Your Credit File
Credit files are put together by credit reference agencies from information shared by lenders, along with other relevant public information. Your credit scores are then calculated by placing numerical values against the details recorded in your credit file.
Your credit file helps lenders:
- Carry out ID checks to make sure you are who you say you are
- Check you live at the address you’ve given them
- Decide the terms of any credit agreement with you
If a creditor decides that the information on your credit file means you may be a higher risk, they could:
- Refuse you credit
- Offer you a smaller amount of credit, or
- Charge you a higher interest rate
Can I access my credit file for free?
Credit reference agencies produce and manage credit files which they share with creditors. A number of credit reference agencies offer a free one-month trial where you can access your credit file online.
The main credit agencies in the UK are:
- Transunion (formerly CallCredit)
What’s in a credit file?
Your credit file includes:
- Your name, date of birth and any other names previously used
- Your name and date of birth and any other names previously used
- The amount you currently owe
- Any late, partial or missed payments
- Current or recent default notices and defaulted accounts
- Any County Court judgments (CCJs), decrees and money judgements raised against you
- Details of home repossession or debts secured against a previous address
- Details of current or recent insolvency – including bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) and debt relief order (DRO)
Contrary to what some people believe, it doesn’t include:
- The amount of money held in any current or savings accounts
- How much you earn
- Details of student loans (awarded after 1998)
- Council tax arrears and driving or parking fines
- Your criminal record*
- Your medical history
*However, a magistrates’ fine can be registered on your credit file if it’s unpaid.
How long does information stay on my credit file?
Information about missed payments, defaults or court judgments will stay on your credit file for six years. These details are always removed from your credit file after six years, even if the debt itself is still unpaid.
Details of the following stay on your credit file for six years from the date they were recorded:
- Defaults on accounts
- Debts you’ve paid off or ‘settled’ in full
- ‘Partial settlements’ where a creditor has agreed to accept a reduced amount and write off the remainder of a debt
- Bankruptcy, DRO, IVA or protected trust deeds being approved
In this section you’ll find advice about:
- Can I access my credit file for free?
- What’s in a credit file?
- How long does information stay on my credit file?
We work closely with several local debt charities including adviceni.com and ruralsupport.org.uk providing training and support. Linda Wilson, our Voluntary Sector Services Manager, works closely to ensure that our services are accessible to those most in need.
Thanks for taking away the hassle and worry of dealing with my creditors and I am determined to see this through. Everything was easier than I thought it was going to be, and it was nice to know that when you said we would get the paperwork that day we got it that day!
It all started with a phone call from a strange number that I was reluctant to answer but am thankful I did. My IVA was sorted in a few weeks after struggling for years. You have been lifesavers and a massive weight has been lifted from me. Thank you thank you thank you.
J&S C, Antrim
Absolutely amazing, big thanks to the IVA team especially Darren who done amazing work on getting my IVA approved then getting my full and final offer accepted. These guys have taken a huge weight off my shoulders, anyone that is struggling with debt should 100 % contact these guys.
Yes, it was stressful in places, yes it took longer than I hoped and yes I sometimes wondered if it was not going to end but we got there and I’m now out of the IVA and debt free. Keep up the great work guys you are desperately needed to help others in the same position.
Fantastic service from Tom and his team. Tom has a wealth of knowledge and knows the industry really well. He really listened to my concerns and prepared lots of solutions for me.
Talking to professionals about your debt worries is the first difficult step. Right from the outset Tom Cardwell was understanding, sympathetic and immediately removed my worst fears and put my mind at ease.
Finally have a light at the end of a long tunnel as my IVA to clear my negative equity has been approved. It was not stress free and has taken years to get here but it is sorted and that’s the main thing.