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What your credit record really tells lenders

Your credit record shows a lender enough information to help them decide if you can get credit with them or not. Here is what a lender will check.

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What can lenders see?

What you owe

Lenders use this to check if you can manage your finances, and if your current debts are too big to allow further borrowing. This includes credit cards, store cards, overdrafts, mortgages and personal loans.

Repayment habits

Your credit report gives lenders an insight into your repayment habits. If you always repay on time and in full to avoid paying interest, then this can increase your chances of getting more credit.

Where you've lived

Your credit report will show where you live, how long you've been there and if you are registered on the electoral roll. Your addresses from the last six years or more could also be visible to a lender.

Application history

Each time you apply for a financial product, like a credit card, it is recorded as part of your credit history. If you make several applications in a short time, it can look like you're desperate for credit.

Financial associations

You could get negatively affected if anyone you're financially connected with, like a partner on a joint account, has poor credit. This can cause any credit applications you make to get declined.

Fraud history

If you've been the victim of fraud, it will appear on your credit report through the UK's Fraud Prevention Service CIFAS register. This shouldn't adversely affect your access to credit.

Court & public records

Your credit report will show if you have been declared bankrupt, had an IVA and if you've had any CCJs. Your credit report will also show if any of these arrangements have been satisfied.

What else does a lender check?

You will give personal and financial information as a part of an application, such as:

  • Your name

  • Your address

  • Your income

  • If you have other forms of credit

Your credit record can confirm some of this information, like your address and whether you have access to credit elsewhere.

Can you dispute your record?

Yes, if you find information on your credit record that is incorrect, you can either:

  • Contact the credit reference agency to correct it

  • Ask the company that holds the wrong information, like your bank, to correct it

You should check your credit record for mistakes and get them corrected to improve the chances of a lender accepting your application.

Here is what to do if your credit applications gets declined