Check your credit history
Experian CreditExpert, the UK’s number 1 credit reference agency¹, offers a 30-day trial to new members – so that you can check your credit report quickly and easily online. A monthly fee of £14.99 will apply after the 30-day trial has ended, if you’d like to continue enjoying unlimited access to this service.
You should check your credit report regularly to make sure that the information held on you is accurate and up to date. Your Experian credit report will also give you a valuable insight into how good your borrowing prospects are, and how likely lenders are to accept your credit applications – putting you in control. Many of us have been careless with credit in the past. Checking your credit report is the first step to making sure that the mistakes of the past don’t affect your financial future.
What to look for
It’s easy to access your Experian Credit Report online with Experian CreditExpert, but what then? There are certain things that you will want to look out for, depending on your circumstances and your reasons for checking your credit report:
Credit transactions held on file
It can sometimes be a surprise to see the credit transactions listed on your credit report. These can date back years and may include closed accounts that have been forgotten about, as well as the accounts that are active in your name.
Any problems or inaccuracies
A key benefit to checking your credit report is that you can cross-reference any anomalies. If you spot something that looks inaccurate, double check with your records. If you still don’t recognise a transaction, or believe that the details are wrong, contact the lender for more information. Spotting inaccuracies on your credit report means that you can then take steps to rectify the issue.
A credit report is a useful weapon in the battle against identity theft and fraud, as checking a report can flag up any suspicious activity. If you spot anything suspicious, such as transactions that you don’t recognise – contact the lender immediately.
A financial association is usually someone you have shared a joint credit account with. Financial associations can either help or hinder a credit score, so make sure that yours are working for you. If not, look at what you can do to remove the association for a healthier credit rating.
The balance of debt
As well as enabling you to see a total balance of debt, your credit report can be useful in showing you individual amounts that are outstanding. It can also be a useful tool in deciding whether to take on more credit, as overstretching yourself financially should always be avoided.
Different types of borrowing
It can be interesting to see the different types of borrowing on your credit report, as mortgages, secured loans, credit cards, unsecured loans and other types of credit will be broken down. Always cross-reference the information with your own records to make sure that it matches.
Amendments and Improvements
If you are trying to improve your credit score and borrowing prospects, or have applied to get an inaccuracy removed, you will want to revisit your credit report to check progress.
¹UK's No.1 Source: CreditExpert is the UK's market leader by share of unique users. Comscore, Sept 2013