How to get Free Credit Reports
There are three main credit reference agencies offering credit reports in the UK: Call Credit, Equifax and Experian. They all offer, in some form or another, free credit reports to individuals hoping to get a look at their credit history and credit score before their chosen lenders do. While most sites offering “free” credit reports only offer them for a limited 30day period, some websites offer the genuine article totally free. After the 30-day trial, most websites offering credit score and credit reports will charge a monthly subscription fee of around £10. This fee allows customers free access to all their personal data held on file with credit reference agencies. Some websites provide additional useful tools, like a calculator assessing minimum repayments a borrower needs to make to improve their credit score for example. If you only want a one-off check of your credit history, use the no obligation 30-day trial websites and simply don’t sign up when the trial period expires. If you’re planning to take out regular credit reports on yourself, paying a small subscription fee for one of the three big credit reference agencies is a good idea. Some websites also offer credit card comparisons for the best deals available to you with your particular credit score, saving you a lot of time. Credit scores determine what amount of borrowing, if any, you will be granted. If you are not interested in seeing details of your credit history but just want to apply for a new credit card, look out for the “soft search” option, a pre-apply eligibility check that leaves no trace on your credit history for other lenders to see. Most credit cards provide two links, a “pre-apply” option and a link taking you straight through to their application form. Avoid this one; if you are rejected, the card provider’s search on your credit record will show on your credit file. The “pre-apply” option will tell you, if you qualify for the chosen card or not. Chances are, if you qualify for this one, you’d qualify with other credit card providers, too. If several “preapply” searches result in a positive response, it is a sign your credit score UK rating is pretty good. It’s a good way to shop around for the best interest rate, lowest annual fees and card benefits without leaving a trail on your credit history.
Why is a good Credit Score UK Rating important?
You may think that you are a saver who will never fall into the trap of taking out a personal loan or credit card and therefore it won’t matter what credit score you have - but you would be wrong. Even if you never apply for a personal loan, credit card or mortgage, modern life dictates a perfect or good credit score UK rating is necessary for many different things. For example: •
You are moving home and upon arrival at the new rental property you find previous occupants have had a prepaid gas meter installed. Unless you can prove to your gas supplier that you have a good credit score and are in the habit of paying your utility bills on time, you are forced to continue with the prepaid meter - and therefore the highest charges for your gas supply. The previous occupant had the gas meter installed for a reason - they were always late with their payments and their supplier forced them to have this type of gas meter installed. Only your own excellent credit score and credit history will get you a cheaper gas supply and regular gas meter.
You want to take out a mobile contract and buy a new phone at the same time; unless your mobile phone supplier sees a good credit score against your name, you are unlikely to get a cheaper monthly contract and new phone. You may be stuck with pay-as-you-go mobile phones which can work out more expensively than monthly contracts that come with a certain amount of free calls and texts.
These are just two examples where a good or excellent credit score UK rating is necessary we enter into credit agreements everywhere these days and often don’t realise the contract we just signed has an element of “credit” in it. From the interest free deal on your new sofa to the telephone calls you make on your landline, chances are there is an element of credit for which your supplier wants to see a good credit score.
Published on Aug 1, 2013