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How to Run a Credit Check in the UK

How to Run a Credit Check in the UK

Overview

Although it’s not mandatory to perform a credit check in the UK or anywhere else, it’s a good idea to do so. Remember, a credit check reveals your credit score and credit history information that gives you indications of all the issues that are bound to affect your ability to access personal loans, payday loans, short term loans, mortgages, car loans etc. 

Getting started

The UK has 3 main credit reference agencies namely CallCredit, Equifax, and Experian. There are many other referencing agencies. It is, however, important to work with these three agencies because they are the most reputable. When you want to run a credit check, you should also consider the fact that they don’t all give the same score. It’s advisable to choose the agency that matches your lending needs perfectly i.e. an agency used by your preferred lender.

Requesting for a credit report

You can request for a copy of your credit report from any of the three main agencies in the UK. You can request online or offline (by post). UK citizens have the right to obtain their full credit report according to the Consumer Credit Act. The three main agencies are obligated to give UK citizens one free report a year. Citizens interested in getting their report more than once among other credit referencing services are required to pay a fee dictated by the credit reporting agency in question. Below is the information of the three main credit reference agencies in the UK to help you request for your credit report by post or online;

CallCredit

Website: http://www.callcredit.co.uk/, Phone: 0870 060 1414, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ.

Equifax

Website: https://www.equifax.co.uk/, Phone: 0844 335 0550, Equifax Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 1140, Bradford, BD1 5US. 

Experian

Website: http://www.experian.co.uk/, Phone: 0800 013 88 88, Customer Support Centre, PO Box 9000, Nottingham, NG80 7WF.

Procedure

When running a credit check online, you will need to enter your details to run a credit check. Agencies usually require you to register with your personal information i.e. your names, date of birth, email address and phone number. You are also supposed to review and accept the terms and conditions of the credit reference agency in question, confirm the information you have filled in and then submit your request. You may also be required to provide other information i.e. you payment information if you want to pay for other credit reference services. Once you submit, you should be able to get your credit report immediately.

Reporting problems?

In case you encounter a problem running a credit check, you can always contact the agency. If your report has problems, you should report and request for amendments. It’s important to note that credit reference agencies get information from banks/lenders you have dealt with in the past, so any errors submitted by those institutions will reflect in your credit report. 
Credit report errors can range from something as small as a wrong address to fraudulent activities and defaulted payments you actually made. You can, however, report such problems and have them rectified so that your credit report shows the accurate credit score/information. Mistakes such as a default payment that you actually made affect your credit score negatively so it’s important to report any problems you find on your credit file. 

You can write to the credit reference agency or use the online mechanism the agency has for reporting errors. You should make sure you give a detailed explanation as well as evidence if you have any to make sure the error or errors are corrected. 

Credit report agency responses

Credit reference agencies have 28 days to act on concerns raised on credit reports. During this period, such concerns/errors are marked as ”disputed”. This is usually the case so that lenders who come across your file can be alerted not to rely on the specific piece of information that is disputed. In case the agency fails to amend your records, you have a right to send them a notice of correction which should be added to your credit file. The notice should not exceed 200 words. It should also explain why the piece of information in question is wrong including mitigating circumstances i.e. a good reason why you missed a loan payment such as a sudden bereavement.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.
The Fastest Way to Boost Your Credit Score: Important Steps to Follow

The Fastest Way to Boost Your Credit Score: Important Steps to Follow

Overview

Trying to raise your credit score can be a painstakingly slow process. When you consider the importance of having good credit, it’s important to want to speed things up and get your credit score back on track. But how do you do it? Well, start by getting your credit report. You can get your credit report from credit reporting bureaus in the UK like CallCredit, Equifax, and Experian. Once you have your credit report, follow the steps below to boost your credit score in record time.
 
Start by checking for errors and disputing them

Your credit report contains important information about your credit history i.e. all your credit lines (credit accounts). Lenders usually report on every account a borrower establishes with them. They report on the type of account, loans taken and payment history. Credit reports also have information on credit inquiries and public record/collections information such as bankruptcies, suits, foreclosures, liens, judgments, wage attachments, etc. 

The main aim of getting your credit report is to see if the report has errors. Credit report errors are common. They can also be rectified when you dispute them through a credit reporting bureau. In the UK for instance, you can dispute errors through CallCredit, Experian, and Equifax. Checking for errors and challenging them can save you months of trying to boost a credit score you didn’t damage in the first place. 

Negotiate

After making sure your credit report is error-free, you can proceed and negotiate. When negotiating, it’s important to understand what you should and shouldn’t do. For instance, you can’t deny the fact that you stopped paying your credit card bill when you had financial difficulties last year. You can, however, request your creditor to ”erase” that debt as well as any account/s which went to collection.
 
You can start by writing a letter and offering to settle the remaining balance if your creditor accepts to remove the account or report it as paid. Your creditor shouldn’t have a problem doing this especially if you were a good customer. You should, however, get everything in writing before making the payment. You stand to boost your credit score faster if you negotiate first.

Open accounts strategically

Once you run out of quick interventions to get bad records ”erased”, it’s time to focus on what you can do yourself. First and foremost, you must understand that you can’t be able to boost your credit fast if you don’t take up new credit. With this in mind, your next step is opening new accounts. However, you need to do this strategically to avoid worsening your credit. Since loan applications result in inquiries on your credit report, you need to stick to financing options that cater for the needs of borrowers like yourself. If you have a bad credit score for instance, consider payday loans instead of personal loans. You can also consider credit cards for bad credit. The trick here is making sure your applications aren’t declined since this can have a negative effect on your credit score. You also want to make sure you show that you are credit worthy again and new accounts help you do this perfectly. The spending should, however, be within your limits so that you are able to repay and boost your credit score faster. 

Raise your credit limits

Once you have many credit accounts that you can manage comfortably, you can proceed and raise your credit limits. Borrowers who have higher credit limits tend to boost their credit scores faster provided they meet their repayment obligations. Remember, your credit score is a representation of your credit worthiness. If you can manage high credit limits, you are definitely more credit worthy. The idea here is raising your credit limits while keeping your spending habits the same. If you can’t do this, don’t raise your credit limits otherwise, you’ll risk damaging your credit score further. 

Pay more frequently

You should also consider paying your debts i.e. your credit card debt at least twice a month to boost your credit score faster than usual. Most debt is repaid on a once a monthly basis, so any repayments above that are considered good for your credit report. You can charge everything on your credit card to earn points, however, send payments more than once a month to keep the balance low. The idea here is to show that you are using credit and paying faster than usual. You should, however, make sure you don’t use more than 30% of your credit limit every month to ensure your credit utilization rate stays within a good range. Again, you don’t want credit bureaus to think you are using too much credit.

Summary

The above information summarises the most important steps to consider when you want to boost your credit score very fast. Once you make sure your credit report is free of errors and you have negotiated where you can, opening accounts strategically, raising your credit limits and paying more frequently will help you boost your credit score faster than you can imagine.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.