Tips on Checking Your Credit information

There are plenty of ads on TV these days trying to persuade punters to subscribe to Credit Expert and obtain their credit 'score' at the bargain price of £14.99 a month.

The first thing to point out here is that the score that they give you is virtually meaningless. All lenders have their own criteria for determining whether or not they will grant a loan and CreditExpert do not know what these are. The number you see is a score devised by them only as a way of creating a 'service' they can charge you for.

I have seen guys with a score of 1000 rejected for credit and those with low scores having no problem.

What is really important is that the information they hold about you is correct - that is details about your address, electoral roll register, existing credit accounts and payment history. It's a good idea to do this once a year so that if you ever do need a mortgage, car loan etc then your info is all up to date and there are no issues.

A few pointers to help anyone to do this

The 2 main Credit Reference agencies in the UK are EXPERIAN and EQUIFAX.

Each one can have different information held about you - for example my bank account shows on EQUIFAX but not EXPERIAN - so to do a proper job you need to check both.

For the sum of £2 you can apply to each for a copy of the details they hold on you - there really is no need to subscribe to a monthly service with some gimmicky extras. This is called a STATUTORY CREDIT REPORT. Experian will process this online but send you the information in the post. Equifax will allow you to view and print it immediately.

Make sure all your information is correct. If you have a query each website allows you to provide feedback with the information you dispute. They will contact the lender with your query and the lender has 21 days to make a satisfactory justification for the information listed. If they do not reply within 21 days the credit agency will remove the information until the lender resolves it.

You have the right to post additional information to your file if you feel that the information does not accurately reflect your circumstances - this is called a NOTICE OF CORRECTION. For example - THE LATE PAYMENTS ON XXX ACCOUNT WERE DUE TO ME BEING IN AFGHANISTAN AT THE TIME AND WERE PAID AS SOON AS I WAS ABLE. This way lenders can put the information in some form of context.

Information stays on file for SIX YEARS - after which it will drop off.

At the end of the day you will not be able to turn a shit credit history into a good one no matter how hard you try - despite what Experian would have you believe. Avoid lots of credit applications in a short period of time. Having unused credit available is helpful as it shows you are not maxxing out. A steady address and being on the electoral roll also is helpful.

Glad to answer any further questions.
Just a purely hypothetical question: which service would you recommend for providing a credit report to a hypothetical vetting officer, for the purposes of portraying a slightly shit history in the best possible light? One organisation does actually suggest using Credit Expert's free trial to obtain a report, but the customer gets billed each month and can only be unsubscribe from the service over the phone.
Theres no way of polishing a turd here so if there is bad stuff there it's going to show.

Hypothetically you could obtain the Statutory report from both and submit the one with the best looking information on it!

That said for my own vetting I have to provide an Experian one so no way around it.

You could also use the Experian free report but would be best to then phone immediately and cancel it as with all these things they rely on a large percentage of people forgetting to do it and subscribing unnecessarily.
As mentioned there are peripheral benefits in registering with such organisations .
Late last year/ early this year I was having a major battle with a company over goods I cancelled but they delivered but failed to collect for return ... for months . They slapped a penalty payment on my account for none payment . I spoke to Protect my ID / Experian and explained the situation and they told me that an appropriate electronic note had been put on my account and I should not be too concerned . I warned the company that I was registered with Protect my ID / Experian and that through them I would be checking my payment record and if it appeared that my payment record had fallen into arrears they would be making a serious error which would have financial ramifications for them . The none payment charge was withdrawn and no " black marks " appeared on my credit record .
The goods were eventually collected … that is a saga in itself .
If I had not been registered I would not have been aware and able to view what type of payment history records are kept and checked by potential lenders . Further on the Identity Protection front I receive an E Mail if an account has been opened anywhere using my details .
I am of an age where I do not require loans but I was offered free annual membership as part of my House Insurance deal … it has proven useful .
About a year after leaving the Army my old man applied for a bank loan and was refused ( loan payment default apparently ) despite us having a Mortgage and never missing a payment. The bank manager advised him to apply for a credit check.
It turned out that our neighbour 2 doors down had a son with the same name as the old man ( different middle name and DOB )who had defaulted on loan payments . He was then advised by the bank to write to the credit agency advising them of the different middle name and DOB .He did this and we've never had any problems since .He did however change his name on his bank a/c to include his middle name .
Like B_R we have Experian ( through a bank a/c I think ) just to be on the safe side.


