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What is a Credit Report and how does it affect your Mortgage?

Many of us wonder, ‘what is a credit report?’. Well, it can a be complex and uncertain thing; however, we’ve got all the information you need to know.

Ah, credit reports and scores. Your credit is your financial shadow, which is with you for the rest of your life. It can be good, and it can be bad, but one thing is for certain – it can incredibly difficult to land yourself a mortgage if your credit isn't great.

However, Mortgages.Online are here to make sure you understand your credit report, and what it means for your mortgage. So, avoid scratching your head, wondering ‘what is a credit report?’. Let the MO team break it down for you.

What is a Credit Report?

If you’ve no idea what your credit report is then don’t panic. It’s basically what accompanies your credit score. It's a detailed list of your credit history - every loan you've taken out, any debt you have and so on. There are 4 main credit agencies; Equifax, Experian, Callcredit and Crediva. Each have a different scale of working out your score, so your credit score varies dependent on which agency you look at.

There are many ways to check your credit report. Everyone has the right to receive a full up to date credit report from any of the credit agencies above. But, there are some great sites out there that allow you to check your credit online, for free. Although, these are not fully up to date, and sometimes there is a delay.

You can use Credit Karma or ClearScore in order to check your credit report.

What appears on a Credit Report?

So, we’ve answered ‘what is a credit report’, but not what you’ll find on it. On your credit report, you’ll have a full list of:

  • Your Credit Accounts

These can be banks, credit card accounts and other credit agreements (loans, utilities etc.). You’ll be able to see whether you’ve missed or made a late repayment (note that missed and late repayments remain on your report for a minimum of 6 years). Missed and late repayments impact your credit score negatively.

  • Financial Links

It will also include details of people you are financially linked to. This can be your spouse or even someone who you have a joint loan or account with - if you're linked to them, it will show up on your credit report. Being linked to someone with bad credit means that your credit can be negatively affected.

  • CCJs

Any County Court Judgements you’ve received will show up on your report. Again, these will remain on your credit account for at least 6 years.

  • Current Account

You’ll see who your current account provider is and whether you have an overdraft or are overdrawn.

  • Electoral Register

Credit reports show if you’re registered to vote and being registered can be good for your credit.

  • Personal Details

These include your Name, Address (past and present), and Date of Birth.

  • Fraud

Finally, your credit report will show you if you’ve either committed fraud or been the victim of identity theft.

All of this will appear on your credit report and can affect your credit history. Credit ratings aren’t always easy to improve, but it's not impossible. By checking your credit report regularly, you’ll be able to stay on top of your credit and keep up a good credit score.

Bad Credit Mortgages

If you’ve got bad credit, getting a mortgage can be tough. We’ve got an entire section on bad credit mortgages, so you can find out everything there is to know. Keeping track of your credit report is essential to make sure your credit is up to scratch, so it makes getting a mortgage easier. Good credit means good rates – if you’re looking to improve your credit, read our article on Increasing Your Credit Score.

That’s it from Mortgages Online, we hope your ‘what is a credit report?’ question has been answered!


Laura Waller

Laura Waller has been working in the mortgages industry since 2013, joining an independent brokerage in Essex. Laura has CeMAP 2 & 3 – Certificates in Mortgages Advice and Practice. Since then Laura oversees marketing for Mortgages Online, using her experience and expertise to write articles and blogs about mortgages and related topics.

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