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EXPERIAN, EQUIFAX AND TRANSUNION
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Why and what you should check
Here are a few things that will help you when it comes to checking your credit file:
- Check addresses on old accounts.
- Question unfair defaults on your account.
- If you no longer share a joint account with someone then make sure your credit report is separated.
- Always check your credit reports after rejection – as this may prepare you for future applications and you can see the reason it was rejected.
- Cancel unused credit and store cards. This can go against you when applying for a mortgage because lenders want to see that you are good at managing debt.
Should I check all three credit reports?
We suggest checking all three credit reports at least once a year because they can all have a huge impact if the information is wrong or you notice mistakes with them.
More importantly, you have a legal right to check your credit report. It used to cost £2, but since the new GDPR law came into effect in May 2018, it’s now free. The checks are all done online which makes it quick and easy for you.
There are three main credit reference agencies compiling info on us: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you apply for credit, lenders will ask one, two or all three of them for information on you.
This guide shows you which lenders use which agency
As different agencies have different details, it’s possible to increase your acceptability by picking a lender using the right agency. If you’ve applied for credit with a lender and been turned down, it may be worth then choosing a lender working with a different agency. This won’t always work, but it could help you.
The following table details which credit reference agency each lender uses when you apply for credit. The tables have been sorted by different types of credit.
AGENCY USED TO CHECK YOUR CREDIT RECORD
Co-operative Bank (incl Britannia BS)
Hanley Economic BS
Norwich & Peterborough BS
Royal Bank of Scotland
Below is information about the three main credit report agencies that are used:
Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
CheckMyFile gives you a 30-day trial to see both your TransUnion (still under the old name of Callcredit) Experian and Equifax reports in one place. After that, it’s £14.99 per month. To cancel, call 0800 086 9360 or use the secure messaging section of your online account.
Experian’s CreditExpert – Free trial of largest credit agency*
CreditExpert offers new customers a “free 30-day trial, then £14.99 per month” service. It gives you real-time access to your credit report (as opposed to information that’s updated monthly). You can only do the free-trial once. To cancel your subscription, call 0800 561 0083.
There are two ways to see your Equifax file. One provides free monthly reports, the other is a 30-day free trial of its full credit report and credit monitoring service.
Equifax offers a 30-day free trial, then £7.95 per month. The paid-for service gives you access to your credit report as well as weekly email alerts whenever there are changes to your account, like a new search. You’ll be charged £1 when you first sign up, but it will be refunded. You’ll need to cancel your subscription 24 hours before the free trial is up by calling 0800 014 2955 to avoid being charged.
TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) is the UK’s newest credit reference agency, though it tends to not be as widely used as the two agencies above. However, you can get free access at any time to your TransUnion report and score.