It’s advised that you should check your credit report at least once a month. It helps to know that all your details on your report are accurate and nothing is holding you back, whether you’re applying for credit or not. Regular checks can also help in identifying potential fraud and identity theft early on, since your report contains information on the accounts you hold.
Checking your credit report doesn’t have to take long. Here is our guide on how to check your credit report and what to look out for:
- Check your personal information
Go to the section of your credit report that shows your full name, current address and date of birth. If the information here is incorrect you’ll want to get it amended as soon as possible or it could affect your ability to borrow. The information needs to be accurate and up to date.
- Check you’re on the electoral roll
Your credit report shows whether or not you’re registered on the electoral roll. It should show that you’re registered at your current address, if not you will need to register. This information is used by lenders to verify your identity, so if you’re not registered at all or registered at the wrong address it could affect a lenders decision. Register your current address on the electoral roll here. Be aware that there is likely to be a delay on it being reflected on your credit report until your local authority updates us.
- Check your past and current debts
Your credit report will show details of your past and current debts from the last six years. Ensure the outstanding debts are a true reflection of what you currently owe and that you recognise all the lenders listed. If borrowings are inflated, meaning its showing you owe more than you do or have ever taken out, then it could be an indication that someone is opening up lines of credit in your name. If there are any lenders shown on your credit report whom you have never borrowed from, then this could be another clue to potential identity theft.
- Check your repayment history
Similar to checking your debts, have a thorough once over of your repayment history to make sure what you have paid back is correct and up to date. If a payment you made isn’t reflected on your credit report then you may want to contact your lender so they can inform the credit reference agency who will then update the information. Again there could just be delay in your lender informing us.
- Check your search history
Lenders will check your credit report whenever you apply for credit, be it a loan, mortgage, mobile phone contract or credit card. They use it to verify your identity and determine the likelihood of you repaying what you borrow. Your search history will show all the lenders that have checked your credit report. If there any made from lenders you never made an application to, unless it’s a parent company, this could indicate identity fraud.
Use this short guide as a check list for reviewing your credit report each month. It could help protect you against identity theft and fraud, and grow and nurture your score.