders and credit companies.
These ‘scores’, along with the information held about us by these companies, are used to assess the risk you pose to a lender when you apply for credit – whether that’s a loan, a mortgage, car finance or simply a store card. Because of this, your file has a direct impact on your ability to benefit from any of these products – so why wouldn’t you want to know what your report says about you?
We’re not connected to any of the mentioned companies; we simply take an objective look at each of the credit reports and assess them accordingly.
What is a Credit Report?
A credit report is merely information about your credit history and how you have dealt with previous contracts, credit and loans. This is what potential lenders and landlords see when assessing the level of risk see that you pose, this is usually carried out when in the process of agreeing a contract with you. A credit report and credit score is made up by a number of factors that we cover in more detail below. This information can be accessed by using one of the companies or services listed on our website.
What is Credit?
Credit is a form of borrowing, typically enabling you to borrow money now and pay later. There’s different ways to take out credit and it includes credit cards, loans and mobile phone contracts.
What Information Can I Find Out?
A credit report will show you your credit score and you’ll usually be privy to many more benefits and insights. We review the different credit report companies and their services. It’s now possible for you to be able to see what the lenders can see and a good credit report company can point you in the direction of a lender or creditor that’s likely to accept your application. This can minimise the risk as they have paired you down to your score, history and outstandings.
Credit report tools have evolved somewhat and you can now access many other features such as social media profile browsing, wed data browsing and a number of identity protection tools.
In a nutshell, you can gain insight into most of the attributes a lender will see before making a decision on an application for finance.
How does this benefit me?
If you’re about to apply to borrow money, for example car finance or a mortgage, then knowing what information is held on your credit report can be vital. If you’re applying for one of the following, you will almost certainly encounter a ‘credit check’ of some form:
- Credit Cards
- Car Finance
- Mobile Phone Contracts
- Store Cards
- Tenancy Agreements
Regularly ensuring the data held about you is correct can help you to identify fraudulent activity. You can easily identify missed payments and defaults and if these aren’t correct for any reason, then you can easily dispute and have them corrected to prevent you being wrongly declined for credit.
Getting your credit report or checking your credit score is increasingly important and whether you know it or not, you’ve got a credit score that many companies will look at before processing your application. To stay on top of your financial priorities it’s important to see your credit report and ways that it can be improved, plus many of them will help you protect your identity in the process.
What will show on my Credit Report?
When finding a credit report tool you will see that many of them vary with how they breakdown your score and what items are listed individually. Often they include your financial history, credit outstandings and applications that you’ve previously made. The whole of the report is more complex than many imagine and there’s details considered that you probably didn’t account for, some of the things included in your credit breakdown includes:
- Personal Information – Details such as your name, address, social security number, employment information and date of birth are all included. They have identifying details so they can verify that it’s you, this information comes from you, when you give this to lenders it is then updated.
- Financial Accounts – Any credit, loans, mortgages and other financial accounts are regularly updated and show on the records. Not only is your account balance displayed but your payment history will also be viewable, if you’ve missed a payment or never missed one- this information will be accessible by potential lenders.
- Public Records – Things such as bankruptcies, overdue debt and disputes with collection agencies will also show.
- Credit Inquiries – If you have applied for a loan, credit or a mortgage then that will also show up on your records. If it’s an application that’s been rejected then it will negatively affect your score.
Who can see this information?
Although it’s not a file that can be openly checked and discussed by the public, it is open for specific companies and organisations to check. It’s looked at by mortgage lenders, credit card companies, personal and short term lenders, landlords and more. It can also be checked by some organisations when attempting to verify your identity.
Those who check your credit score include:
- Mortgage Lenders
- Creditors & Credit Card Companies
- Disclosure & Barring Services
How Can I Access My Report?
You can access your credit report from many of the companies listed on our site. You also have the choice of an entirely free report but often these lack depth. We have summed up various sites and credit reports available to you, it’s then up to you to handpick a website that reports with enough depth of information. It’s best to find a report that breaks down a historic view and itemises numerous aspects of your report.
What is my Credit Score?
This is part of your credit report, when checking your rating it will come down to your credit score. The lender can assess this score and consider you for credit. It is based on numerous information including court records, fraud, past credit, late payments, financial history and other factors previously mentioned. Whether you like it or not, you’ll have a score!
Which is the Best Credit Report Company?
There’s no one answer to this question, the best credit report company is the one that suits your needs. We look out for the different features and services, that’s why our reviews can help customers pick the right company. There’s a variety of credit tools that can be utilised from your laptop or mobile phone, so rather than getting a mundane basic report, enjoy one with the breakdown and advice. If you need social media tools then find one that meets your requirements. There’s also plenty of websites that will protect your identity and deter any fraudulent activities.
To sum up – there’s no specific company that we can recommend, instead we have carefully picked pros and cons, it’s then down to you to select the company that works best for you and your needs.
Which Credit Reference Agencies are used by these Services?
There are different agencies that provide information and show a different score- this is why it’s great to find a company that helps you conduct a credit check and then match you with lenders. This way they are showing you a company likely to accept your application and most likely a lender that has used the same credit check agency that you have.
There are different credit references used including Call Credit, Equifax, Transunion, Crediva and Experian. The most common reference agency among the service providers we’ve tested is Call Credit, but you’ll be glad to know they never differ too much. Check My File is a company that we have reviewed here and we were happy to learn that they actually offer a credit report from different agencies. Their multi-agency check includes CallCredit, Equifax, Experian and Crediva, they then give you more detail on their score and how they assess your credit report.
Paid vs Free Credit Reports
You can pay or use the free options and both will return a report that includes your score, it’s true that the scores may may vary slightly between one another. Not only this but the completely free tools somewhat lack in detail. Many of the paid websites actually offer a free trial that can be cancelled, so even the paid options can be free of cost for a short period of time.
