What is a credit report?

When you apply for a credit card, mobile phone contract, overdraft or mortgage, lenders and other organisations may look at your credit history, including how much credit you've been given and how you've managed your repayments. Based on this and other information asked for in your credit application they will then decide whether you are likely to repay the credit they give you.

When you make an application for credit and the lender uses information from a credit reference agency (CRA), details of their ‘search’ will be recorded on your credit file with the CRAs used. As an Equifax customer you will receive regular alerts notifying about new searches and any significant changes to your Equifax Credit Report.

Equifax recommends that if you believe your personal information has been compromised (sometimes referred to as a data breach) you should check your credit report monthly to make sure that the information that is held correctly reflects the credit agreements that you have taken out / products you have applied for.

What data appears on your credit report?

  • Address details e.g. electoral roll information for your current address, plus any previous addresses.

  • Financial credit agreements e.g. loans, credit cards, mortgages and overdrafts along with your repayment history, including missed or late payments.

  • Public records e.g. county court judgments (CCJs), bankruptcies or insolvencies.

  • Financial associates. If you have a financial association, e.g. a joint mortgage or loan with someone, lenders could take their financial behaviour into account when you apply for credit.

What data doesn’t appear on your report?

Data not recorded on your credit report includes your employment history, savings accounts, criminal records, medical records, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation.

How do lenders and other organisations use your credit report?

Lenders use the information on your credit report to help them assess your financial behaviour. Using their own criteria, they will review this data along with any additional information you provide as part of their credit application process, such as your employment history and salary, and then decide whether to offer you credit. Typically they’re looking to assess whether you’re able – and likely – to repay what they lend you.

Organisations may also access certain aspects your credit report to confirm your identity to help prevent identity fraud.

Keeping your data accurate

Any data on your credit report is subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means we, and the organisations who supply data to us, have an obligation to ensure the information is accurate and up to date – something we take very seriously.

Equifax Protect helps alert you to potential identity theft

Learn more