How to Obtain Your Credit Report

You have the right to request a paper copy of your credit report from any of the three UK credit reference agencies (Equifax, Experian or Callcredit). This will normally cost you £2, although the fee may be slightly higher if you apply over the phone, rather than online or by post.

To apply for a paper copy of your credit report, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Any other names you have been known by (for example, your maiden name)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your current full address, including postcode
  • Any other addresses where you have lived over the past 6 years

After receiving your request and payment, the credit reference agency has 7 working days to send you your file. However, in some cases, they may request that you send them further information to prove your identity, such as a utility bill or bank statement. This procedure is to ensure that no-one else fraudulently applies for your credit report. Credit reference information will only be sent to the person it concerns at the address listed in the agency's records as their current address.

Online Credit Reports

A number of other companies offer online access to your credit report (e.g. Checkmyfile, Equifax and Givemecredit) for a fee. You may also apply to access your credit file online for free from Experian and Callcredit, but only if you agree to trial their credit file monitoring services. If you don't want to continue with the credit report monitoring service after the trial period, you must remember to cancel the subscription service in accordance with their terms.

Top 5 Reasons for Checking Your Credit Report

1. You're worried about identity theft.
2. You've been declined credit unexpectedly.
3. You're just curious to know what's held about you.
4. You're planning to make an application for a large loan or mortgage.
5. You're about to rent an apartment and want to be sure your landlord checks will be clear.

Which Credit Reference Agency Should You Use?

The amount of information provided by the 3 UK Credit Reference Agencies varies both in terms of the length of record history and the type of data shown. In addition, different lenders report how you pay your credit commitments to different credit reference agencies (for example, Santander credit cards (incl. Abbey, GE Money, Asda) report only to Experian, whilst American Express reports to all 3 agencies.

Only Equifax and Experian provide the ability for instant online access, which can be very important if information is required in a hurry, and the 3 credit reference agencies may not make the same information available online.

  • Callcredit: 2 years Search and Enquiry history, 3 years Credit Account history
  • Experian: 1 year Search and Enquiry history, 2 years Credit Account history
  • Equifax: 1 year Search and Enquiry history, 4 years Credit Account history