How To Check Your Credit File – Understanding Your Debt

Why Would You Check Your Credit File?

Personal Insolvency isn’t normally something that appears out of nowhere, for most people, it’s something that’s crept up on them over a period of time. Rather than some huge issue that’s plunged them into unmanageable personal debt, it’s mounted up little by little as a result of small indisciplines, slight extravagances and making commitments which by themselves would be affordable, but as a group add up to a financial problem.

Quite often, people who “don’t know where their money goes”, are aware, in general that they have a problem, but because their outgoings and commitments are spread so widely, it can be hard to see for definite, or understand the scale of the issue. Understanding a problem goes a lot of the way to solving it and if you check your credit file, you’ll be able to see your debt and commitments laid out together to make it easier to see where you’re up to financially.


How do you check your credit file?

If you’re in a situation where you need to check your credit file, there are three main credit reference agencies which will have details of what you owe and to whom you owe it on record. These are ‘Equifax’, ‘Experian’ and ‘TransUnion’ (which was formerly known as ‘CallCredit’).

You’re able to get a free copy of your credit report from each of them online, (under ‘ClearScore’, ‘Credit Matcher’ &’Noddle’ which are run by the above agencies) where you’ll simply be required to provide enough information to prove that you are who you say you are. While all three credit reference agencies will hold the same or similar information, the way they present it may differ slightly, so it’s worth getting all three. As with many ‘free’ services online, the ability to access a service without paying means that if you check your credit file this way, you can expect to be contacted by companies offering you debt management services based on the infomation you’ve provided.

Should you wish to obtain paper copies of your statutory credit report instead, each of the credit agencies will oblige, but will charge £2 for the information.


Are all your debts on your credit file?

Unfortunately, when you check your credit file, you may notice that some of the debts you know you have aren’t on there. You may for example, know that your car insurance or gas supplier are both paid by direct debt but may not necessarily be shown. This is nothing to worry about, not all companies you deal with are required to put a note on your credit file when an agreement is set up. For this reason, it’s worth also checking the standing orders and direct debts on your bank statement looking for payments which aren’t duplicated on your credit file.

Similarly, older debts, stay on your credit file for six years after the date you finished paying for them, whether you paid the final installment, or defaulted. (Missed payments also stay on your file for six years, even of you went on to repay the debts in full).

Any action taken against you in respect of debt owed, such as County Court Judgements, should also be seen when you check your credit file. These too will disappear from your report 6 years after the judgement.


Worried what you’ll find if you check your credit file?

Whether or not you’ve got round to starting the process to check your credit file, chances are you’re worried about what’s on there and are looking for a solution. At Lines henry, we offer debt help and insolvency advice to both businesses and individuals and have decades of experience in  helping ease the stress debt brings by setting those in financial trouble back onto a more stable financial footing via the most appropriate formal and informal means at our disposal.

We offer a free consultation and when you book that initial meeting, chances are that you’ll already start to feel better, knowing that you’re taking action. So why delay? Contact us to make a start, the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be on your way to a solution.