But are free credit reports really free? Many of them aggressively market their deals to ensure they get their money’s worth. Whereas the paid companies are usually owned or associated with lenders meaning they know what to look for and can help you get your loan or credit without hassle.
It can be a difficult choice long-term but ultimately you can try the paid services for nothing, so we’d definitely recommend trying that as they come with a far superior service that have additional features.
What Features Should I Look For?
This is where our website steps in – we analyse each domain and help you pick the credit rating tool that best suits you, with so many available it’s important to find one that gives you what you need. There are credit report websites tailored especially for you and as you delve deeper into what they brandish you will soon see how each of the brands differ from one another. Our job is to be a neutral review website that can tell you what each has to offer; we judge this by experience as we enjoy each company as a customer. We’ve picked out the top things to look out for after reviewing the top credit report companies in the UK.
There are plenty of features to look out for, if you’re active on social media then you may want a social media image browser or you could use some of the identity protection tools that many of the companies offer. Some track with a web analysis tool and others simply notify you every time credit is taken out in your name ensuring that nothing’s left to chance. If you want a simple report then look at using some of these businesses and their free credit check, you can always choose whether you’d like to add to it or trial the other services that are available.
There’s an array of innovative services and features held by many of the businesses we have suggested and reviewed. That’s because there’s no such thing as a one-size fits all- it’s a very individual sector and one that needs due care. This is why it’s worth checking out a company before carrying out the credit report process- use our help and guide. You can then pick the services that coincide what you’re looking for.
Some of the features and credit tools include:
- Credit Reports & Scores for free
- Unlimited Access
- Web Data Tracker
- Identity Theft Near You Tracker
- Social Media Image
- Daily Reports
- Alerts on Changes
- Understand & Improve Your Score
- Fraud Protection
- Dispute & File Correction Support
Free Credit Check
So as mentioned at the top of this page, you can get a lot of free credit reports and scores from numerous businesses. You can either get a one-off look or embrace all their expertise with the full package by utilising the free trial available at your fingertips. Each of these features vary depending on what company you have opted for, they usually include an itemised breakdown, a report and a historic view of your finance.
Depending which company you have chosen, you will be able to enjoy unlimited access during your membership. This is correct for Experian, CreditReport.co.uk, Check My File, Equifax, Score Matters, UK Credit Ratings and Credit Angel.
Web Data Tracker
This is another feature that can vary depending on the company processing it, Equifax have a WebDetect Utility that helps you protect your identity and also see what some lenders like to look at, Experian also monitor the web in order to help you understand your credit rating. Many of the big companies are now using this to their advantage and help you find what lenders may be checking.
Identity Theft Near You
So, identity protection is a feature that comes with many of these packages. When you sign-up to a monthly credit report membership not only will they refresh your report but they will also keep you safe from fraud. But the near you tool is a specific one to CreditReport.co.uk, it shows you vulnerable and targeted areas for identity theft near you.
Dispute & File Correction
What is a dispute and credit file correction? It’s a dispute that can be made against a potential lender, if you believe that they have processed your application and credit score wrongly. One thing to keep in mind with this is that some credits cores can be up to six weeks old, this is normal but if it’s older than this then you may have a case. It’s hard to work out whether you can make a dispute and it should be done with professional help and that’s why it’s great to find companies that offer dispute support. Many of the companies here do- but some require chasing up, websites that list it as a part of the membership services include- Equifax and Check My File.
Most credit report websites will be on-hand to help you during the unfortunate circumstance of fraud, they will be able to protect you, notify you and help you solve potential issues. Scores Matters even monitors the Dark Web for any potential fraud or identity theft. Each company has their own way of dealing with this and they all have their own features in place too.
How often is the Data is Updated?
You’ll need complete accuracy when carrying out your credit score and you want to be safe in the knowledge that you’re getting the right information. Check My File is a great site as it shows you numerous agencies but others give you a score and help you find lenders likely to see what you are viewing.
Data is often updated and as a member you can expect that it’s regularly changed to match any improvements that you have made. The data is updated the same way your lender will update the information, it usually takes between four and six weeks and in rare circumstances can take up to 12 weeks.
Cost and Payment Options
Getting a free credit report is accessible and can be done with ease- on all of our reviews we direct you to try before you buy. It’s recommended that you get to enjoy the package before committing to the membership- luckily this can done without any problems.
When trying the free trial, you will be asked to include your payment details and they will automatically continue your membership. You can cancel at any time, so when joining, make sure you also cancel the on-going payments if you wish to take it no further. In general- you will be impressed with many of the tools available to you and may find it worth keeping the service.
Ease of Use
This is a feature which should come as standard. We’re not all web savvy, however we’ve all got a credit file whether we like it or not. The services on our website have all been directly assessed based on their user-friendliness.
How do these companies protect the data they hold on you? It’s a question worth asking, and one we’ve considered when testing all of the products and services on our site. If you aren’t sure, you should contact the agency or service provider directly to find out what measures they take in fraud prevention. After all, these services aim to provide you with a means to protect against fraud – so they should play their part too.
What is the Social Media Tool Used by Credit Report Companies?
Some credit report companies such as UK Credit Ratings and Credit Angel offer an analysis of your social media profile, this doesn’t infringe on any of your confidential information, it simply lets you know what the lenders can see.
With the forever evolving world of social media and technology it’s now been embedded into how each of us are assessed and some lenders take these into account. They monitor patterns and other cookies subsequently judging whether we provide a threat when taking out credit, this is something that many people are completely unaware of and some of the credit report companies and tools that we have highlighted could help you come to terms with.