Free credit report for life at

Experian, Equifax - and the other major one is CallCredit, of which Noddle are part of.

I've checked all three, and most my credit shows up on each others.
Like many things in life, easy to sign up to, a nightmare to cancel.

My father got conned into it a while back and found that the payments weren't a direct debit that could be canceled but a continual credit charge payment that needs the payee (Experian) to cancel.

He was starting to get a bit panicky when he found that there is no facility on the web site for cancelling your payment, and the info on the telephone number was hidden away. When he eventually called it was the usual 15 minutes to answer and then a hard sell as to why he shouldn't cancel as it might affect his credit history and his ability to get a mortgage, so he didn't cancel.

I found out about this and called them up and although they initally didn't want to discuss his details with me, when I pointed out that a)His house is fully paid off and is in no need of a mortgage or remortgage, b) he has no loans, overdrafts, and the only entries on his credit card bill were experian payments, c) he has dementia and not alltogether compos mentis, d) had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and e) I would be passing the details on to a cousin of mine who writes for a national newspaper.

Funnily enough, the payment was cancelled that day
Good info thanks very much, applying for a mortgage in next few weeks so will do a quick check first, do you advise £2 to both Experian and Equifax??

Just seen your post DC, so is Noodle a good site with no catches??
I have always found that the Experian Statutory Report for the £2 option is good. It has always shown all the info i needed. Its worth doing it every year or so just to make sure things like your credit cards have been cancelled correctly and there's no dodgy stuff on there that you didnt know about.


Book Reviewer
i did a credit check last week and it was classed as excellant.
The thing that is worrying is that 1st credit are chasing me for a debt that is no longer on my file, it was registered as a default in 2004 and expired two years ago, they say that because i made an offer that it extends it for another six years, if thats true why is it not showing up on any credit reports?

... .... .. -


Book Reviewer
Thats right DH. It only expires after 6 years of them not chasing it and you not acknowledging the debt.

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I think they are just being vindictive, 1st credit even threatened me with bankruptcy last week, if they can enforce the debt then why not go for a ccj?
I spoke to them from my hospital bed yesterday explaining this was my 7th heart attack and it would be highly unlikely that i will ever return to full time work( i laid it on a bit), I also refered them to the debt and mental health form they recieved which the majority of creditors, when reiceving it, cancel the debt.
I did say this and made an offer of £50 in full and final settlement while not acknowledging the debt, the money was for closing my account.
It did sound promising, i also mentioned that if they tried for bankruptcy it would be in the press and an official investigation into the way they had run the account.

... .... .. -
Thats right DH. It only expires after 6 years of them not chasing it and you not acknowledging the debt.

Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
My understanding is that it is 6 years from the last payment. They can chase as much as they want and you can communicate with them using CCA 1974 and CPUTR 2008 as your ammunition, however if you don't pay them a penny its six years form the date of default.

If I'm incorrect please evidence so I can correct my understanding.


Book Reviewer


Good info thanks very much, applying for a mortgage in next few weeks so will do a quick check first, do you advise £2 to both Experian and Equifax??

Just seen your post DC, so is Noodle a good site with no catches??
That's right matey. 100% free for life, 100% free of catches.

The only thing is, it might not list all of your less important credit - but on mine are both credit cards, both bank accounts, mortgage and a load of other stuff including mobile phone account etc.
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