What is a credit report?

A credit report is a record of your personal credit history and lenders use the information it contains to decide whether to give you credit.

If you’re over 18 and have ever taken out a loan, credit card or mobile phone contract, a credit reference agency like TransUnion is likely to hold a copy of your credit report. It’s important to check this regularly to keep an eye on your financial activity.

Read on to find out:

What information does a credit report provide?

A credit report is a way to review your financial history and see all your credit activity in one place.

Your credit report is very important– think of it as your financial passport. Lenders use the information it contains to assess your credit history, so make sure you check it regularly to ensure the information it contains is correct.

A credit report will provide the following information:

  • Account information – This is a record of your past and current credit accounts and whether you have made payments on time and in full. If you’ve missed a payment or made it late, this will stay on your credit report for six years. This is also the case for County Court Judgments and bankruptcies.
  • Your current and previous addresses - Whether or not you are awarded credit can be influenced by your presence on the electoral roll as it provides proof of address, so check your current and previous addresses are correct.
  • Your financial connections – Anyone you are financially connected to will appear on your credit report, such as anyone you have taken out a joint bank account, loan or mortgage with. When lenders are assessing your credit history they may also look at your financial associates’ credit histories as they may affect your ability to pay back the money you borrow.

People with a good credit history are more likely to be given credit and offered higher credit limits and lower interest rates. A bad credit history, however, will make it more likely for your application to be declined.

Rest assured that your credit report will never contain sensitive personal information such as race, religion, sexuality, political beliefs or medical history.

How lenders use your credit report

Lenders won’t just look at your credit report when you apply for a mortgage. They’ll also refer to it when you apply for:

  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Overdrafts
  • Mobile phone and some utility contracts

That’s why it’s important to regularly get a credit check to make sure it’s not standing in the way of you being accepted for credit.

How to get a TransUnion Credit Report

You can access your statutory credit report using the link below:

  • Statutory Credit Report – Access your statutory credit report online or by post to make sure there is nothing stopping you getting accepted for credit. And even if you’re not applying for credit right now, check your credit report regularly to help identify fraudulent activity.