Credit Reference Agencies and Your Credit Report

Credit ratings can be very hard to predict as all of the lenders tend to have their own list of criteria. Knowing exactly what they are looking for can be difficult but there are things you can do to help improve your score.

What is a Credit Score?
Each lender will have a credit scoring system using a variety of information. This will include data held by the main credit reference agencies. Scoring criteria takes into account such factors as late or missed payments, Bankruptcy, County Court Judgments and your credit history.

Your credit score is generally based on information from your application form and your credit report. When you apply for credit you will be scored so that the lender can see how reliable you are.

The information on your Credit Report
This will generally be a history of your credit and how well you have handled your account, including any credit cards that you may have taken out. Information regarding fines, student loans, savings, medical records, criminal records and defaults or missed payments more then 6 years old will not be accessed. You cannot be blacklisted. The lenders that you apply to will decide if you are credit worthy using information held from credit reference agencies and information from your application.

Does everyone have a Credit Score?
If you have or have in the past had credit then you will have a credit file. You will generally need an active account for longer then six months and an account that has been updated within the last six months. This is so that an accurate score can be created.

How to get a free Credit Rating
Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 you have the right to ask in writing for a copy of your file for a small fee. If you are in a business as a partnership you can request a copy of your file under the Consumer Credit Act.

If you wish to see your credit files then you contact one of the following companies:

Equifax: 0870 010 0583
Provides free credit reports, which help you, understand your credit file. It lets you know how lenders decide whether or not to lend to you. They also provide expert tips to get you the credit that you need.

Experian: 0870 241 6212
They help people and organizations make sense of complex data by providing analytical and information services that enable people to reach informed financial and commercial decisions.

Callcredit: 0870 060 1414
Callcredit Information Group Credit Solutions enables organizations to make decisions throughout the customer management lifecycle by combining a clear understanding of the latest technology, innovative products and sophisticated, real-time data models.