Another report would you credit it?
Reports, reports, reports. There’s another one – or a dozen published everyday. ‘This is good for you, that isn’t’. ‘Most people think this but some people think that’. Do they make any difference or are they just a quick soundbite and then tomorrow’s fish-and-chip paper? Some reports are different. Some really matter. Welcome to the world of your credit report.
Running your life in the twenty-first century requires access to credit and we use credit far more often than many of us realise. We pay for our utilities on the basis of what gas, electricity and phone services we have used, opening providers to the risk that we won’t pay the bill for something they’ve already delivered. Mortgages can carry a risk to a lender for 25 years or more. We buy our major household purchases on long-term deals, often with fingers crossed that our earnings will continue throughout the repayment period.
Clearly, if lenders are to remain in business offering credit to people, they need to be able to limit their exposure to people defaulting on the agreements they make and they do this primarily by consulting all the information that gives an insight into their potential customers and how they have handled loans and borrowings in the past. They consult your credit report.
If you’ve ever successfully taken out credit in the UK, the major credit reference agencies will have a personal credit report in your name. Credit reference agencies collect public and credit data to produce credit reports and credit scores or ratings. Responsible lenders use these to make decisions about whether to give someone credit but you also have the right to access your personal credit report. It is important to know what’s in your credit report.
Your credit report contains both personal and financial information:
* Your name, date of birth, current and previous addresses from information provided by you and from other sources; personal information isn’t used in calculating credit scores or ratings
* Details of your accounts and of credit agreements opened in your name, including your payment history
* Any legal judgements or awards against you
With confidential online access to your credit report, you can verify the information held about you to ensure that all factors have a proper bearing on your credit score and your access to credit. At last, a report worth reading.