How do lenders decide if they will offer me credit?
How do I get my credit reference file?
What is on my credit reference file?
When things go wrong
The Information Commissioner
How do lenders decide
if they will offer me credit?
No one has a right to credit.
Before giving you credit, lenders such as banks, loan companies, catalogue companies and
shops want to be confident that you will repay the money they lend.
To help them do this, they may look at the information held by companies called
credit reference agencies and may also use credit scoring.
See below for more about credit reference agencies. See page 2 for more about credit scoring.
Q What are credit reference agencies?
The three main consumer credit reference agencies in the UK are Callcredit,
Equifax and Experian.
These agencies hold certain information about most adults in the UK. This information
is called your credit reference file or credit report.
The agencies get their information from lenders, from information in the public domain
like the electoral roll, and from other sources. See pages 6–13 for more details about the
types of information the agencies hold.
When you apply for credit, a lender may look at your credit reference file to help it decide
if you are likely to repay. If you have a financial link such as a joint account with someone,
a lender may look at information about that person’s credit history.
Credit reference agencies do not hold blacklists and do not tell a lender if it should offer
you credit – that is for the lender to decide.
Q What is credit scoring?
When you apply for credit, some lenders use credit scoring to help them decide if you
are likely to repay. Credit scoring enables lenders to look at each credit application in the
same way. Lenders should tell you if they are going to use credit scoring.
To work out your credit score, lenders may look at yo