Reliable ways to check your credit score and credit report

Reliable Ways to Check your Credit Score and Credit Report

A few years ago the only way to request your credit score and review your credit report was by post. Now you can easily request this information online in just a few minutes.

Requesting your credit report

There are three main credit reference agencies (CRAs) in the UK who review how well you manage your credit. They are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (formerly Callcredit). Each provider is required to give you a free statutory copy of your credit report if requested. The easiest way to do this is directly through their websites.

While the easiest option is to ask for your report online, you can still have a copy sent to you by post if you prefer. These are usually sent to you within seven working days.

Each CRA uses different sources for calculating your credit score. If you are planning on checking your credit score for the first time, then it is worth getting a report from each of them. By reviewing all three you will be able to clearly see how you are managing your available credit. It will also let you see if there are problems identified by one of the CRAs but not the others.

Paid reports

Paid options are available if you need a more detailed report. These offer more information about your credit checks and let you monitor things like fraud or identity theft. If you pay for a credit report then you can also receive guidance on ways to improve or maintain your credit score. However, it is worth bearing in mind that you don’t have to pay for the report if you don’t need this information.

Other benefits and alternatives

If you are concerned about identity theft or being a victim of fraud, a quick check of your credit report can set your mind at ease.

You can also get basic credit score information from other reliable websites such as Money Saving Expert and Money Supermarket. These can also be requested online. However, the information will often be less detailed than what you will receive from the three main providers.

If you do find that you are being turned down for credit that you would have normally been ok for, it may be that you have picked up a bad mark on your credit score which may now mean you are in the bad credit category, so you’ll have to start looking for bad credit loans.