Covid 19 Status

In line with HM Government requirements to fight the spread of Covid-19 we have measures in place to ensure that we protect our staff, their families and the wider community, but also to ensure that there is minimal disruption to our customers.

Your access to online Multi Agency Credit Reports, Expert Help and Account Management remains unaffected. We take great pride in the support that we provide to our customers and throughout this period will do all we can to minimise the impact on our services. While the country remains in lockdown we will continue to support your queries via a dedicated and experienced team that will be securely working from home, and supported by a Management Team that will continue to be based at our head office and who will be able to provide customer support as required.

The security measures that we have in place to protect your Personal Data, in line with our Privacy Policy, will mean that some elements of our personalised support are affected during this period as our support team will be working with anonymised data when working remotely. Freephone access to our Credit Analysts has been removed during this period while we focus our efforts on continuing to reply to all of your emails and secure messages within one working day.

Thanks for your understanding, and we hope to have full customer support available as soon as possible and wish you well during these challenging times.



What Landlords, Employers and Lenders See on Your Credit Report

Posted by Sam Griffin in Credit Check on 29 January 2018

Your credit report is likely to be viewed many times during your life - often at key moments. While you might expect this when you’re about to apply for a mortgage or a car loan, it may also be checked by a prospective landlord or employer, and just like lenders, there are some key pieces of information they’re looking for that can make or break your job application or property rental.

It’s therefore vital that you know how each group is likely to assess you.

You can see your credit file as it appears to landlords and lenders with all the details included in your checkmyfile credit report.

If you haven't already, you can try checkmyfile FREE for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month after. You'll get complete access to the UK's most detailed credit report, and professional support if required.

What do lenders see?

Lenders are perhaps the most frequent viewers of credit file information. They will assess your entire credit report when considering any application for borrowing, which crucially includes a record of how you’ve managed credit accounts with other lenders in the past.

Payment history

Your report holds credit payment history for the past 6 years; that means if you’ve had any kind of loan, mortgage, credit card or other form of finance in that time, it will be recorded here. Lenders look for this information in particular because it shows them whether you have made payments on time, any late payments or serious arrears, and the amount of borrowing you have (as well as associated credit limits) - all of which shows them how reliable and loyal a customer you may be.

As long as an account remains open it will be reported on your credit file, and is generally updated once a month. If accounts have been open longer, then only the last 6 years of payment information will show. Adverse information is generally removed automatically after six years, so doesn’t have a negative impact forever.

Data sharing like this is operated under something known as the Principles of Reciprocity – essentially only those organisations that share information about how you manage credit accounts is allowed to access it. This means that people such as private landlords won’t be able to see the same level of detail.

Bank accounts that are not related to credit agreements (such as basic debit accounts or savings accounts) do not appear on your credit report so cannot be seen by lenders. For that reason you may have to volunteer information about your annual salary and monthly outgoings when you apply for finance.

Financial associations

Any financial associations you have will also be visible to lenders. A financial association is an individual with whom you’ve applied for a joint credit agreement – like a joint bank account or mortgage. These individuals can have a direct impact (both good and bad) on your own ability to get credit.

This means that, if a lender sees negative information on your associations’ credit files, it could reflect poorly on you. Conversely, if your association has a great credit history, this can work in your favour. To be safe, it’s a good idea to check your credit report and remove any financial associations (known as financial disassociation) that are incorrect or no longer relevant.

Other credit applications

Often referred to as footprints, any recent credit applications will also show up when lenders perform a credit check.

There’s a popular misconception that says too many searches can harm your overall credit score and put off potential lenders. While there’s an element of truth in this, it’s only natural that borrowers will want to shop around for the best deal, with many lenders only offering a final APR after conducting a credit check. Unless you made an unusually large number of applications in a short amount of time, which could trigger a potential fraud warning, you are unlikely to be turned down for credit as a result of this.

Searches can also show in relation to things like identity checks, insurance applications and you accessing your own credit report. These will not impact your ability to get credit.

Electoral Roll status

Lenders can also see your Electoral Roll status, which is publicly available information. Your Electoral Roll status is hugely important to your credit file, as it’s seen as evidence that your most recent address is still your current one, so if money does have to be recovered, they know where to start. If the Electoral Roll information is wrong or missing at an agency, this could impact on your ability to get credit.

If you’re not showing up as registered to vote on your credit report, it could either mean you’re not registered to vote or that the credit reference agencies are not reporting your electoral status correctly. You can find out if you’re registered to vote by contacting your local council.

Court information

Another significant part of a credit report is recorded court information, which like your electoral status, is also publicly available. Any record of a County Court Judgment or insolvency (even if it’s reflected as settled/discharged) will severely impact a lender’s perception of your credit worthiness because they indicate past credit management issues and therefore risk.

Lenders can find this information by going to one of the three main UK credit reference agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion which in turn take information from organisations such as Registry Trust.

What can landlords see?

Landlords also routinely run checks on potential tenants but, unlike with lenders, the information available to them is purely public – this means that credit account history (credit cards/loans etc.), financial associations, and past credit applications will be hidden from them. These are called “soft-searches” and are used regularly by landlords, employers and insurance companies.

Why do they search my credit file?

Landlords want to know that the person they’re letting into their property is who they say they are; they can do this, which is corroborated by checking your Electoral Roll status at current and previous addresses lines up with what you’ve provided.

