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Understanding CheckMyFile Credit Reporting Service

CheckMyFile is a UK credit reporting service that collates information from the four most popular Credit Referencing Agencies (CRAs).

You may come across this service when applying for a mortgage, asking for an indicative lending quote, or when looking into your credit score.

Revolution Finance Brokers have created this guide to explain the service and how it works.

What is CheckMyFile?

CheckMyFile uses data from the largest UK CRAs. These are:

  • TransUnion
  • Crediva
  • Equifax
  • Experian

As a specialist finance broker, the Revolution team are on hand to provide support with any credit referencing queries, particularly when related to taking out new mortgage lending.

For any help with queries not covered in this guide, give our team a call on 0330 304 3040 or send us a message to info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk.

How Does CheckMyFile Work?

With so many credit bureaus available, we often receive enquiries about whether CheckMyFile is reliable and a good service option.

It works by gathering together information from the four largest CRAs as listed above and combining this with data from other sources, including the Registry Trust, banking providers, telephone companies and the Electoral Roll.

The service was established in 2000 and remains a popular option with mortgage lenders and brokers.

Since CheckMyFile is a private company, your data is protected and is never sold for marketing or advertising.

Why Are Credit Scores Important When Applying for a Mortgage?

A credit check is run by any mortgage lender who is considering extending a credit facility to you. Your credit score indicates the level of risk that is associated with lending to you.

It is always worth taking the time to review your credit report, as information can be out of date and contain errors. In this case, you can file a request for a mistake to be corrected, or dispute an anomaly that might affect your creditworthiness.

CheckMyFile provides support with this since if you file a query, they can contact the CRAs that they work with to help resolve any problems.

What Credit Score is Considered Good?

Each lender has their own criteria when it comes to lending. Some will have much stricter brackets for credit scores that they consider low-risk. A mobile phone provider is likely to extend lending to a customer with a lower credit score than a credit card provider might consider.

Likewise, CRAs also have their own measurement systems.

For example, some CRAs use a numbered rated system between 0-100, whereas others will score consumers on a scale of 0-1,000.

It is therefore wise to keep an eye on your credit score and to check the reports available from different CRAs. Having successfully applied for lending with one company does not always mean that an application to another will be approved.

Lenders look at your credit score to work out how stable your finances are, and how likely it is that you will be able to keep up with repayments.

They will also consider other factors, such as:

  • Your age
  • Your income
  • Your type of employment
  • Your living circumstances

How Are Credit Scores Worked Out?

Your credit score shows as a number, which determines your rating based on all the information stored on your credit file.

A credit file uses data from multiple sources, and relating to all types of lending, including:

  • Overdrafts
  • Credit cards
  • Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Electoral Roll
  • Register of Judgements
  • Insolvency information
  • Reports of bankruptcy and/or Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)

Credit scores also include information about how many times, and how frequently, different lenders have run credit searches.

How Can I Improve My Credit Score?

Any information which reflects a stable situation and a good history of repaying lending on time will improve your credit score.

For example:

  • Being registered to vote
  • Having a history of borrowing
  • Making repayments on time

What Reports Bring My Credit Score Down?

Any financial difficulties or late repayments reflect poorly on your credit rating and can bring your final score down.

Negative information can include:

  • Late payment reports
  • Being in mortgage arrears
  • Bankruptcy
  • Having defaulted on repayments
  • Never having borrowed before
  • IVAs
  • County Court Judgements (CCJs)
  • Debt management plans
  • Property repossessions

Each of these scenarios either doesn't provide enough information for a CRA to know whether you are an excellent borrower - i.e. you have no lending history to go against - or reflect that you have borrowed money in the past that you were unable to pay back on time.

If you are seeking a mortgage and have a bad credit score, there are other ways to mitigate the risk factor to secure the lending you need.

Give Revolution Brokers a call on 0330 304 3040 for more support.

Are CheckMyFile Credit Reports Updated Regularly?

Credit reports do not tend to be updated instantly; so if you repay some borrowing, it may take some time to show up on your credit file.

Usually, CheckMyFile reports are brought up to date once a 'new event' is reported. The updates are typically noted once per month and can include any changes such as:

  • Repayments made
  • Additional borrowing taken out
  • Changes to your credit limits
  • Payments made on time

If you have had a change to any of your lending and your CheckMyFile report has not been updated, this usually means it is pending the next monthly review.

Each CRA has its own private database, and so it is not unusual for different CRAs to report events differently. For example, they might refresh data on different timescales, or request new data in different patterns.

To circumvent confusion these variances can cause, CheckMyFile collects information from all of the four largest UK CRAs to provide a better picture of your financial situation when applying for a mortgage or other type of lending.

How Does CheckMyFile Compare to other Credit Referencing Agencies?

Here is a summary of the services offered by CheckMyFile in comparison to the largest CRAs most commonly used by UK lenders:

CRA

Multiple Data Sources?

CheckMyFile

Yes

TransUnion

No

Crediva

No

Equifax

No

Experian

No

Is CheckMyFile Free to Use?

The service offers a 30-day free trial, which is useful if you wish to review your credit score, and see what information has been collected from TransUnion, Equifax, Crediva and Experian.

After the free trial, if you decide to continue your subscription to CheckMyFile, membership costs £14.99 per month.

Many borrowers choose to register when they want to try and improve their credit score or keep track of how their credit rating changes over time.

How Can I Cancel a CheckMyFile Account?

If you have met your borrowing needs, or decide that you no longer wish to follow your credit rating as it changes, membership is simple to cancel.

You will need to log into your CheckMyFile account and follow the steps to find: Expert Help > I Need Help With My Account. The website then offers the option to cancel, by clicking on 'I'd Like To Stop My Subscription'.

A quicker way to cancel is to contact CheckMyFile by phone on 0800 086 9360.

What Are The Benefits of Using CheckMyFile?

The service is beneficial for borrowers who have experienced problems with their credit rating or want to improve their credit score.

Should you be considering applying for a mortgage, it is helpful to understand your credit rating before submitting any applications. CheckMyFile is a useful service in this scenario since it is a faster and easier way to review your credit activity, rather than creating individual accounts with each CRA.

Having all of your information in one place provides a better picture of your credit file.

CheckMyFile is also a way to track how your credit score changes, and how activities on your lending accounts are having an impact on your credit file.

Members also have access to advice and recommendations about:

  • Building a positive credit history
  • Repairing a low credit score
  • Taking out your first borrowing
  • Recovering from bankruptcy

How Can I Access the CheckMyFile Free Trial?

Revolution Brokers are a specialist mortgage broker, helping clients across the UK in any number of financial scenarios.

We can support you with setting up a free CheckMyFile account, as well as offering advice about which lenders are most likely to approve your mortgage application.

Contact us at info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk.

Expert Support With Credit Ratings

Our mortgage team understands that credit ratings can be complex, and may make it more challenging to secure the lending you need.

We have worked with thousands of clients in similar scenarios, and connect every applicant with the right lender.

As a whole-of-market broker, Revolution works with every type of mortgage lender from mainstream banks to specialist niche lenders, and negotiate on your behalf to secure your mortgage at optimal rates.

Contact us today to discuss your mortgage requirements at 0330 304 3040.

Contact us now to discuss your personal options, Revolution Finance Brokers specialise in commercial and residential finance in EssexKentLondon and Hertfordshire.

Author

Almas Uddin

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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