What can a credit check offer you as a consumer?


If you ever have the need to borrow money, take out a mortgage, credit or store card, it is important to understand where you stand with regards to how likely you are to get credit. As well as knowing your credit score, it can also be helpful to look at your full credit report, especially if you currently have outstanding debts.

Running a credit check is easy and the results can give you a great insight into your financial position through the eyes of potential lenders. Experian CreditExpert the UKs number 1 credit reference agency [1] , offers a free 30 day trial [2] . During the trial, you will have full access to your credit score and in-depth credit report.

So what exactly will your credit check show you?

1. Personal details

Current name and any previous names, proving that your are looking at the correct report.

2. Your current and previous addresses

If you have taken credit out whilst living at previous addresses, they will show on your credit report. This section is also useful to see if any addresses where you haven’t resided are linked to your name, this could be a sign of identity theft and it should be reported as soon as possible.

3. Details of your employer

This does not have any bearing on your credit rating. Lenders may have used these details in the past to help identify you and to prove that you were receiving an income when you applied for credit with them.
4. Open and closed accounts

Open accounts, including bank accounts, and accounts that were closed less than 7 years’ ago, will show on your credit report. Negative activity on any closed accounts will be shown and will have an impact on your credit rating.

5. Details of current debts

The report will list your loans, mortgages, credit and store card accounts; details of credit limits and the amounts currently owed. There will also be a list of payments made on each account and details of whether payment is up to date or pending. You will also be able to see when, if ever, late payments have been made. Your conduct when it comes to making payments against money owed will affect your credit score and your likelihood of obtaining future credit.

6. A list of recent applications for credit

Every time you apply for a loan, credit card, mortgage, overdraft etc… the lender will want to see your credit report. This will be used as a basis for accepting or rejecting your application. The more searches you have listed on your account over a short period of time, the lower your credit score. It will be assumed that you are applying for credit from multiple lenders due to being in financial difficulty.

Running a credit check on yourself can give you a great insight into your overall financial position through the eyes of current and potential lenders. It is always advised to be aware of your credit score and the details on your full credit report so that your can work on improving your overall position, or so that you are aware should someone try to compromise your credit score through listing false details against your name.

[1] UK's No.1 Source: Experian CreditExpert is the UK's market leader by share of unique users. Comscore, Sept 2013

[2] Experian CreditExpert offers a free 30 day trial then followed by a £14.99 monthly fee

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'