Check your credit report

Dec 7, 2011 |

As I mentioned previously, one of the most important parts of getting approved for a mortgage or loan is a healthy credit score. However, the number of new clients who do not understand its importance still amazes me.

Your credit score will play a major role in whether you get approved for a mortgage (or loan), and the rate of interest you pay. That is why I always recommend to everyone to check your credit file on a regular basis.

There are three main credit reference agencies in Britain:

Free Experian credit report Free Equifax credit report Free Callcredit credit report

Before you apply for any kind of credit get a copy of your credit report from these agencies (£2 at the time of writing) and check for mistake or suspicious entries. If there are any discrepancies contact the relevant credit/service provider, and ask them for full details, telling of the discrepancy. In addition, ask for full details of their procedures to set things straight and get the process started straight away. It may also be worth your while contacting the credit reference agency and advising them of the discrepancy and that you are working with the credit/service provider to resolve the issue.

You should check your credit file on a regular basis. There are two main ways in which you can do this:

1) Contact the credit reference agencies and get a copy of your credit report (paying their fee at the time).

If you decide to go this route then aim to check your file at least two to three times a year.

2) Subscribe to a service like CreditExpert (provided by Experian). This sort of service, whilst being more expensive than the first method, can save you a lot of bother in the long run as they keep you apprised of any changes to your credit file as they happen, allowing you to catch (and act upon) any discrepancies (almost) straight away.

If you want to try the CreditExpert service, they offer a free 30 day trial (after which you will be charged on a monthly basis, until you cancel the service).

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