What is a Credit Report?

Also known as a credit reference file, a credit report is a document compiled by one of the three UK Credit Reference Agencies (Equifax, Experian or Callcredit) using information from public records (such as electoral roll information and county court judgments), as well as information provided by lenders and financial institutions, such as current and past credit commitments.

What Are Credit Reports Used For?

The information found on your credit report is used by lenders to make an informed decision as to whether or not you are a suitable risk for a loan, credit card or other financial product. Credit reports are also used by other companies and groups, such as potential employers, government agencies, insurance companies, potential landlords, and anyone else with a valid business reason. However, your credit report can only be viewed if you have given express consent for that company or individual to do so.

Although your credit report plays a key role in lending decisions, other factors, such as additional information you may have provided on your application form, may also contribute. In addition to helping lenders decide whether or not to offer you a loan, your credit rating may also affect the interest rate you are offered by lenders, which could lead to more expensive borrowing.

You have the right to view the information contained in your credit report to ensure that it is accurate, and if any errors are found, you are entitled to make a request to have them corrected.

Credit Blacklists

There is no such thing as a blacklist of people or properties that should not be permitted to have access to credit. The information credit reference agencies hold is purely factual, made up of public records such as court judgments, electoral roll information, bankruptcies and individual voluntary arrangements, and information provided by financial institutions, such as credit applications, credit accounts and financial associations. There is no comment in the credit report as to whether the person should be lent money or not - the lender simply looks at the information and makes their decision.