Too thin to get credit?

Consumers may find it difficult to get credit because of a lack of information on their credit file

Following recent news that a member of Kirstie Allsopp’s family was turned down for a mobile phone contract because she does not have a credit rating, Equifax is looking at how consumers can overcome a ‘thin file’.

Having a ‘thin file’ means there is little data on an individual’s credit file, making it difficult for banks, building societies and other financial services providers to confirm their identity as well as gain an understanding of their ability to manage credit. Andrew Webb, Head of Equifax Personal Solutions, explains how consumers can improve their credit history.

“Lenders are likely to review your credit history when you apply for credit, before making a decision on your application. Building up a credit history will allow lenders to see that you have demonstrated responsibility in repaying debts. It’s therefore wise for those with ‘thin files’ to consider taking steps to give prospective lenders more confidence in their ability to manage credit.

“Firstly, it is important to make sure you are registered on the electoral roll. The electoral roll is used by many companies for identity verification purposes and in order to combat identity fraud. Lenders must verify that a potential customer is who they say they are, and being registered on the electoral roll at a current address can assist with this verification.

“You may also wish to think about creating a credit history by utilising any sources of credit available to you. This will help you to demonstrate to a consistent pattern of meeting financial commitments. Keeping your credit balance low and within your credit limit indicates good money management, and settling debts, such as personal loans or hire purchase agreements, in full demonstrates responsibility in repaying debts.

“We encourage anyone who is planning to apply for credit, or who has had an application declined, to get a copy of their credit file. Regularly checking your credit report to see that it is accurate may help you flag and correct any inaccuracies before applying for credit.”

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk/Products/credit/credit-report.html. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

ENDS

For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn, Parm Heer or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or email: equifaxbtocteam@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. The company’s significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enable it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 19 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. In 2013, Equifax was named a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company, was #3 in Fortune's Most Admired list in its category, and was named to InfoWeek 500 as well as the FinTech 100. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.

Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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