In the UK there are three main agencies which are used for credit reporting. They gather information about a person’s credit history from things such as bankruptcies, county court judgements, electoral rolls, and various other sources.
All of this information is brought together to form your credit report which will be supplied to potential lenders when you are considering taking out a loan. This credit report will help the lender determine whether they are going to lend money to you, and if so, how much they are going to lend, and at what rate. The three main agencies in the UK are Experian, Equifax and CallCredit, so all you need to know is how do I check my credit rating ?
Interestingly, many borrowers think that their credit report with these different agencies will all be the same. However, this is simply not the case and each agency will be sharing different bits of information with different lenders. Some lenders have specific arrangements with certain credit agencies but it is unlikely you will be made aware of these links. It is also often the case that a lender will consult all three credit agencies to make sure they have a comprehensive understanding of your financial history.
All of this means that if you only choose to look at your credit rating from one of these agencies you are not going to be getting the whole picture. Your potential lender might be getting a completely different view of your finances and for this reason it is important to be aware of all the different reports about your credit.
There are many advantages that you will have from checking your credit report including making sure that no one is fraudulently using your identity, fixing any disputes about credit, repairing your credit situation, planning for big-ticket purchases, and negotiating better with lenders.
Some of these mentioned items will only require you to check your credit rating infrequently, such as if you are considering taking out a mortgage, but making sure no one is using your identity fraudulently requires much more regular checking. Careful people might want to even check their credit reports on a monthly basis.
These reports are pretty easy to obtain the first report or the first thirty days of use are generally free then after that there is a small ongoing fee from each of the agencies. All this can easily be performed online and checking your report is both quick and simple on the company websites.
It is also possible that by getting your credit report you will be made aware of financial issues before they become a major problem. For example, if your bank did not receive your latest mortgage payments through some administrative error, then knowing about this early will prevent a default which can cause your credit rating significant harm.
The monthly credit report will make you aware of any serious problems before they get out of control. All of the leading credit reporting agencies have ways for you to be more in touch with your credit rating including online access, alerts as well as weekly updates.