What is a credit report?

Your Experian Credit Report gives the low-down on your Data self. It contains information on your financial behaviour in the last six years.

In a nutshell, it gives lenders a summary of how well you manage your finances, including things like your mortgage, credit card, overdraft, loan, mobile phone contract, and even utilities such as gas, electricity and water.

If you're over 18 and you've taken out credit or borrowed money before, credit reference agencies like Experian are likely to hold a credit report on you.

If you have a low score or there is room to improve, checking your credit report can help you see whether the information on it is correct and understand what could be affecting your score. You can view a sample credit report here.

See up to six years of your credit history with your Experian Credit Report - available with CreditExpert.

What's your credit report used for?

Quite simply, lenders look at your credit report – along with your application form and their own records – to get insight into your Data Self. It helps them decide whether to lend to you.

Your Data Self can also help you make better financial decisions by showing you the credit cards and personal loans you're more likely to be accepted for.

Your Experian Credit Report allows you to see the information lenders use when carrying out a credit check. Invest time in getting to know it. Get in shape. Learn all about it. Embrace it.

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What's in your credit report?

Your Experian Credit Report contains information about you that helps lenders confirm your identity and work out if you're a reliable borrower, such as:

account information phone screen financial connections phone screen address details phone screen

Account information

This will be a summary of all the credit accounts you've had and how you've managed them. So, details like whether you've made repayments on time and in full. Missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years, as do bankruptcies, individual voluntary arrangements, and court judgments for non-payment of debts.

Financial connections

A list of people who have a financial connection with you, such as a joint mortgage or bank account. These people are known as your financial associates. Their credit history doesn't appear in your report, but lenders can view it when you apply for credit. This is because your financial associates' circumstances may affect your ability to repay money.

Address details

Electoral roll information for your current address and previous addresses, which you provide when you register to vote. Your report also includes addresses you've been linked to in the past, such as those you've given to lenders on application forms.


Where does the information in your credit report come from?

The information in your credit report comes from two major sources:

  • Public information - Details gleaned from your electoral roll information and things like court judgments.
  • Credit history information - Your existing lenders give this to paint a picture on how you manage your credit so it includes details of what you owe and whether you've paid on time, or not, as the case may be.
  • Credit history information - This includes information from lenders on what you owe, and whether you've paid on time. You'll be notified of this as part of any application for credit.

When should you check your credit report?

If you're changing job or moving home

If you're applying for credit

If you're worried about ID fraud