They will also check for Court information to gain an idea of whether there has been any serious issue in the past with reclaiming payments. As the landlord has no visibility of your previous credit agreements, this is the best insight they can get from your credit file as to into whether you have a seriously troubled repayment history. As a result, the presence of any court information can make a big difference to the outcome of your application.

Landlords will often ask for proof of income, in the form of a reference or payslip, as a means of assessing whether you are likely to be able to afford the monthly rent.

What can employers see?

In the past, credit checks carried out by employers were mostly reserved for roles in the financial sector, but increasingly jobs in other sectors have become subject to them. Like the checks carried out by landlords, this is usually a soft search, which only shows your publicly-available information.

For most employers they will use a credit search simply to verify that you are who you say you are, though court information may also be of interest. A recent insolvency, bankruptcy or CCJ could be seen by an employer as an additional cause of stress which could distract from your working responsibilities. Most employers would likely be open to a dialogue about the circumstances leading to this however, and few are likely to turn you down solely for this information being present without wanting to discuss it with you first.

Your address (and in some cases, previous addresses) are likely to be verified as well, and although this information not matching up to your report is unlikely to cost you the job, you can always check ahead of time that this information is being reported correctly by all four agencies to save the embarrassment of telling your potential new employer that you just never got around to updating your bank address or registering to vote.

Can an employer see my credit score?

No. Employers running soft/enquiry searches will not be able to see your credit score. For the few employers that run a full search, your score should not affect the outcome of your application, though factors that can contribute to a lower score (such as fraud alerts or CCJs) may do.

When is a ‘full search’ run?

While less common than soft searches, full searches may be used for jobs in the financial sector, or that will involve working closely with sensitive data. A full search is used to show evidence of your credit agreements as this can be used to assess whether an applicant is under severe financial stress, and therefore more of a fraud risk.

Before running a credit check on you, your potential employer will need your permission to do so - you have the right to deny this request, but this may not be a popular decision and could end up costing you the job.

To make sure you’re in good stead with employers, lenders and landlords when they check your credit report, you can make sure you stand your best chance by checking all of the information being reported on you by the credit reference agencies is correct and up-to-date.

You can view your credit report online and see everything there is to see with checkmyfile. If you’re not already a member you can sign up FREE for 30 days and then £14.99 a month.

Does being a guarantor affect my Credit Rating?

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One of the main benefits of keeping track of your Credit Report is that you are able to monitor exactly how your accounts are being reported to potential lenders, mobile phone providers, and utility suppliers (to name just a few). Whether the account information is correct or not, these companies are increasingly relying solely on computers to interpret your Credit Report and, when there is incorrect information, consumers face the potential of being declined for everyone’s least favourite reason – computer says ‘no’.

Published on 3 Jan 2020 by George Coburn

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Can I Rent With Bad Credit?

The outcome of the credit checks carried out by landlords or letting agents is a pivotal moment in the application process when you go to rent a property, but the actual information they will be looking at is probably a lot less daunting than you might expect.

Published on 20 Dec 2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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Could Your Voice Pass a Credit Check?

Speech recognition has come a long way in a relatively short period of time and is now a fairly accepted part of everyday life.

Published on 23 May 2019 by Richard Catlin

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Credit checks are commonplace in the UK these days, playing a major role in events such as applying for a mortgage, car finance and renting a property to name just a few. Less commonly known is that sometimes even a new job can require that you pass a credit check as part of the selection criteria.

Published on 1 Apr 2019 by Sam Griffin

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Why Insurance Quotes Use Credit Checks

When you go online to get an insurance quote (be it home, car or most other products that involve a monthly premium) you may unknowingly be only a few clicks away from undergoing a credit check. Very often you won’t even see a specific notification before it happens unless you read through the company’s terms and conditions in their entirety.

Published on 8 Mar 2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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What’s Worse - Bad Credit History or No Credit History?

Whenever an application for credit is made, a prospective lender is basically looking to ensure (as much as they can) that any money they loan is going to be repaid on time. A key component in their final decision is the applicant's previous history of borrowing and making payments on time. But how does a typical lender view a consumer with little or no credit history, compared to someone with negative information recorded against them?

Published on 21 Jun 2018 by Tom Magor

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How lenders can change your interest rate even after an account has been opened

Most people are aware that your credit report and rating have a heavy bearing on whether a lender accepts or declines an application, and the rate of interest that comes with the account. However, not everyone knows that credit scoring – in the form of a particular lenders’ appetite for ‘risk’ - can continue to have an impact on your account even after it has been opened.

Published on 24 Jan 2018 by Kiah Phillips

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6 Things Lenders Don’t Want to See on Your Credit File

We live in a time where credit ratings have an ever-increasing impact on our lives. Mortgages, loans, car finance, phone contracts… almost anything that involves a degree of borrowing is likely to involve your credit report, or rather, the information it contains. A lot of information goes under the microscope during an application and unless you know exactly what you’re looking at, you may not realise which elements could be hurting your rating the most.

Published on 5 Jan 2018 by Beth Jennings

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No credit is good credit. Think again

Picture this scenario. You go into a mobile phone shop to get the latest release on a contract. At £30 a month, it is well within your affordability, without pushing your monthly income too much. All in hand, you may think.

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