How to get a free credit score report
Smart Money Secrets
Now you can get details of your credit score for free
It’s been well documented that households with a below-average credit rating can pay hundreds of pounds more per year for finance and utilities payments compared with healthy credit scorers.
Last year, specialist credit card provider, Aqua, showed that families with a lower credit score were avoiding the need for a credit check by accessing a month-by-month broadband contract. But this was resulting in an average annual charge of £175… expensive when you consider those with good scores only pay around £60 on average.
If you’ve never looked at your credit record and score, it’s well worth spending 15-20 minutes to find out what’s on your file. You want to be sure your financial details, such as your balances, limits and payment history are accurate and up to date.
Rather than paying £10 to £15 per month with some of the more well-known providers, I’d suggest taking a look at a new service from ClearScore.com where you can obtain a copy of your credit score and details for free.
This will enable you to check exactly what information is registered against your name. If your details are incomplete or incorrect it could prove more difficult and expensive to obtain credit.
Your credit report will list any late or missed payments on your existing loans and credit cards as well as previous borrowing you’ve had during the last six years. Other areas included on your credit file include details of any bankruptcies and county court judgements, as well as the amount you currently owe on your credit agreements together with details of searches and new applications made.
- Third party information, including members of your family who live/have lived with you, does not appear on your credit file as long as you don’t share any joint financial commitments.
- Other people who have lived at your address previously will not affect your credit score.
Tips to improve your credit rating
- Ensure you are registered on the electoral role otherwise you won’t appear as being listed at your address if a lender makes a credit search.
- Close credit card accounts that you’re no longer using. Even though your balance may be zero, any prospective lenders will take into account any existing credit limits you have available to you when assessing applications for new finance.
- Having no record of managing credit can count against you so it’s worth having a credit card and using it a few times each year – if you repay the statement balance in full and on time it won’t cost you a penny, but demonstrates that you are capable of managing credit and will reflect positively on your file.
Your credit record is more important than you probably realise, so next time you’ve got a little spare time, check yours out at www.clearscore.com
Article by Andrew Hagger
Independent Personal Finance Analyst