Article by Sam Griffin - 9th September 2020

How Do I See Who Has Accessed My Credit Report?

Your Credit Report will be checked at almost every major milestone in your life. Renting a property; getting a mortgage; and even finding your dream job all often involve your Credit Report being scrutinised.

Organisations of all sorts will take a gander at your Credit Report – some might even come as a surprise, particularly if you don’t recognise them by name.

You can easily keep an eye on who is accessing your Credit Report by monitoring the information for yourself.

Who can access my Credit Report?

Any organisation can access your Credit Report, providing they have a lawful basis for doing so and they inform you of their intentions beforehand. The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) states that your Credit Report can be checked ‘without consent if they have a valid reason’.

In practice, this means that lenders, utility suppliers, and mobile phone providers will search their customer’s Credit Reports when assessing an application. Usually they will inform applicants of a credit check within the terms and conditions of the agreement.

This type of access, also known as a ‘hard search’, is recorded on your Credit Report as a ‘Credit Application Search’. These allow the searcher to see your complete Credit Report, including both private and public information.

Private Credit Report information

Your private Credit Report information will consist mainly of your account repayment history, which details your monthly payments and account statuses. This is usually a record of your credit agreements and each monthly payment, going back six years or so. Lenders will check this repayment information to gauge how reliable a customer you seem.

Public Credit Report information

Your public information consists of court records, like CCJs and bankruptcies, as well as your Electoral Roll listing. Lenders will ideally want to see a long-standing presence on the Electoral Roll, as this demonstrates stability, and no court records.

Insurance providers, landlords, letting agents, and employers can also access your Credit Report, but they tend to carry out ‘soft searches’, known as either enquiry or audit searches.

These soft searches grant access to your public information only, meaning the searcher won’t see your private Credit Report information.

Searches from insurance providers are common, especially if you’ve used an insurance comparison site recently. Comparing insurance providers online can result in many soft searches, as each provider checks your Credit Report to offer quotes.

Landlords and letting agents will check the public information on your Credit Report to see whether you’ve had any court action taken against you in the last six years. County Court Judgments and insolvencies are often seen as indicators of financial instability. As such, lenders and landlords alike tend to avoid applicants with these showing on their Credit Report, especially when the entries are recent. They will also check your Electoral Roll listing to help verify your identity, as well as see how long you resided at your previous address – the longer, the better.

When applying for a new job, you may find that the employer runs a credit check on you before formally extending the job offer.

Many employers, especially those in finance and law related fields, are legally required to check their employees’ Credit Reports. This is usually to ascertain the employee’s identity, but also to ensure that their financial position won’t affect their job performance.

Does it matter if companies check my Credit Report?

Most searches on your Credit Report will likely be soft searches – either enquiry or audit searches.

Audit searches are visible only to you and the Credit Reference Agency – no other organisations will be able to see these. As such, they have absolutely no influence on your Credit Rating or credit applications. They serve primarily as an access footprint so you can see who has checked your Credit Report.

Enquiry searches will be visible to anyone checking your Credit Report, but they tend not to have any negative impact. A notable exception would be if the enquiry search was performed by a debt collector, as this can be a warning sign that many lenders want to avoid in their customers.

Any Credit Application Searches – the hard searches – certainly can affect you and your Credit Report in some circumstances, so it’s important to keep an eye on these.

Why is it important to check who’s been looking at my Credit Report?

Knowing who’s been accessing your Credit Report is important for two main reasons.

Firstly, it helps you spot potential identity fraud, as all credit applications in your details will be recorded on your Credit Report. Any Credit Application Searches that you don’t recognise indicate that someone has submitted a credit application in your details. If you spot an unexpected Credit Application Search, be sure to contact the relevant lender so they can investigate further. Usually, they will have a dedicated fraud team to look into these matters. If an account is opened fraudulently using your details, the lender should close the account and remove any trace of it from your Credit Report.

The second reason to monitor your Credit Report accesses is to protect your Credit Report from preventable damage. Having an abundance of Credit Application Searches on your Credit Report in a short period of time can be harmful for your overall creditworthiness, so by knowing how many searches you currently have recorded, you can gauge whether submitting any further applications is a good idea or not.

Lenders usually expect to see one or two Credit Application Searches each month, so exceeding this number may start to harm your creditworthiness.

How do I check who has accessed my Credit Report?

Every access of your Credit Report will be recorded in the ‘Searches’ section – you can monitor this information to keep an eye on who’s checking your Credit Report. This section will show all Credit Application Searches, Enquiries, and Audits that were performed within the last two years.

Each search entry will confirm the search type, name of the organisation that searched you, your searched name and address, and the date that the search was performed.

You can check who’s accessed your information, alongside your account repayment history and more, with checkmyfile – free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month, which you can easily cancel at any time.

Your Multi Agency Credit Report includes your full information from all three Credit Reference Agencies, so you can see what a lender, landlord, or employer will see when you submit an application.

The UK's First Provider Of Online Credit Reports

Launched 25 Years, 35 Million Credit Scores & 8 Million Credit Reports Ago

The UK's First Provider Of Online Credit Reports

Article by Sam Griffin

4th November 2021

Closing A Credit Account — Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

It’s inevitable that you’ll close a credit account at some point — perhaps after finally clearing your mortgage or if you just want to change mobile phone provider. Because of this, we get loads of questions about closing accounts, and what that means for Credit Scores.

Read More

Article by Paul Anderson-Riley

18th August 2021

How To Download And Print Your Credit Report

There are several different reasons you might need to print or share a copy of your Credit Report, such as assisting a mortgage advisor during an application, showing a specific entry to a lender, or even just to keep a physical copy for your personal records.

Read More