Article by Sam Griffin - 5th November 2021

Which Credit Report Do Mortgage Lenders Use?

Your Credit Report plays a vital role in the mortgage application process, but it’s not always clear what exactly the mortgage lender is looking for or where they get the data from.

Which Credit Report Do Mortgage Lenders Use?

Mortgage lenders can use Credit Reports from any Credit Reference Agency that they have a reciprocal data sharing agreement with.

In practice, this means a mortgage lender might access your Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion Credit Report — or a combination of the three — when assessing your application. It really just depends on their working relationships with the Credit Reference Agencies.

You can never know for certain which Credit Reference Agency’s information will be accessed by a mortgage lender, so it’s best to check your data with them all before applying for a mortgage. That way, you won’t be caught off guard by a nasty surprise.

The quickest and easiest way to check your Credit Report information from all the Credit Reference Agencies is to try our Multi Agency Credit Report. checkmyfile offers the UK’s only Multi Agency Credit Report, with data from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion on one easy-to-use platform.

What Do Mortgage Lenders Look For?

Your Credit Report is a vital source of information for mortgage lenders. Lenders can measure your affordability by looking at your income and outgoings, for instance, but your creditworthiness can only really be understood thanks to your Credit Report.

In general, they’re looking for evidence of what type of customer you are likely to be. Your Credit Report can hold your borrowing behaviour for the last six years. By understanding how you’ve managed credit historically, mortgage lenders can estimate how you’re likely to manage credit going forward.

Having an extensive history of managing multiple types of credit accounts will reflect well on you. The more evidence you have showing you can keep to scheduled monthly payments without missing any, the better you’ll look as a prospective borrower.

They’ll also search for any negative information, such as missed payments, arrears, defaults, or CCJs, as these can – in the eyes of a lender – be signs of difficulty managing money (to varying degrees), which is risk they desperately want to avoid.

To get a thorough understanding of your creditworthiness, it is likely that the mortgage lender will assess your public and private elements of your Credit Report, often from multiple Credit Reference Agencies.

Do Mortgage Lenders Always Do A ‘Hard’ Credit Search?

As a mortgage is one of the most significant credit applications you can make, the checking process will be thorough. You can expect soft searches early on in the process, such as affordability and identity checks or when dealing with a mortgage broker so they can find the most appropriate products for you.

Soft searches don’t influence your creditworthiness, so there’s no need to be concerned by these Enquiry or Audit Searches.

You will then certainly be subject to hard credit searches (known as Credit Application Searches) later on in the mortgage process. At the very least, you can expect a search to be conducted before receiving the mortgage agreement in principle, and again before the formal mortgage offer.

Which Credit Scores Do They Use?

Put simply, lenders don’t use any of the Credit Scores that you’ve seen online. Instead, mortgage lenders will scrutinise the information held on your Credit Report, alongside your application details like income, outgoings, and deposit, for example, so they can gauge both your creditworthiness and affordability.

As part of this, they might calculate their own Credit Score for you, using bureau scores sold by the CRAs, but these are different to the scores you find online, and you won’t have access to them.

This is why relying on your online Credit Score alone can give you an incomplete understanding of your creditworthiness.

To get a full understanding of your creditworthiness, you’ll want to check the information on your Credit Report for yourself, as this is the data that lenders will use when deciding to accept or decline your application.

You’ll be able to ensure the information accurately reflects your financial position; you’ll have the opportunity to dispute any errors which, while rare, can happen; and you can see what areas are helping or hurting your creditworthiness.

Can I Pull My Own Credit Report?

You can check your own Credit Report online at any time. As there are three Credit Reference Agencies that hold credit history on you, you’ll want to check with them all to ensure you don’t miss anything important before, during, or after the mortgage process.

Only checkmyfile gathers your information from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion in the same, easy-to-use Credit Report. You’ll be able to see everything reported about you, that a mortgage lender is going to see, with no missing pieces.

You can try our Multi Agency Credit Report free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month. Sign up and cancellation are both quick and easy.

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