Why Access Your Credit Record?
With ever growing concern about identity theft and fraud and the ease with which credit is available, checking your credit record should be something you do frequently. However, most of us don’t think to even check unless we’re turned down for credit somewhere and we’re not sure why.
One thing worth keeping in mind is that if you have been turned down for credit, you are within your right to ask the lender which agencies provided information about you. However, even if you have not applied for credit, you’re still perfectly within your right to contact agencies and ask to see your record. As I mentioned, this is something worth doing just to make sure that you are happy that everything on file about you is correct.
Accessing Your Credit Record
There are three main credit agencies in the UK who provide information on your credit history to lenders. They are:-
PO Box 491
Leeds LS3 1WZ
Telephone: 0870 060 1414
Consumer Help Service
PO Box 8000
Nottingham NG1 5GX
Telephone: 0870 241 6212
PO Box 1140
Telephone: 0870 514 3700
You can write to the agencies to ask for the credit file they have on you at any time at all. With Experian and Equifax, you can also order a copy of your credit record online or by telephone. In order to obtain a copy of your record, you will have to:
- Write to the agency (or all of them if applicable).
- Enclose a fee, which starts at £2 but varies agency to agency. Check beforehand.
- Include the addresses at which you have lived for the past 6 years.
- Provide your full name, date of birth and current address.
The credit agencies are then obliged, by law:
- To respond to you within 7 working days.
- Respond within this time either with a request for further information if they require it, to inform you that they have no file on you or, if none of the above apply, to send you the file.
Accessing your credit record is that simple. If you find information on there that is inaccurate, you should write back to the agency and to the institution that provided the agency with the incorrect information.