Personal credit files are so important because a good rating gives us greater financial options, ie when we need credit at competitive rates we’ll obtain it.
There are 2 Major Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) which are responsible for collecting and collating this information, consisting of such details as:
Personal details – name, address, age, sex electoral role, etc etc
Who your different credit accounts are with (credit cards, loans, mortgage, mobile phone, overdrafts etc)
The amount of money you borrowed
Your past payment history – have you been on time or late paying your bills etc
Any County Court Judgments (CCJs) or Defaults against you
The Two Main Agencies:
Both of them will/should hold similar information regarding you and your finances, however mistakes are easily made; for instance a slightly wrong address or showing money owed on a loan or credit card which in fact has long been paid in full.
If ever you spot these or any additional mistakes contact the company involved and ask them to rectify the matter.
Failure to correct any mistakes means your credit rating isn’t going to be as strong or as clean as it may perhaps be.
Obtaining your Credit File you will find 3 options –
- Request it via letter or online form
- By phone, or
- Sign up with an expensive monthly plan
Request by letter or online form – Cost: £2
Download the Experian/Equifax form, fill it in and send off, then within 1 week your credit profile should arrive back by post.
Alternatively fill out Equifax/Experian online order form and make an on-line payment.
By phone – Cost: £2
Call Experian/Equifax Their numbers are available on-line
Sign up to a monthly plan – Cost: around £6 – £8 per month
By law the credit reporting agencies all have to send you your credit history within 1 week and for a maximum cost of £2.
Go to their websites their main promotions are for a free credit report if you sign up to a monthly plan (it’s possible to cancel this inside the first month but not get charged).
For most people monthly plan is not worth it because your credit rating will change little from month to month if –
Your financial situation remains stable
You’re not applying for credit at regular intervals
Bills are paid punctually
However, if you happen to be seeking to fix your credit rating it might be worthwhile taking a subscription for 6-12 months. As time goes by, you’ll be able to monitor it to discover if the positives actions you’re taking are paying off. Subscriptions can be cancelled in any month.
Experian’s Free Credit report
Tip – Ways to get your credit file without charge
A lot of people enroll in the monthly service for the reason that first month is free. They then Immediately download their credit file, but before the month is up they cancel and for that reason do not have to pay.