What is a credit report?

Your Experian Credit Report contains information on your financial behaviour taken from the last six years of your credit history. It gives you the low-down on your Data self. In a nutshell, it provides lenders a summary of how well you manage your finances, including things like your mortgage, credit cards, overdrafts, loans, mobile phone contracts, and even utilities such as gas, electricity and water.

If you have a low credit score or there’s 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.



How can you get your credit report?

If you're over 18 and you've taken out credit or borrowed money before, credit reference agencies like us are likely to hold a credit report on you. You can either request your credit history via a basic statutory report for free, or new customers can sign up to a free trial of CreditExpert which will include your Experian Credit Score, fraud monitoring and alerts, and tailored guidance on how to improve how lenders see you.



Does getting your credit report hurt your credit score?

Absolutely not, seeing your own credit information will not affect your credit score. When you look at your own credit history this is called a ‘soft search’ and isn’t visible to companies on your credit report.

What's your credit report used for?

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

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

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 it in shape. Learn all about it. Embrace it.

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 it in shape. Learn all about it. Embrace it.

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What shows up 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 payment status phone screen financial connections phone screen address details phone screen
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Credit history

This will be a summary of your credit accounts and how you've managed them. Your credit history includes the times you’ve borrowed money from a bank or financial institution, for example; credit cards, loans, utilities (e.g. gas), mobile phones, store cards and mortgages.

Payment status

This will include 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.

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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.
  • You can also add a Notice of Correction to any record in your Experian credit history. These can help explain any extenuating circumstances that may have occurred during the last 6 years, for example a late payment due to the bereavement of someone you were financially dependent on.

    If you think a record on your credit report is incorrect, get in touch and we'll raise your query with the creditor involved. Banks and financial institutions may take NOCs and Data Disputes on credit reports into account when making lending decisions, but this is not guaranteed. Note that NOCs raised with us will only apply to your Experian Credit Report, and the other Credit Reference Agencies must be contacted separately.

How often should you check your credit report?

It’s a good idea to check your report every now and then but the main reasons for checking it include:

If you're changing job or moving home

If you're applying for credit

If you're worried about ID fraud