Credit reports available online
4th November 2011
As of 2010, consumers have been able to access their credit reports online. Costing just £2, you could get a copy of your credit report from any of the top 3 agencies online. It is all thanks to an agreement made by the Department for Business, Innovations and Skills. The government have also secured free copies of credit reports for those who have been affected by ID fraud.“
The number of people targeted by ID fraudsters has increased over the past few years. Now credit report agencies have decided to join forces with consumer groups in order to raise more awareness of credit reports and the importance of checking them.
When speaking of the changes in July 2010, Edward Davey, the Consumer Minister, stated:
“These are highly beneficial changes. All consumers now have easier access to their £2 statutory credit reports, with victims of ID fraud and the financially vulnerable receiving free access to their reports. These significant improvements will help consumers take better control of their finances.”
It is important that consumers do check their reports not only for general information, but also to see whether there are any errors. Your credit report affects whether you receive the credit that you need in the future. If it is less than perfect then you could struggle to obtain a mortgage, a new bank account and a loan.
Before these new changes were applied, consumers had to apply for their credit reports through the post. These could take anything up to 7 days to arrive. If you suspect that there is a problem with your credit report then 7 days could seem like a lifetime to wait.
The chief executive of Which? Peter Vicary-Smith, states:
“This should provide a quicker and more convenient access for consumers for their credit file, and could encourage more people to check their file more regularly. This is a welcome initiative in the battle against fraud and the elimination of faulty data.”
As it stands consumers are allowed to access their credit report thanks to the Consumer Credit Act 1974. There is a statutory charge of £2 that applies to cover administration costs. It was in the 2009 Consumer White Paper that the government decided to commit to helping people to better understand their credit report. It did this through joining forces with credit reference agencies. If consumers are referred by debt advice agencies then they will receive their credit report free of charge.
Many consumers have been a victim of ID fraud and they have found that regularly checking their report for any changes has helped to give them a peace of mind. Now that consumers can access their reports online, it makes it so easy to just check the latest marks on your report wherever you are.
All three credit reference agencies enable you to look at your profile online. Beware of other companies who claim to be credit reference agencies. There are many fake scam companies out there that will just take your money. Costing just £2, it is easier now than ever before to prevent yourself from being a victim of ID fraud.