Applying for credit?

When you apply for credit, the lender will decide whether or not to lend you money by reviewing your credit history on your credit report.

This will advise your lender of how much credit you’ve borrowed in the past and if you’ve been regularly paying this back.

Top tips

  1. Keep a record
  2. Maintain copies
  3. Ask for advice

There are three main credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (formerly CallCredit). All three keep information about you and a lender can ask one or more of them when making a decision about whether to lend you money.

The credit reference agencies keep the following information:

  • The Electoral Roll. This shows addresses you’ve been registered to vote at and the dates you were registered there.
  • Public records. This includes court judgments, bankruptcies and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, IVAs, Debt Relief Orders and Administration Orders.
  • Account information. This shows how you have managed your bank accounts and other borrowing. It shows lenders whether you have made payments on time.
  • Home repossessions. This is information from members of the Council of Mortgage Lenders about homes that have been repossessed.
  • Financial associations. This shows details of people you are financially connected to. For example, it includes people you’ve applied jointly for credit with or who you have a joint account with, such as a partner.
  • Previous searches. This shows details of companies and organisations that have looked at information on your file in the last 12 months
  • Linked addresses. This shows any addresses you have lived at.

You can ask for a copy of your credit reference file from any of the three main credit reference agencies.

There are two different options that they offer –

  • A free copy of your statutory report
  • Pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to your file and daily updates including identity theft alerts.

Contact –

  • Experian – phone 0344 481 0800 or online
  • Equifax – online
  • TransUnion – phone 0113 388 4300 or online

Did you know

  • If you have a credit card, a loan, a mobile phone contract etc and fail to keep up with the monthly payments it will affect your credit score
  • Negative information such as bankruptcies and court judgements can stay on your credit report for up to six years
  • Criminal records/driving offences don’t show up on your credit report