Trying to make sense of all of the different issues involved in the world of UK finance and credit? You are definitely not alone. Starting out with a resolve to learn more about your finances is noble, but the truth is that there’s a lot of information to cover. It’s downright impossible to cover every last thing that would be involved in the world of UK finance into one guide, which is why we cover the topic through “small bites”, if you will. There’s no reason to think that you have to rush through the process of learning things just to say that you know something. In fact, this can really be a great time in your life to actually get into a better financial state. Better finances don’t always mean getting out of debt and just letting the rest of your life fall apart. It means getting out of debt and making better financial choices so that you’re never in debt again.
And if we’re going to define good financial practices along these lines, it’s time to tackle one of the most important players in the world of UK finance: the credit reference agencies, of course!
You might hear them referred to as credit reporting authorities if you’re looking at US finance sites, but things run just a little bit differently across the pond.
You see, the top credit reference agencies in the UK are going to be Experian, Equifax, and CallCredit. They collect a lot of information, they have a lot of data to pull from. Just about any public document that you can think of is up for fair game. If you have any court judgments or liens against you, those are going to be listed.
But primarily, future lenders will look at it to see who you have paid successfully in the past, who you have defaulted on in the past, and what other things that you might be avoiding. Every credit reference authority has their own credit scoring, so don’t think that one score is all that you’re going to need. Every reference agency is going to be different, so make sure that you keep that in mind in order to really get things done.
From here, you want to make sure that you’re looking at your own personal file from each and every one of those agencies that we just mentioned. A lot of people think that all they really have to do is measure one agency and be done with the whole lot of them. That’s just not the case anymore. You’re going to really need to make sure that you’re looking at the full picture here. Agencies are notorious for not sharing information well between each other, so parts of your file may be missing or woefully incorrect.
That’s the biggest reason why you need to pull your own credit file. It doesn’t affect your score to do so, and you will be able to see how your information is presented. You can dispute inaccurate information, but you cannot dispute negative information that is correct. That’s a whole different story though.
As always when working with anything financial, it’s important to make sure that you go with a traceable method of communication — just licking a stamp and sending it through the post is not the way you want to go. You always want to make sure that you have proof that you sent the correspondence at a certain time.
Overall, the more that you learn about UK credit and finance terms/concepts, the better off you will be in the long run. Don’t miss out!