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.

Does Gambling Affect Your Credit Score?

Posted by Richard Catlin in Credit Score on 13 June 2019 - Richard is Marketing Director at checkmyfile.

If you’re among the 32% of Brits that gamble on a weekly basis and are thinking of applying for some form of credit in the near future, you might be wondering whether your activity could affect your Credit Rating and your chances of being accepted.

The answer isn’t a straightforward one unfortunately.

However you choose to place a bet, the record of you doing so isn’t directly reported to the UK’s Credit Reference Agencies, in much the same way that savings accounts, benefits or your salary aren’t.

Where it becomes slightly more complicated is if you use a credit card, rather than a debit card to fund your online account, or if you are about to apply for something that will involve a much closer examination of your personal finances and where you spend money, such as a mortgage.

Gambling using a credit card

If you use a credit card to gamble, most card issuers will treat each transaction in the same way as a Cash Advance, which means it will accrue interest from the point of borrowing, often attract a higher APR than your standard interest rate and in some cases will have a ‘handling fee’ loaded on top. In short, it can be an expensive exercise, even before you know the result of any bet.

It’s not just online gambling transactions that could be deemed as cash advances by card issuers either. In some cases, even buying food or drink in a casino will fall under the same ‘category’ and be subject to the same charges.

The added cost of a credit card transaction isn’t the only potential issue. That’s because increasingly, it’s not just the balance, credit limit and any payment history of credit card accounts that will be disclosed to any lender searching your Credit Report.

In some cases, the number of cash advances and the cash advance amount are also reported. Much like payday loans, lenders may interpret repeated cash advances as a sign of financial distress, which could in turn have a negative impact on any application and your ability to get credit.

Thankfully, single instances of a cash advance shouldn’t be an issue, so if you’ve ever accidently used the wrong card at a cashpoint, you should be ok.

How will a lender view gambling transactions?

Your Credit Report and the information it contains will play a huge part in your ability to get credit - especially when it comes to ‘bigger’ financial commitments such as a mortgage - but it’s not the only consideration.

Affordability is also a critical factor. This essentially allows a prospective lender to assess whether you are likely to be able to comfortably afford to make repayments alongside your existing financial commitments.

Where most products with smaller monthly payments are concerned, lenders will usually be happy to rely on the information contained in your Credit Report to reveal your current borrowings, sometimes backed up with questions relating to your regular outgoings.

Given the size of most mortgages though, lenders will want to be much more certain that their level of risk is palatable and that there aren’t any nasty surprises lurking in your personal finances. This is the reason that you will be asked for between 3 and 6 months of bank statements alongside payslips and other paperwork – to allow a forensic analysis of where your money goes (and comes from) and to verify any information you provide.

Regular outgoings such as childcare, pensions, existing borrowing and other commitments such as child maintenance will all be taken into account, but gambling transactions (or unusual patterns of cash withdrawals) are likely to be subject to further questioning.

It’s important to remember that underwriters (ultimately the decision makers) aren’t there to make a moral judgment. The odd gambling transaction shouldn’t cause a serious issue, but with the afore mentioned stat that one in three of us gamble weekly, it’s undoubtedly something that will be checked carefully. Ultimately, it’s the level of spending that will be looked at and how it compares to your income.

To be on the safe side, if you can avoid having obvious gambling transactions show up on your bank statement in the months immediately before making a mortgage application, you should. In some cases of course, that’s easier said than done, and if you are worried that it is becoming a problem, there is help available.

What your Credit Report does show

Whilst the impact of gambling on your ability to get credit is largely indirect, there are a number of elements within your Credit Report that will directly affect whether or not an application is accepted.

These include your payment history – and in particular any negative markers - as well as your presence on the Electoral Roll, any Court information and people you are financially connected to, to name but a few.

Until you check your report for yourself, there’s no way of knowing what is being reported about you, leaving you in the dark about what lenders, landlords or employers will see when they run a credit check.

To tip the odds in your favour before you make an application for credit, you can see what lenders will see and check what’s reported about you at all four UK Credit Reference Agencies in one place with checkmyfile. If you haven’t already, you can try us free for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel online at any time, or by phone or by email. Don’t leave it to chance.

