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.



The Reason Why Employers Carry Out Credit Checks

Posted by Sam Griffin in Credit Check on 1 April 2019

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.

Here, we'll explain a bit more about why that's the case but if you think that you're likely to be credit checked as part of an application you've made or are about to make, it's important to find out for yourself what's being reported and sooner, rather than later. checkmyfile will show you everything being reported by all four Credit Reference Agencies. Whilst not all of this information will be visible to a prospective employer, it'll include the stuff they will be able to see and allow you to make sure it's all correct.

You can try checkmyfile free for 30 days and then for just £14.99 a month which you can cancel online at any time during or after the trial period.

In the past, employment credit checks were fairly limited in scope and were only really used for roles in the financial sector where handling money was involved, or jobs in the Police force or legal profession. Today though, the number of employers (and the breadth of industries they fit into) conducting a credit check as part of their pre-employment routine is increasing.

Since General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, many companies have had to redouble their efforts to ensure employees (both current and prospective) aren’t likely to misuse their position.

In 2018 a Clearswift report found that 42% of security breaches came from inside organisations. The introduction of GDPR saw the maximum fine for infringements increase to €20m or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is greater) – quite a motivator when it comes to minimising the risk of an internal breach.

So what are employers looking for when they carry out a credit check and how can you make sure there’s nothing on your Credit Report that’s likely to harm your chances of landing your dream job at the last minute?

What information will employers check?

In the vast majority of cases, employers will only access the Public Information contained on your Credit Report, via an Enquiry Search which is very different to the full dataset that a potential lender would assess when you make an application for credit.

The mainstay of the public component of your Credit Report is your Electoral Roll listing and any Court Information such as Insolvency or Court Judgments. Your name, address and date of birth are also listed.

Public Information is reported by all four of the UK’s Credit Reference Agencies, but because information is updated by each independently, differences can occur. For that reason, it’s important to check all of them to make sure that there’s nothing unexpected lurking and that nothing important has been missed.

The same is true of landlords performing searches on potential tenants: only Public Information will be assessed. As long as it comes back clear, there should be nothing to worry about.

In all cases, this type of search won’t impact on your Credit Rating and serves simply as an audit footprint of who has accessed your Credit Report.

Why do employers carry out credit checks?

While a credit check relating to an application for credit is designed to assess your ability to pay on time, employers have a different motivation.

Even without being able to assess your full Credit History (how you’ve managed individual credit accounts in the past), any organisation searching your Public Information should be able to spot signs of potential financial distress.

This is important, as a potential employer could view serious negative information such as Bankruptcy or CCJs as such a warning sign.

Employers want to be sure that your financial position won’t impact your performance and that you don’t pose an increased risk when it comes to handling money or sensitive data. Put simply, the reasoning is that someone under severe financial pressure might be more susceptible to outside influence, bribery or even theft.

Will I pass an employment credit check with bad credit?

In the same way that the decision whether to approve an application for credit lies with an individual lender, each employer will have its own criteria when it comes to what is an acceptable level of risk when making a job offer. The severity and recency of the information will be a major factor. Very recent adverse information is much more likely to be a concern to a potential employer than a CCJ from a number of years ago.

Remember though, credit checks for most jobs will not look at your full credit history, so things like late payments or even defaults won’t be taken into consideration.

When bad credit can affect an application

Some jobs will involve a much closer scrutiny of your financial past. If you are applying for certain positions with high levels of responsibility in the finance industry, law enforcement, or with a government agencies (such as HMRC), a full credit check – like ones performed when applying for a loan – may be carried out.

A full credit check will reveal not just Public Information, but also your full Credit History, including how you have managed induvial accounts, any adverse information and detail around your current balances, limits and levels of borrowing.

Financial Associations (individuals with whom you have or have had a financial connection) will also be visible on a full credit check, and your association’s Credit Report may be assessed alongside yours to help the employer make their decision if they feel your relationship with this person could have a significant effect on your own finances.

How long does information stay on my Credit Report?

Information remains on Credit Reports for varying amounts of time, but most information that is likely to cause you issues when applying for a job remain visible for 6 years, including late payments, defaults and court information. The status of any adverse information may change in this time, for example to reflect whether a bankruptcy has been discharged or a CCJ satisfied.

Can I see the information for myself?

If you’re worried about what might show up in a credit check, you see for yourself what a potential employer will find by checking your Credit Report beforehand.

If you haven’t already, you can see the UK’s most detailed Credit Report by signing up for a free 30 day trial of checkmyfile, which is then just £14.99 a month afterwards and you can cancel online at any time or by secure message or email.

Does being a guarantor affect my Credit Rating?

The term guarantor isn’t usually something that comes up in everyday conversation, until you’re suddenly faced with a pressing need for one, or are asked out of the blue to become one. It’s unlikely you’re reading this without some idea of what a guarantor is, so let’s get straight to the detail of what being a guarantor means.

Published on 11 Feb 2020 by Andrew Brown

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When information on your credit report is wrong

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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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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What Landlords, Employers and Lenders See on Your Credit Report

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.

Published on 29 Jan 2018 by Sam Griffin

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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.

Published on 4 Apr 2016 by Ben Tumilty

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