A Look At The Credit Reference Agencies

We have talked extensively in the past about credit scores and credit reports. About improving your score and the importance of a good report in getting finance. We thought it wise therefore to take a look at the credit reference agencies.

Your Rights

All credit reference agencies (CRAs) have a statutory obligation to provide you with a copy of your credit report for free. You can access the report online or by asking for a written copy. As we will see below, many offer free trials, before charging. Thus it is important that you remember to cancel your subscription before the trial expires. 

A Look At The Credit Reference Agencies – Experian

One of the market leading credit agencies. They offer monthly updates to your report, full details on your file of where you are at, simple access including an app, and clear laid-out information so you can see clearly your financial situation. They claim the average credit score is 774. Which is ok, but open to improvement.

A Look At The Credit Reference Agencies – Equifax

Your first 30 days are free then it’s £7.95 per month. You can cancel at any time, and if you are using them to get a one-off overview, you need to remember to cancel the trial. Another of the main agencies, they will offer pretty much the same as Experian. It is important to note that whilst credit reference agencies use very similar criteria to “score” you, the criteria is not identical. Thus you may get a slightly different rating from agency to agency. Neverthless, the information contained within should be the same. 

TransUnion

An American company that operate in the UK too, and around the world. They also allow you to join for free, with possible charges further down the road. They involve themselves in more than just credit reports, and are more about total data solutions for businesses and individuals.

Crediva

To quote them directly, Crediva provides UK consumer credit reference services, specialising in alternative credit scoring models to improve traditional credit risk analysis. The fourth of the UK credit reference agencies, and probably the least well-known and thus least-used.

Checkmyfile.com

The alternative to going direct to a CRA is to use a company that collates the information contained within for you. Checkmyfile is the only service that allows you to see your credit files from all four agencies, letting you see the bigger picture when it comes to your credit report. They will compile their own unique credit score for you from the information on file. Launched 20 years ago, they have provided 35 million scores since then.

A Look At The Credit Reference Agencies – Clearscore.com

Another alternative to going direct to a CRA. They claim that you can get a score for free, forever. They also however partner with over 90 lenders to bring you great deals on credit cards, loans and more. So they act as brokers too for financial products.

Do Regular Checks

Whatever route you decide to take, it is important you regularly check your credit score. This is so you know where you stand and whether you need to make improvements. Also however, it allows you to check for mistakes and get them wiped off your report if so.