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How to check your credit history?

If you’re applying for a loan, a credit card or even a mobile phone contract, lenders will be interested in your credit history. This will give them insight into your financial activity and whether or not you’re reliable enough to pay the money back. In order to increase your chances of being accepted for credit, it’s advisable to keep track of your credit history.

If you’re looking to find more information about your credit profile, you can check our statutory credit report for a basic credit report and to check fraudulent activity isn’t happening in your name. You have the statutory right to access your personal credit information

If you access your credit report before you apply for credit, it’s important to know what to check for. Here’s a step-by-step guide for reviewing your credit history for anything that could affect your chances of getting credit:

  1. Check your name and address is correct

    Lenders use your credit file to verify you are who you say you are. So, if the address on your credit file is not up to date, this could signify potential identity fraud.

    If you’ve recently moved house or don’t know which address is on your credit report, check it. Don’t let a small administrative error stop hinder you getting credit.

  2. Am I on the electoral register?

    What many people don’t realise is being on the electoral register can actually improve your credit rating. That’s because it provides proof of address and can help reduce the risk of identity fraud. If you’re not sure how to get on the electoral register, here are the government guidelines.

  3. Check your past and current credit arrangements

    When you access your credit report, you can see information about your past and present credit agreements from the last six years. This includes everything from mobile phone contracts and credit cards to car loans and mortgages.

    Check each item is correct, was initiated by you and your payments are up to date. If any credit or retail cards you don’t use appear on your file, closing them can improve your credit rating.

  4. Check your financial associates are correct

    A financial associate is anyone with whom you’ve held a joint financial agreement, such as a bank account or joint mortgage. It’s important to check who your financial associates are because their credit status could affect yours. If you’re no longer financially linked with individuals, make sure they’re removed from your credit file.

If you’ve noticed any information on your credit report is wrong, such as your address, you should notify the lender or raise a dispute with TransUnion. If the lender has reason to believe information is incorrect, they’ll notify the relevant credit reference agency to change the information on your report. Previous addresses remain on your file in order to help identify you.

This depends on what type of information it is. For instance:

  • Missed payments — generally stay on your report for six years.
  • Bankruptcies — stay on your credit file for at least six years.
  • Court judgements — usually stay on your credit file for six years.
  • Previous addresses — stay on your file forever as a way for lenders to confirm your identity.

Your credit history is confidential information that can only be seen by you, the credit reference agency and lenders with which you’re applying for credit. Reviewing each section of your credit report is key to understanding what your credit history means when you apply for credit.

statutory credit report allows you to make sure there’s nothing stopping you from being accepted for credit. And even if you’re not applying for credit right now, check your credit report regularly to help identify fraudulent activity.