Why a Free Credit Report Will Not Tell You What You Need to Know

Find all you need to know about your financial history – for FREE!

If you are worried that past financial indiscretions will hinder your chances to borrow money at an affordable rate, these free reports will not tell you everything that you need to know.

In this article we look and some of the key information that you need to know about your personal financial file, and what these free reports will not tell you.

No hiding place from your financial past!

search_credit-score-estimatorIn the old days, past financial mistakes would probably just mean that banks would look to bump of the APR of any financial agreements with you, however times have changed and it is now a factor across many aspects of your life.

A poor credit rating can now be enough to see a potential landlord reject your rental application, have your phone provider reject your mobile phone contract application, it may even hinder your chances of getting a job!

What Can Affect Your Rating?

With the heightened importance of our personal credit history, it is important to understand how the scoring system works and what can negatively impact it.

Below we have drawn up a list of some of the most important factors used by reference agencies to determine your individual score.

  • Are You On The Electoral Register? This is important because being registered to vote gives lenders a proof of address.
  • How Many Accounts Do You Have? Lots of different streams of debt will be viewed as a big negative. Demonstrate your ability to repay debt by paying off and closing the relevant account as soon as possible.
  • Limit The Number of Applications You Make. Submitting too many applications in a short period of time will negatively impact your credit score and will be a major concern in the eyes of potential lenders.
  • Make All Scheduled Repayments. Late or missed payments stay on your record for at least 3 years and are a definite red flag for lenders.
  • How Often Do You Move House? Lenders are widely known to place much less trust in those who move house frequently
  • Guilt By Association. If you hold (or held) a joint account with someone who has a bad credit record, this can also affect your ability to get credit. Close it as soon as possible.
  • Do You Maintain a Regular Income? Permanent jobs and regular income reflect positively on your report.

checkmyfile logoMonitoring Your Report

Now that you know a little more about some of the factors used to determine your score, the next step is to take a look at your report.

If you are not sure of your current rating and are thinking of applying for any type of finance, applying for new mobile phone contract, applying for a credit card or moving energy provider etc, checking your credit report is essential to guide your next decision.

In the following article, Kevin Mountford, a banking specialist from moneysupermarket.com, commented specifically on the importance of keeping a regular check on your report:

Best personal loan rate drops below 4pc – Telegraph

How To Check Your Report?

Almost every adult in the UK has a score produced by a CRA.

CE-your-score

These agencies rate your credit-worthiness by keeping track of your bills, debts and repayments. You can gain access to your personal report by contacting:

  • Any of the 3 major UK CRAs (Experian, Equifax or CallCredit) or
  • Choose to obtain a multi-agency report.

These are generated though a 3rd party organisation which gathers and collates the information stored by the 3 agencies to produce one comprehensive report.

One thing to remember is typically the CRAs offers both free and paid reports.

Although the majority of people instinctively opt for the free option, there are 3 reasons why this may not provide you with all of the information that you need:

1. Free reports only provide access to your personal score for 30 Days only

Signing up for a free report will provide you with a snapshot of the past and current details relating to your finances.

However, you must remember that you will only have free access to these details for 30 days from the moment that you sign up with the CRA. Once the 30 days has expired you will have to choose the paid option should you wish to view your details again.

James Price highlights his problems with this below:

“I was very disappointed to find out that you can view your credit report in the 30 day free period only”

“I originally signed up for a free report with Experian over 10 years ago in order to view my current rating. After finding everything in order, I never gave it another thought and did not log back in.” 

“However several years later, after having a personal loan application declined, I tried to log back in to my account and only to find that despite only using the service once, I no longer had access to a free report and would have to pay if I and wanted to see my credit score again.” 

“I was very disappointed to find out that regardless of how many times you actually view your credit report in the 30 day period, you can only sign up for the free option once and would strongly recommend that anyone signing up for the free options bears this in mind.” 

James Price
Not a fan of the free reports

Testimonial James Price

2. Free reports do not offer a universal rating

Many people obtain a free report in the belief that the information they find will guarantee the success or failure of their planned application.

The truth is that each lender has different criteria for their potential customers and as such, regardless of the information that you receive, the ultimate decision rests firmly on the shoulders of each lender.

For more information on why free credit reports do not offer a universal rating, please take a moment to view the following Debt Advice Foundation article:

https://www.debtadvicefoundation.org/debt-tools/credit-score-checker

3. Free report may not show critical information

The free reports often do not show critivcal information such as joint accounts that will impact your credit report.

If your partner has a history of bad debt, there is every chance that it will reflect on you.

It is therefore absolutely crucial that if you split up with someone with whom you have had joint finances with, once your finances are no longer linked, you must write to the credit reference agencies to ask them for a notice of disassociation.

This will stop their credit history affecting yours in the future and help you to receive far more accurate results.

The following Economic Voice article explores ‘The True Value of a Free Credit Report’.

The true value of a free credit score | The Economic Voice

Find out your credit rating

To cover all bases, paying a visit to the Checkmyfile website will allow you to view the UK’s only multi-agency report.

Once there you will have two options. You can sign up for a one off 30 day FREE credit report, please click here. Alternatively, if your FREE period has expired, you can order a comprehensive report for a single payment of £19.99 by clicking here.

The details contained within your report will provide an insight into the likelihood of your ability to secure a standard personal loan.

Check my file
Get Your Fully Comprehensive Multi Agency Rating Report

Testimonial Check my file


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If your report has highlighted a ‘room for improvement’, we are ideally positioned to offer a range of specialist financial options from many of the UK’s top lenders.

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