Tony Byrne’s View 4 December 2017

Dec 4, 2017 | Wealth & Tax Blog

Why your credit record is so, so important

I have been monitoring my personal credit record for many years because I have always been aware of the importance of a good credit score.

I have always subscribed to Checkmyfile because it is the only website that collates all of your records from the 4 main credit reference agencies namely;

Equifax
Call Credit
Experian
Crediva

Checkmyfile then creates a credit score for you based on the data held by each of the credit reference agencies and updates it monthly. It’s very useful because you know before you apply for credit whether or not you are likely to be accepted for it! The cost of Checkmyfile is £14.99 a month.

In addition to giving you a monthly credit report it will inform you which lenders are most likely to offer you credit. Interestingly different lenders rely on different credit reference agencies meaning you could be declined by one lender but accepted by another one even though your personal financial circumstances are unchanged!

The only downside of Checkmyfile is that the reports it creates aren’t the actual credit reports produced by each of the agencies but they are a good indicator in my opinion.

The two main credit reference agencies lenders rely on for detailed reports are Equifax and Call Credit. Interestingly you are able to obtain free credit reports from each of them by opening online accounts with Clear Score (Equifax) and Noddle (Call Credit). Because their credit reports are “free” they offer additional services from which they will receive fees such as matching you with better value for money credit cards and loans and even comparing your utility bills to save you money.

Experian which produces a different type of credit report to the other two charges a fee of £14.99 to produce a report called Credit Expert. Credit Expert sends you regular alerts whenever a lender has searched your report or requested a credit report.

Crediva on the other hand provides UK consumer credit reference services to both businesses and individuals, specialising in alternative credit scoring models to improve traditional credit risk analysis.

As an alternative you may simply contact each of the credit reference agencies and ask for a statutory credit report which will cost you just £2 per report. It will contain the same data as a credit report but will be presented in a different way and will not include a credit score.

So there is a plethora of options available to you if you wish to keep tabs on your credit score. The reason it is important is because without a good credit record your ability to borrow money is very restricted and possibly non-existent. A poor credit record could mean the inability to pay for your utility bills on credit or even to obtain a mobile phone contract!

Even if you are not inclined to borrow and pay interest you might still like to take advantage of interest free deals which will be denied to you if you have a poor credit record. You can even be turned down by a bank to open a current account on which you have no overdraft facility! Even if you already have a current account with the same bank and your account conduct has always been impeccable! Crazy but true. Sadly that’s banks for you.

So remember it is vitally important to maintain a good credit record at all times even if you do not intend to borrow money! Whilst we do not advise on credit we can discuss it with you generally if you choose to have a financial review with us. So why not get in touch?

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