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Take charge of your credit report with our 5 minute monthly checklist

This easy checklist will help keep your credit score & report on track.

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Check your credit score today

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If you only have a few minutes a month to check your credit report, we’ve got a quick cheat sheet on the key things you should check.

Just like reading your credit card bill or checking your bank statement, your credit report is something that’s worth looking at regularly. This way you can keep an eye out for fraud, maintain your credit score, and put yourself in the best position to get the cheapest rates on loans, mortgages and credits cards should you need them.

Making sure your report is in order is the first step to securing the best rates on credit cards and loans.

We’ve pulled together a list of the 4 main things on your credit report that are worth checking this month (and every month): your searches, listed accounts, payment history and financial associations.

What to check: Make sure you recognise all of the soft (quotation/personal searches) and hard (credit application) searches listed on your account. You can find out more in our article on understanding searches.

Why check: If there’s a hard search appearing on your account it means that a lender or a credit reference agency believe you have applied to borrow money. Any hard searches you don’t recognise might mean you have an error on your account, or (though it’s less likely) it could be a sign of fraud.

When you look at your searches don’t be alarmed if your soft searches (which we call quotation/personal searches) make up quite a long list. These have no effect on your credit score, and are only visible to you. Quotation searches are done to check your eligibility for a product, and a personal search happens when you check your own credit report.

Where to check on ClearScore: Under the ‘Searches’ tab in the 'Report' section of your account. You’ll see two types of searches – ‘credit application searches’ which are your hard searches, and ‘quotation/personal searches’ which are your soft searches.

What to do if you spot a problem:

  • Contact the named lender immediately and double check it’s definitely a mistake.
  • If you still don’t recognise the transaction on a hard search, you should raise a dispute with the credit reference agency. On ClearScore you can do this here.
  • If you believe the transaction is fraudulent you should also contact Action Fraud.

Next step: Check your credit searches in your ClearScore account.

What to check: Make sure the list of accounts in your credit report is accurate.

You should make sure all of your accounts are there, and they all belong to you. This applies only to accounts with a credit facility i.e. credit cards, loans, mortgages, current accounts with an overdraft, mobile phone bills and some utility bills.

Why check: Any account listed on your credit report can affect your credit score. So if one of your accounts isn’t there, and it’s one you manage well, you won’t benefit from any possible boost to your credit score. If an account is listed that you don’t recognise, and this account has some negative factors, such as a string of missing payments, this could negatively affect your credit score.

Where to check on ClearScore: In the ‘Accounts’ section of your report. You will see your accounts listed here on both the open and closed tabs. *

What to do if you spot a problem:

  • Contact the lender and check if the issue is at their end. If this is the case, they will need to update your records in order for your credit report to be amended.
  • If the lender’s records are correct, you should raise a dispute with the credit reference agency. You can contact any of the 3 CRAs directly. ClearScore users can use the disputes process here.

Next step: Check your credit accounts in your ClearScore account.

What to check: Make sure your payment history is accurate.

Your payment history shows if and how you have paid your bills. This will show if you’ve paid in full, in part or made a minimum payment. It will also show if you’ve missed a payment, or defaulted on a payment and this is what you should check.

Helpful note: The amounts you see on your payment history won’t usually match your monthly statements. Don’t be alarmed. This is because lenders share this information with the Credit Reference Agencies at different times of the month – not just when your statement balance is due.

Why check: If there are any errors (such as a lender has failed to record that you’ve made a payment), this may have a negative impact on your credit score.

Where to check on ClearScore: Go to your 'Report', then the 'Accounts' section. Here you’ll be able to select ‘payment history’ for each of your accounts – both open and closed.

What to do if you spot a problem:

  • Contact your lender first to make sure their records match what you expect.
  • If the lender’s records are correct, you should raise a dispute with the credit reference agency. You can contact any of the 3 CRAs directly. ClearScore users can use the disputes process here.

Next step: Check your payment history in your ClearScore account.

What to check: Make sure your financial associations are up to date.

Financial associations are people you are financially connected to. This means you have a joint credit account with them or have made a joint credit application with that person (such as a mortgage).

Why to check: If you are financially connected to someone, their information may affect a lending decision about you. This is because lenders may carry out (soft) searches on your financial connections, and if there’s something there they don’t like, they could choose not to lend to you – even if your own credit search has come back clean.

If you’re no longer financially connected with the person named in your report, or you believe someone is showing incorrectly, you should get this changed.

Where to check: If you’re logged into your ClearScore account, go into the ‘Report’ section then into the ‘Personal’ tab. Scroll down to the section that lists ‘Financial Connections’.

What to do if you spot a problem:

  • Double check your ‘Accounts’ and ‘Searches’ sections of your report, just in case there are any joint credit accounts or applications you’ve forgotten about.
  • If this is definitely an old association, you should raise a dispute with the credit reference agency. You can contact any of the 3 CRAs directly. ClearScore users can use the disputes process here.

Next step: Check your financial associations in your ClearScore account.

And you’re done.


In her previous life Hannah was a consumer journalist making primetime television shows. Now she's ClearScore's Content Producer. Amongst her many talents, Hannah is famed for her excellent tea-making skills.