By Dan Rowden
I wrote this article to elaborate on the a good way to find out your credit score and your credit history in order to see where you are now, and also potentially what you need to do in order to improve this (to maximize your chances of getting a mortgage for your first or next home).
Credit score and credit history has always been important, never more so than now. I prepared the material for this blog a day before the second national lockdown kicked in in England. It’s fair to say that the lenders are looking at their applicants’ credit history and credit score in a lot more detail than they were pre-COVID as a general rule of thumb.
So arguably there has never been a better time to make sure you’re crystal clear on this, because it really is important, certainly for the mainstream lenders and banks and building societies. Specialist lenders out there will be a bit more flexible with regard to credit history and credit score. There are always those options, but it remains the case that cometitive rates are often going to be available with the mainstream banks and building societies that you know and hear about all the time. That’s certainly where we start when we’re looking but because we have access to the whole market we can certainly source mortgages from the full range.
So how do you do it? There are quite a few different agencies that you can use to get your credit score. Arguably, the main market leaders are Experian and Equifax. I know for a fact that Experian, who is probably the market leader, charges £14.99 per month after a free 30 day trial. A lot of lenders do use Experian, but not all. Some of them will use Equifax.
This has caused a bit of an issue when there’s a discrepancy between our clients getting a report from one, and something shows on that, but it doesn’t show on Equifax, which is what the lender is seeing. So we’ve now got a link up with a company called checkmyfile. Very, very briefly, what they do is they include credit reports from four agencies, including Equifax and Experian and TransUnion. You effectively get four reports within one. And the good news is they also offer a free 30 day trial, which you can cancel at any time, and then if you decide to keep it it only kicks in at £14.99 after the first 30 days. So if you cancel it after day one, you don’t need to pay a penny.
But you can download a report, which includes all of the information that we will need as a broker. And it really will help us to guide you in terms of, yes, actually your credit is absolutely fine. You’re going to have plenty of options with regards to credit history based on what it is now. Or no, there are some things on there that are potentially negatives, and this is what you need to do going forward. And because we get the report from all of the main agencies, we’re in the best position to see exactly what all of the lenders are seeing.
If you follow this link for checkmyfile that will take you to the signup page. As I said, once you sign up, you can download a report and instantly cancel it if you want to, or you can leave it running ad infinitum, entirely up to you. But we find we see a lot of credit reports and checkmyfile is certainly our recommended one because you get the benefit of all four big agencies agencies. And it’s for the same price that you’d pay just for Experian if you did decide to keep it going after the free trial period.
So feel free to click the link, and any questions, just get in touch. Take care.