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 Â£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:
- Experian: Details and order form.
- Equifax: Details and order form.
- Callcredit: Details and order form (PDF – you need to print and send it by post!).
Why would you want to do this? There are a few reasons I can think of:
- 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.
- You’re concerned about identity theft and want to make sure there’s no credit in your name that you don’t know about.
- 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 Â£6 to find out exactly what they’re looking at when you apply for credit.