Take charge of your credit report with our 5 minute monthly checklist
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 to keep an eye on.
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 (when you need them).
We’ve pulled together a list of the main things on your credit report that are worth checking each month: your enquires, your listed accounts, your payment history and your financial associations.
What to check: Make sure you recognise all of the soft hard (credit application) searches listed on your account.
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.
Where to check on ClearScore: Under thetab in your .
What to do if I spot a problem: Contact the named lender immediately and double check it’s definitely a mistake. If you still don’t recognise the enquires, you shouldwith the credit bureaus.
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, store cards, loans, mortgages and mobile phone 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: Under thetab of your . You can see both open and closed accounts.
What to do if I 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 shouldwith the credit bureaus.
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 bureaus 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: In thesection of your , click on each individual account to prompt the Payment History details to appear.
What to do if I spot a problem: Contact your lender first to make sure their records match what you expect. If the lender’s records are correct, you shouldwith the credit bureaus.
If you want to spruce up your finances, you could benefit from our free. Each plan only takes around 5 minutes to complete, and you’ll get a personalised To-do list you can keep coming back to when you want to track your progress.
Hannah is currently studying for a Master's in Comparative Cultural Analysis. She knows all about personal finance, but as a student, she's an expert in money saving tips and tricks.