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Is it Worth Viewing Your Credit Report?

How often should you be checking your credit score and what’s the big deal? We look at what a credit report should look like and how you can improve your rating.
An image of a magnifying glass over an online credit report.

If you’re applying for credit, whether for a mortgage or a personal loan, you’re probably thinking about checking your credit report. This can be a useful tool to see how likely it is you’ll be accepted, and contrary to popular myth, checking your credit report doesn’t negatively affect your rating.

What is a credit report?

In layman’s terms, a credit report is a record of your financial history. It includes debts and how you’ve managed them, as well as payment of bills and rent and any other credit you may have taken out like a mortgage. All these pieces of information combined can show you, and potential lenders, how you deal with money – and it can affect how you receive credit in the future.

It will detail all your debt. If you’re struggled in the past or present even, to pay back debts then your credit report could be low. If you’ve got bad credit, you may consider consolidating debt by taking out a bad credit debt consolidation loan. This means taking existing debts and turning them into one affordable monthly payment.

It won’t automatically improve your credit rating, but it should in the long run, providing you keep up with your repayments.

Why should I check it?

Even if you’re not planning to apply for credit, it’s worth checking your credit report every now and then. It’s always good to keep on top of your financial situation and any dramatic changes can alert you to any suspicious or criminal activity such as identity theft.

If you are applying for credit, it’s best to check it at least a couple of months before you apply. This is because there may be issues or errors you aren’t aware of that need to be righted.

A credit score and a big question mark.

I’ve checked my credit score, what does it mean?

Each credit scoring company has a different type of rating, and this can be confusing. The best thing to do is check what the scoring band is using their website or by having a look on Google.

Many banks will also detail the three different CRA band ratings on their websites.

Found an error on your credit report?

To dispute an item on your credit report, you need to go straight to the Credit Reference Agency (CRA) who issued it. They’ll usually offer different ways you can dispute the claim i.e., online or over the phone, and they’ll notify you once a decision has been made.

Filing a dispute won’t affect your credit score, after all, you’re just trying to give them more accurate information. Though, bear in mind, whatever the updated information is could have an effect, either positive or negative.

It’s important to right any wrong information as soon as possible, because it will remain on your report until you do so, and could mean you miss out on credit deals and low or zero interest rates on credit such as credit cards and store cards.

How can I improve my credit rating?

There are many ways to get a better credit score, here are our top five:

  • Take out credit - You won't have any credit history to check if you've never taken out any credit!
  • Don’t miss payments
  • Register to vote - In other words, make sure your address is up-to-date and correct.
  • Don’t close your old accounts - A longer credit history can be better!
  • Check your credit report!
Want more ideas?

Check out our blog post: ‘Improve Your Credit Score With These Budgeting Tricks.’

An image of a hand pressing an apply button on a mobile phone screen.

Struggling to repay your debts?

Apart from having wrong information such as the wrong address on your credit score, having unpaid debts is one of the biggest negative impacts on your credit report. If you’re finding it difficult to repay debts then a debt consolidation loan could be a good solution.

Apply for Debt Consolidation
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APRs from 5.8% to 89.9%

We are a broker, not a lender.

Unsecured Loan Representative 69.9% APR

Borrowing £7,500 over 36 months, repaying £502 per month, total repayable £18,083. Total cost of credit £10,583. Interest rate 69.9% (variable). The lenders on our panel offer loans for 12-60 months, with rates from 5.8% APR to 89.9% APR. The Representative Example is based on all loans paid out by lenders between 19th Apr 2022 and 23rd Dec 2022.

Secured Representative 11.7% APR

If you choose to add fees to the loan: Assumed borrowing of £25,000 over 120 months, plus a broker fee of £2,500 and a lender fee of £250 would result in monthly repayments of £345.55, the borrowing rate is 8.6% (variable), the APRC is 11.7% (variable), total charge for credit £16,466.00 and the total amount payable £41,466.00. You can opt to pay the lender and/or broker fees upfront, your adviser will discuss these options with you.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any debt secured on it. All rates vary subject to loan amount, loan type and status. Repaying your debt over a longer period of time may increase the amount you pay.

Further reading

What are the Different Kinds of Unsecured Loans?

Understand what an unsecured loan is, and how best to use the different kinds of unsecured loans in 2023.

What are the Different Types of Secured Loans?

With so many different types of loans available, it can be difficult to know which is right for you. For more information on secured loans, read this expert article.

Persistent Debt – What Does it Mean for Your Credit?

Persistent debt can affect your credit rating for a significant time period. Read to find out more.