The realm of credit can be confusing for many, and since choosing the right card can be so important financially, it can be really daunting too! Luckily, we’re here to help you make the most of your money.
First things first: what actually is a credit report? Think of it as a detailed file on your financial history. People often get worried about being penalised for things that aren’t even included. But fear not! Our credit report breakdown is here to help.
Everyone’s credit report will firstly include some of the basics – your name, current/recent addresses, date of birth, and current/previous employers.
The majority of your credit report is dedicated to credit accounts that have either been opened under your name, or have your name listed as an authorised user. The details about your accounts that are included in your credit report come directly from the creditors who you have an account with.
So your credit report will have details about the date an account was opened, as well as the credit limit or amount of the loan for that account. There will also be details about the terms of payment, balance of the account and whether or not you have been paying on time.
If you’ve had any previous credit accounts that are now closed or inactive, these will remain in your credit report for 6 years after the final activity in the account.
Every credit card application that you make will stay on your credit report for up to two years, before it is removed.
Another detail that appears in your credit report is what’s known as an enquiry. Enquiries are recorded in your credit report whenever your credit report is shown to another party (like a lender or service provider).
Each time you apply for a credit card, this will be logged as an enquiry in your credit report, but will only stay in there for 2 years.
The last thing to be aware is information that is on public record and can often be taken from government sources.
This includes things like County Court judgements, bankruptcies and whether or not you are on the electoral roll. This public record information will be shown in your credit report for up to 6 years.
There are a number of things that you really don’t need to worry about having any effect, as they aren’t included in your credit report.
The first of these is the details of any current or savings accounts you may have. These are not included in your credit report, so lenders (etc.) won’t see this!
On top of this, remember that any bankruptcies, charge-offs, or debts placed for collection that are over 6 years old will also not be visible in your credit report.
There won’t be any details in your credit report about other non-credit accounts that you have.
Final things you don’t need to worry about being in your credit report are your gender, ethnicity, religious tendencies, political affiliation, medical history, nor any criminal records you may have.
Your credit score is generated from solely the information in your credit report, so don’t worry about your score being affected by anything that’s not included.
Just remember to always check your eligibility, where possible, before applying for a credit product. This will not only save you time, but could protect your credit score too!