Data Sharing

What is Data Sharing?

In a credit context, the term Data Sharing relates to the ability for lenders and Credit Reference Agencies to share six years' worth of payment history data to allow them to make a more informed lending decision and avoid over-indebtedness.

There are three main data sharing clubs: CAIS (hosted by and distributed by Experian), Insight (hosted by and distributed by Equifax) and Share (hosted by and distributed by Callcredit). Not all lenders are members of each data sharing club, which means that each Credit Reference Agencies report varying levels of credit account information.

The sharing of data is regulated by a voluntary code known as the Principles of Reciprocity and overseen by a steering group known as SCOR. It has no devolved powers of its own, but operates on behalf of the trade associations that it represents and may only recommend decisions to the appropriate membership.


Q: What kind of data gets shared?

A: In these circumstances it’s primarily your payment history that is shared, along with information that help determine that it’s definitely your information that’s getting looked at. This helps prevent incorrect information getting added to your records in error.

Sensitive information such as card information, security questions or passwords are not shared.

Q: Does this include selling my information for marketing purposes?

A: No. This information is only shared when needed and only to relevant parties. The data you submit when applying for finance cannot be sold and used for marketing. Under GDPR, introduced in 2018, companies cannot use this information to contact you without your prior consent.

Q: Why is my data held for 6 years?

A: Under the Data Protection Act, your information can only be held for as long as is deemed necessary. For credit purposes, 6 years is deemed to be a long enough time period for prospective lenders to assess a person’s repayment history.

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