In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements for quick cash and free credit scores. Credit reports are a necessary when buying a home, car, and other big expenses that will require a loan. Knowing the information that the creditors will see on your report can make a huge difference in the amount of money you will receive or if you will receive a loan at all. Making sure your credit report is accurate before giving a lending agency permission to obtain it can save you time and aggravation during the process. When you request a credit report, you should know what the information on it represents and how it will impact the goals you are trying to reach.
This information does not contribute to your credit score. It is used to identify you.
- Legal Name
- Current Home Address
- National Insurance Number
- Birth Date
- Employment Information
This can also be referred to as your trade lines. Every agency that you have established credit with reports the following information.
- Type of account you have (credit card, car loan, etc.)
- Date the account was opened
- The amount of credit or amount borrowed
- Your current balance
- Your payment records (including all late payments)
This is a list of everyone who you have given permission to run your credit in the last two years. There are two types of searches that will appear on the list.
- Voluntary Inquiries: Requests you have made for your credit report.
- Involuntary Inquiries: When a lender or other agency requests your report.
When reviewing this information, you want to pay attention to involuntary inquiries, make sure that no one has run a report without your permission. If you do not recognise a name that is listed, make sure that you follow up and find out who they are and why they ran an inquiry.
Public Records and Collection History
This information is available from public records that are obtained by county courts and from collection agencies.
- Home Repossession, or if you have unpaid debt at a previous address
- If you have committed fraud
- County court Judgement
How Do I Check My Credit Report?
If you want to check your credit report, some companies may charge you a monthly subscription. If you want to check for free, ClearScore and Credit Karma let you do this. They can also offer advice on building up your credit score and improving it.
What If There’s An Error On My Credit Report?
If you spot any errors on your credit report, you should contact the lender directly and explain the situation. Always remember to provide as much evidence as possible to ensure a quick resolution.
How Do I Improve My Credit Score?
If your credit score isn’t in the best shape, there are a number of ways you can improve it.
Your first step should be to ensure that there are no errors on your credit report (above).
You can then:
- Get on the electoral register
- Pay your bills on time to show you manage your finances effectively.
- Avoid CCJ’s – if you’re having debt problems you can seek free advice.
- Reduce your existing debts by paying off credit cards and overdrafts.
For more information, take a look at our tips on fixing your credit score.
If you find that information is incorrect or has not been updated, you must ensure that it gets updated. You can do this by contacting the original lender or agency and request that they send the updated information so your report will be corrected accurately. Don’t trust that this will happen automatically, follow-up will be necessary to make sure that it is taken care of appropriately.
Knowing what information will appear on your credit report will prepare you to answer any questions that lending agencies will require you to answer accurately. It will also allow you to make sure that all of the information is accurate. If you are planning on making a big purchase that will require a loan you can count on a credit report being required. Understanding the information provided and what your score actually means in relation to your ability to receive a loan is important.
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