Your credit report holds important information regarding you credit history, which is normally what banks and lenders will analyse to get a better understanding of your credit worthiness.
Below is a break down of the different sections of your report and what they mean. Read on to find out more about your credit history.
What is a credit report?
A credit report shows your financial behaviour. It includes things like your credit history, the credit accounts you hold and your credit score. Lenders use this information to help them decide whether to give you credit. But they’re not the only ones who can benefit. You can use your report too. Understanding your report may help you improve your credit score, which could mean access to lower rates of interest.
Understanding your credit report
At the top of your credit report is your personal information such as name, gender, other names, driver’s license, date of birth, employer and known addresses.
Your Credit Score
Your Credit Score shows you how things are tracking at a glance. Your Experian Credit Score is a number between 0 and 1,000. The red boxes under “Your Credit Summary” give an indication of the negative factors that could be impacting your score. Information about defaults and overdue payments can be found further down the report.
Current Credit Providers
This section provides information about current open accounts such as with credit providers and debt collection agencies that do not currently provide repayment history.
You will find information here about any applications you’ve made for credit in the last five years as well as the name of the organisation you applied to. This section doesn’t state whether your application for credit was successful, declined or accepted by you. These are purely enquiries/applications made by you.
You will see information about the payments you’ve made in the last two years that have been reported by your credit providers to Experian. It’s worth noting that not all of your credit providers will report your repayment history.
Green ticks show you’ve made payments for that month on time and a number denotes the missed payments for that month. If you’re more than seven months behind only 7 is shown.
Here you can find out more about the defaults mentioned earlier in your Credit Report, including how much you owe/owed when the account defaulted and the status of the default. For example P = Paid or S = Settled.
Serious Credit Infringements
The information here will show details of any circumstances where any of your credit providers believes:
– You have committed or attempted fraud in the way you have applied for credit or
– You have fraudulently evaded meeting your credit obligations or
– Your actions indicate you don’t intend to comply with your credit obligations and they’ve tried unsuccessfully to contact you about this over six months ago
Commercial Credit History
This section shows the information about applications you have made for credit as well as your past and current credit relationships that are for your business use such as a business credit card or trade credit account.
This section of your credit report gives information that is publicly available about your financial situation, including information about whether you’ve been made bankrupt or have had an successful court actions taken against you.
In certain circumstances you can request Experian to add a short factual statement to your credit report that says for example, a possible compromise of your personal identity information. This will then be visible to any organisation that is allowed to see your credit report.It’s worth bearing in mind that if you’re concerned about someone stealing your identity, you should consider asking for a temporary ban to be placed on your credit report.
File Access Record
Entries under this section of your Experian Credit Report have no effect on your credit score. This section is for your record only to show you who has accessed your credit report. Accessing your credit report can mean several things such as assessing for the purposes of applying for credit or exchange of information with credit providers you currently have a relationship to check our records match theirs. Accessing your credit report does not necessarily mean the credit provider is looking at the report in its entirety. It could simply be an exchange of data between us and them.
Info and inspiration from Experian, Understanding Your Experian Credit Report.