Statutory Credit Reports 2009

A couple of years ago I wrote about my first experience getting statutory credit reports. At the time I said I’d do them on a bi-yearly basis, so a week ago I decided to do them again.

The process is the same as before. The credit referencing agencies, Experian, Equifax and Callcredit, have a statutory obligation to provide you with your credit report. They are allowed to charge a £2 fee, which I presume is to cover the admin cost of producing the report. The process isn’t as easy as it could be – all three agencies have premium services which provide analysis of the report, so they’d prefer you did that instead. Consequently, it can take a few minutes to find out how to request the statutory one.

So to make life easier here are the current links as of February 2009:

Why would you want to do this? There are a few reasons I can think of:

  1. You’re about to apply for credit, or have recently been refused credit, and want to check the information the credit issuer has access to.
  2. You’re concerned about identity theft and want to make sure there’s no credit in your name that you don’t know about.
  3. You just want to check that the information held about you is correct.

I fall in to the last category. Thankfully all was in order this year – the only surprise was that I was already linked to my wife’s credit report. It turns out applying for a joint bank account creates an association between you – that was news to me! Fortunately we both have good credit histories.

As a closing comment I’d like to remind readers that the data they hold about you is yours, and you have a right to see it. Financial institutions would have you believe this is their data and that it’s for their eyes only, but don’t be fooled. It’s well worth the £6 to find out exactly what they’re looking at when you apply for credit.

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