Credit reports are used by a number of financial organisations and companies, from personal loan providers to private investors. They provide them with a comprehensive overview of your credit history/relationship, and this helps to inform their decision with regards to deciding who they lend money to. As such, you may well want to access your credit report to check your rating and see how you may be able to improve it. Here is some useful information in relation to this.
How to Find Your Credit Report
Accessing your credit report is actually a fairly simple process. There are three main credit reference agencies (CRAs) which compile all the information relating to your credit history. These are Experian, Equifax and Callcredit, and each will have their own report on your credit history. These reports can differ slightly, so it may be worth getting a report from each to get a more comprehensive overview of your credit history.
There are a few methods to obtain your credit report from the CRAs; firstly you can sign up to a subscription service with Experian and Equifax who offer in-depth analysis on your credit file and tips on how you can improve your credit score.
These organisations are also legally obliged to provide you with a copy of your report for £2 (which can be done by contacting them), either as a written copy or online.
How it May Affect Your Loan
Credit reports are one of the main methods that all lenders use when deciding whether to lend you money. As such, they could have a bearing on whether you will be given access to credit or not. Those with a stellar credit report may find it easier to get a loan than those with a less favourable credit history.
Those with a poor credit history (such as those who have had their home repossessed or failed to meet repayments) may find it much more difficult to access credit. As such, it is advisable that you take steps to keep your credit report as unblemished as possible.
How to Improve it
For those with a slightly poorer credit report, there are still plenty of ways to improve it. Focusing on getting rid of unpaid debts could be a good start, and paying more than the minimum repayment on a regular basis signals to a lender that you are responsible with debt management.
If you’ve never had credit before, then it may also be difficult for you to access credit. Taking out a credit card and repaying the amount you have spent on it at the end of the month could be a step towards giving you an improved credit rating.
It is important to take your credit file seriously, as it may significantly affect your chances of accessing credit in the future. Be sure to check your report thoroughly, and take all necessary steps to improve it should you need to.