Anyone can apply to view their credit report at any time; there are three different UK agencies that hold credit data about each of us. But when you order a copy of your report, do you really understand the data and how it is used?
Here are four things you may not know about your credit score: -
Strange as it seems, none of us have a single number on our report that determines our credit score. Some lenders will assign an internal score when you apply for a new product, but this is strictly an internal reference for that company, a measurement of your creditworthiness in their eyes.
There’s no such thing as a universal credit score, though. If you check your score online and you’re given a number (e.g. ‘999’), take it with a pinch of salt.
Your credit report is designed to reflect the financial relationships you have with other people, not the personal relationships you may have (or have had in the past). Other people’s data can have an adverse effect on your own report, so this is worth noting.
If you don’t have a joint account with your partner or housemate, there’s no reason why they should be listed on your credit report. If you previously had a joint account with someone and you’ve now closed that account, you can ask for that person’s name to be removed from your credit report.
Lenders have their own criteria for their clients, and what one lender calls a ‘perfect’ score, another might not. Lenders rarely share information about their criteria since it would leave them open to being manipulated, but don’t be surprised if your squeaky-clean report doesn’t get you anywhere at all.
Some like to see a long history of good payments on various accounts before they’ll consider lending you money. Some might just be looking for people with a different profile.
Sometimes, when we’re rejected for one product, it can be tempting to go ahead and apply for a few more until we get a ‘yes’. Unfortunately, each application leaves a stain on your report. The more applications you make, the more desperate you appear, and that will set alarm bells ringing.
Make sure you space out applications and leave at least two months between each one.
If you’re struggling with debts, taking out more credit rarely helps. In fact, it can be tempting to over-spend, and you can easily make your situation worse. If you feel like your borrowing has become uncontrollable, Varden Nuttall bankruptcy information could help you make an informed decision about your next steps.