Article by Tom Blandford - 1st October 2021

What Doesn’t Appear On Your Credit Report?

People are often just as surprised at what isn’t reported on their Credit Report as what is. It can be a bit of a shock when, after checking their Credit Report for the first time, they find that a lot of their spending (and earning) has gone largely unreported.

How credit reference agencies report your data

Your Credit Report is made up of extracts from many databases, such as credit account information reported by lenders, or Electoral Roll information purchased from local authorities. This gives prospective lenders an indication of your creditworthiness and aids in the decision-making process of whether credit can be provided, and the terms of the agreement if it is granted.

For information to be reported to the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs), a reciprocal data sharing agreement must be in place between the organisation reporting the data and the CRA. This means that a company reporting account information will also be eligible to see payment history reported by other lenders.

Consequently, any other individual or organisation (one that does not provide account information) that runs a credit check on a consumer would not have the required permissions to see a full Credit Report. In this instance, they would only be provided with the public information on the consumer’s Credit Report.

It’s important to note that even those organisations that have ‘full’ access to your Credit Report are still somewhat limited in what they can see about you.

What won’t appear?

As the top 250 or so lenders report payment history, your Credit Report will usually show most of the credit agreements you hold; however, there are a lot of regular payments and other details that don’t feature on your Credit Report:

Council tax

While it could be argued that it may demonstrate an ability to make payments, council tax offices do not report payment history as council tax payments are not a form of credit.

Savings accounts or (in-credit) bank balances

The purpose of a Credit Report is to establish creditworthiness, so bank accounts (without overdrafts) do not appear on Credit Reports, as there would be no credit facility attached to the account. Even where accounts with overdraft facilities are reported, it’ll only show the owed balance of the overdraft, not any positive cash balance you might have stored in the account.

It is not uncommon for people with a substantial amount of wealth to be surprised at their low Credit Score, because of the misconception that cash is a factor in the calculation of Credit Scores.

Employment

Employment details are not reported to the Credit Reference Agencies. This is established separately during the application process when you confirm your salary, but will not have an impact on your score.

Property ownership

Homeowner status isn’t explicitly reported to the Credit Reference Agencies; however, lenders may interpret the presence of a mortgage account as confirmation that you own property.

Student loans

Any student loans you currently have, or have had in the past, won’t show on your Credit Report. In most cases, repayments are taken directly from your salary, or included or repaid through your annual self-assessment. ‘Old style’ student loans — those taken out prior to 1998 — can affect your Credit Rating if you miss repayments.

Income

How much you earn will undoubtedly form part of any credit application you make, as it is a key factor in your ability to repay any borrowing, but it isn’t reported by Credit Reference Agencies.

Old credit history

Credit accounts are removed once six years have elapsed from the date of account closure, or six years from the date of default where accounts have entered default. This is because the primary purpose of your Credit Report is to help establish your creditworthiness and the Information Commissioner’s Office has stated that a six-year period is both sufficient to confirm this, and is not unreasonably punishing to consumers with a negative payment history.

Information that does appear

There are some notable exceptions, such as with insurance products; these will rarely appear on your Credit Report as insurance is not usually classed as credit. However, some lenders may report payment history if you opt for monthly payments on a fixed term as this can be classed as a loan.

Despite there being a few types of information that aren’t included on Credit Reports, they still hold a great deal of valuable information. Here are a few examples:

Credit accounts

A history of making payments on time helps demonstrate that you are a reliable borrower, and is therefore crucial for prospective lenders. The number of accounts showing a positive payment history will compound their positive influence on your Credit Score.

Electoral Roll information

This can be used to verify your presence at an address and is of vital importance to a Credit Report. Electoral Roll information implies stability at an address when reported for a longer period of time, and has historical significance as the index for all other credit reporting data to be matched to.

Court information

This mainly includes court judgments and insolvency records. Due to their negative connotations, the presence of either type of court information often results in a declined application.

Only checkmyfile gathers your information from all four Credit Reference Agencies, Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Crediva, onto a single, easy-to-use platform. This makes it easy to see everything that’s reported about you, all under one roof.

If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then for just £14.99 per month. Cancel online anytime, quickly and easily.

Updated by Sam Griffin on 1 October 2021

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