Is My Credit Rating Important?
If you apply for any form of credit then the success of your application is likely to depend on your credit rating. Whether you want to take out a store card or a mortgage, credit reference agencies will be used to provide the lender with information about your credit history.
Details will include data from the electoral roll, county court judgements, defaults on repaying debts, outstanding credit and any loan applications. Anything from bankruptcy to finance on a washing machine will be noted. Therefore if you have had any financial problems in the past then you are likely to have a bad credit record. For example, if you have missed mortgage or credit card payments, or had loan applications refused your credit rating will be adversely affected.
Mortgage lenders, credit card companies, finance companies and so on will use your credit history report to help decide whether to accept your application. Therefore if you have a poor credit history you may find your options limited when looking for personal finance. You may only be offered unsecured loans at higher rates because you will be viewed as a higher risk by the lender. A secured loan could be the only way to reduce the rate you are offered. Using a specialist loan comparison service will help you find lenders most likely to accept your application. Remember you will add to your impaired credit record if your loan applications are refused.
If your loan application is not successful then you can ask the lender for reasons why. You can also request the name and address of any credit reference agency used to influence the decision. You are entitled to check your credit history although there is a small fee. If you think the information is inaccurate then you can appeal to get it changed. Experian and Equifax are two of the main credit reference agencies used by lenders in the UK.