Managing your Credit Report

Your credit report contains information that may affect your chance of securing credit in the future. So it’s important to find out what’s in your credit report in order to know where you stand and if you need to improve it.

Check your credit report regularly, so you know where you stand

Reviewing your credit report may alert you to any incorrect information and help you identify if you have been the victim of identity theft. Consider signing up for Credit Alerts, so you are aware when certain changes occur on your credit report.

Paying your bills on time

This may be a simple and effective way to improve your credit report.

If you make your credit card or loan repayments on time each month this can have a positive impact on your credit report. On the other hand, if you don’t make your repayments on time, this may have a negative impact.

If you are late paying a bill and have overdue debts outstanding by 60 days or more, this default may be listed on your credit report for up to five years. Paying your bills on time is a simple way to prevent this type of negative information appearing on your credit report. If you are having financial difficulties, you may wish to contact your credit provider to see if you can arrange a payment plan.

Before you apply for credit, check your credit report in advance

This may indicate whether your application will be successful. Often banks will include an application fee, so check your credit report first to help avoid these unnecessary charges.

Avoid applying for credit when you don’t need it

Credit providers may have a negative view of someone who has made a relatively high number of credit enquiries in a short space of time, for example, when you’re shopping around for a good deal, or still deciding whether you want to apply for a loan.

Moving house?

Get in touch with all your credit providers (banks, utilities, phone company, ISP, etc.) to make sure bills are re-directed to your new address. If you fail to pay these invoices a serious credit infringement or overdue debt may be listed on your credit report.

Making sure your information is correct

Equifax takes reasonable steps to ensure that your credit report is accurate. However, it’s important that you check your report and let us know if there are any administrative errors such as an incorrect date of birth, or a misspelling of your name or street address. For more information, visit our Corrections Portal.

If you believe the credit information on your report is inaccurate – such as an overdue debt or enquiry listed by a credit provider – contact the credit provider directly and seek an investigation. What’s more, if you think you’ve been the victim of identity theft, contact the police as well as the fraud departments of the relevant credit providers so that they can conduct an investigation.

Equifax’s Credit and Identity subscription products provide you with a copy of your credit report as well as other features to help you track and improve your report over time. Find out more about monthly subscription packages here.

In certain circumstances you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report such as:

  • If you have been declined on a credit application, you have the right to access your credit report free during the 90 days following the date you were declined; or
  • If you have requested an amendment to your credit information and that amendment has been made; or
  • Once every 12 months