APACS, the UK payments association, today publishes a new advice guide on Checking your Credit Record (also known as credit report) to give UK consumers a better understanding of what their credit record is and why it pays to undertake regular checks.
The guide gives consumers a basic introduction to the way credit records are used by lenders to make borrowing decisions, what information is held, how to check their record and what to do if something is amiss. Research from Experian's CreditExpert monitoring service shows that just one in twenty people with credit cards in the UK* have requested to see their credit report and one in five people (21 per cent) admit they have no idea whether they have a good or bad credit score.
Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, says: "We hope our new guide will give people a quick route to find out everything they need to know about their credit record. The fact that only one in twenty people check their credit report is not good news and we would like to see this figure improve. We would encourage everyone to check their credit report at least once a year - not only is it the best way to ensure they don't have trouble accessing credit when they need it, it can also provide peace of mind that they have not been a victim of identity theft and that no one has successfully applied for credit in their name."
The guide, available online, is downloadable as a PDF and details:
- what a credit report is and why it is important;
- what information is held by the credit reference agencies;
- how to keep your credit status healthy;
- how to obtain your own credit report.
Quinn continues: "The information on your credit report is vital in helping lenders make decisions about what consumers can afford to borrow. Equally it enables us as customers to have access to credit should we need it, giving us the flexibility to control how and when we pay for goods and services and be prepared for emergencies. We advise all consumers to check and monitor their credit report - it is an important piece of information that affects our financial health. On rare occasions, there may be incorrect or outdated information held on file and consumers have a right to correct this."