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5 min read

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Is it Worth Viewing Your Credit Report?

If you’re applying for credit, whether for a mortgage or a personal loan, you’re probably thinking about checking your credit report. This can be a useful tool to see how likely it is you’ll be accepted, and contrary to popular myth, checking your credit report doesn’t negatively affect your rating.

An image of a magnifying glass over an online credit report.

What is a credit report?

In layman’s terms, a credit report is a record of your financial history. It includes debts and how you’ve managed them, as well as payment of bills and rent and any other credit you may have taken out like a mortgage. All these pieces of information combined can show you, and potential lenders, how you deal with money – and it can affect how you receive credit in the future.

It will detail all your debt. If you’re struggled in the past or present even, to pay back debts then your credit report could be low. If you’ve got bad credit, you may consider consolidating debt by taking out a bad credit debt consolidation loan. This means taking existing debts and turning them into one affordable monthly payment.

It won’t automatically improve your credit rating, but it should in the long run, providing you keep up with your repayments.

Why should I check it?

Even if you’re not planning to apply for credit, it’s worth checking your credit report every now and then. It’s always good to keep on top of your financial situation and any dramatic changes can alert you to any suspicious or criminal activity such as identity theft.

If you are applying for credit, it’s best to check it at least a couple of months before you apply. This is because there may be issues or errors you aren’t aware of that need to be righted.

I’ve checked my credit score, what does it mean?

Each credit scoring company has a different type of rating, and this can be confusing. The best thing to do is check what the scoring band is using their website or by having a look on Google.

Many banks will also detail the three different CRA band ratings on their websites.

Found an error on your credit report?

To dispute an item on your credit report, you need to go straight to the Credit Reference Agency (CRA) who issued it. They’ll usually offer different ways you can dispute the claim i.e., online or over the phone, and they’ll notify you once a decision has been made.

Filing a dispute won’t affect your credit score, after all, you’re just trying to give them more accurate information. Though, bear in mind, whatever the updated information is could have an effect, either positive or negative.

It’s important to right any wrong information as soon as possible, because it will remain on your report until you do so, and could mean you miss out on credit deals and low or zero interest rates on credit such as credit cards and store cards.

How can I improve my credit rating?

There are many ways to get a better credit score, here are our top five:

  • Take out credit - You won't have any credit history to check if you've never taken out any credit!
  • Don’t miss payments
  • Register to vote - In other words, make sure your address is up-to-date and correct.
  • Don’t close your old accounts - A longer credit history can be better!
  • Check your credit report!

Want more ideas? Check out our blog post: Improve Your Credit Score With These Budgeting Tricks.

An image of a hand pressing an apply button on a mobile phone screen.

Struggling to repay your debts?

Apart from having wrong information such as the wrong address on your credit score, having unpaid debts is one of the biggest negative impacts on your credit report. If you’re finding it difficult to repay debts then a debt consolidation loan could be a good solution.

Apply for Debt Consolidation An image of a hand pressing an apply button on a mobile phone screen.
An image of a hand pressing an apply button on a mobile phone screen.

Further reading