How Late Payments Affect Your Credit Score

When taking out an account with a company – like a credit card, loan, or even mobile phone contract – you will usually agree to make scheduled monthly repayments. Ensuring that these payments are made on time and in full is important for your Credit Score as any late payments will be recorded against you, each with the potential to harm your creditworthiness.

Published on 11 Aug 2020 by Kelly Luff

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Do Student Loans Affect my Credit Score?

According to government statistics for 2019, UK students (those currently studying and already graduated) owe a colossal £121 billion in outstanding student loans. To put this gigantic pile of UK debt into perspective, it overshadows the entire world’s combined annual budget for space programmes. All the cutting-edge, space-bound engineering and cosmic knowledge of the world’s most well-funded space agencies, NASA (US), ROSCOSMO (Russia), and CNSA (China) only collectively reach an estimated £28 billion a year – barely comparable to the grim achievement of today’s British students.

Published on 4 Mar 2020 by Sam Griffin

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What's More Important: Your Credit Score or Report Data?

The relationship between Credit Scores and Credit Reports is pretty cyclical: one being strong usually means the other is equally good and you should have easy access to credit, right? Well, in a way. You might be surprised though how much of a role a ‘score’ really plays when it comes to borrowing.

Published on 12 Feb 2020 by Paul Anderson-Riley

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Do we use FICO in the UK?

A US news story has dropped that’s generating some charged discussion about FICO, the American credit scoring company. FICO has recently announced that the way it calculates Credit Scores is changing. Due to a re-jig in its algorithm, an estimated '40 million Americans are likely to see their Credit Scores drop'.

Published on 10 Feb 2020 by Sam Griffin

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Bad credit on an address myths

When moving into a new house, the first thoughts that go through your mind could be along the lines of “what colour am I going to paint the kitchen?” or “will my wardrobe actually fit in the bedroom?” You may not immediately ask yourself “I wonder how much debt the previous occupant had!”

Published on 9 Jan 2020 by Kirstie Brown

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10 Credit Myths Busted

Credit checks are an integral part of modern life: from buying a house or car to applying for a new job or passing a tenancy check, your Credit Report is remarkably versatile. But considering the important role Credit Reports can play, there are still a number of popular myths surrounding them. We’ll look at ten misconceptions to point you in the right direction.

Published on 30 Dec 2019 by Kirstie Day

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How does my ‘Credit Age’ affect my Credit Score?

Credit age is a difficult concept to define and can be tricky to get your head around. This isn’t about what year you were born – it’s more a reflection of how long and to what extent you’ve been using credit and is an important consideration when looking at your Credit Score - especially if you’re looking to improve it.

Published on 23 Dec 2019 by Andrew Brown

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Age matters when it comes to your credit score

Credit Action, the National Money Education Charity, scares everyone witless every month with unnerving financial statistics. A few examples include the fact that a property is repossessed every hour and 43 minutes, that every four minutes someone is declared insolvent, and that the Citizens’ Advice Bureau deals with 2,595 new cases every day. In its October 2019 statistics, the charity advised that average household debt is a mere £59,441 including mortgages. According to the BBC, the stat without mortgages has risen sharply to £15,385.

Published on 5 Dec 2019 by Barry Stamp

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Is there discrimination in credit assessment?

Apple could find itself in hot water in the US after a weekend of high-profile claims that applicants to its recently launched Credit Card were discriminated against on the basis of gender.

Published on 11 Nov 2019 by Barry Stamp

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Why do I get different Credit Scores?

The first ever idea of a Credit Score was introduced in the 1950s in the United States. Almost by accident, as Bill Fair and Earl Isaac discovered that a study looking at a potential predictor of ill health could be better used to predict bankruptcy and default. They teamed up to form Fair Isaac, Inc, now FICO, to sell credit scores to lenders. FICO scores are now household names by consumers in the US, as they are used extensively, with little competition.

Published on 3 Sep 2019 by Andrew Brown

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