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How Do I Read a Credit Report?

Your credit report is essentially a record of how you have managed the credit that you have had in the past, such as how well you have made repayments.

The purpose of having a credit report is so that when you apply for more credit in the future then the lender will know how risky it is to lend to you and if you can repay them as agreed. The information on your credit report will come from past lenders and as such your credit report can differ from company to company depending on which one they tend to use. You will also find that there is some information that will come from the Electoral Roll and County Court records.

Reading your credit report ;
If you wish to read your credit report then you can do this at any point. You will be able to order a copy of your credit report from one of the three credit agencies: Experian, Equifax and Call Credit.

If you would like a hard copy of your report then you can write to one or all of the agencies and request a copy, although you will be charged a small fee for this. You should receive your report within a week. If you would prefer then these agencies also provide reports online which can offer you more information and explanation than just a hard copy. Again, you will have to pay a small fee for doing this.

Why view your credit report ?
There are a number of advantages to viewing your credit report and some will recommend that you do this on a regular basis. By seeing the details of your report you will be able to see if there are any errors which may prevent you from obtaining credit and you can ask for these to be amended. It can also be a valuable way of seeing if you have been the victim of credit fraud.

If you have had debt in the past but feel there was a valid reason for some of the missed payments then you can ask for a note to be put on to explain this. In this way when you apply for credit the lender will be able to make an informed decision.