Checking your credit report weekly can be a good step toward staying on top of your credit health. Whether you’re applying for credit or not, it’s helpful to confirm that all of the details in your report are accurate. Regular reviews can also help you spot potential fraud or identity theft.
Checking your credit report doesn’t have to take long. Here’s how to do it and what to look out for.
Check your personal information
Go to the section of each credit report that shows your full name, current address and date of birth. If the information is incorrect, it could affect your ability to borrow.
Check that you’re on the electoral roll
Your credit report shows whether you’re registered on the electoral roll at your current address. Lenders use this information to verify your identity. So if you’re not registered or are registered at the wrong address, it could affect a lender’s decision. Register your address on the electoral roll here. Be aware that changes may not be reflected on your credit report until your local authority sends updates.
Check your debts
Your credit report will show details of your debts from the last six years. Ensure the outstanding debts are a true reflection of what you owe and that you recognise all the lenders listed. If borrowings are inflated, it could indicate that someone is opening up lines of credit in your name. Unknown lenders on your credit reports could also be a sign of potential identity theft.
Check your repayment history
Review your repayment history to make sure it’s correct. If a payment you made isn’t reflected on your credit report, you may want to contact your lender, which can inform the credit reference agencies.
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 your report to verify your identity and to determine the likelihood of your repaying what you borrow. Your search history will show all the lenders that have checked your credit report. If there are any inquiries from lenders you don’t recognise, this could be a sign of identity fraud.
Use this short guide as a checklist for reviewing your credit reports each week. It can help you spot any mistakes on your report and look for signs of identity theft.