Checking your Credit Score - Whats your Rating?

By: Nick C

The global credit crunch, along with the collapse of Northern Rock has resulted in banks getting tougher with the amount of money they are willing to lend. Lenders are now paying close attention to your past payment history, by checking your credit rating held by companies such as Equifax, Call Credit and Experian.

The current financial climate is making it more difficult to obtain personal loans, secured loans or credit cards, as reflected in the sharp increase in the rate of refusals. It is therefore useful, before applying for loans or credit cards, to check that your credit rating accurately portrays your current financial situation.

An inaccurate credit rating can seriously damage your chances of getting the loan amount desired, or at worse it could lead to your application being rejected. So, it's a good idea to check your credit rating for possible inaccuracies.

You can obtain a basic credit score for free by visiting your Citizens Advise Bureau or by going to any of the three credit reference agencies (Equifax, CallCredit and Experian). You can do all this online, for example by visiting Equifax.co.uk, who will charge you ?13.95 for 30 days access.

So what can you expect to see on your credit report? Different companies have different ways of presenting you with the same information but each agency will use its own scoring system. The Equifax scoring system is as follows:

&bullBelow 299 : very poor
&bull300-349 : poor
&bull350-399 : fair
&bull400-474 : good
&bullOver 475: excellent

Once you have received your report it's important to check that everything is correct. Ensure that all your debts are correctly listed and check for inaccuracies on your payment history. Errors with present or past addresses can also pose problems, as they could be judging you on someone else's credit history or your finances may be linked to someone else entirely.

The amount of refusals for secured loans and personal loans is on the increase, so it's worthwhile investigating your chances of success before you apply. You never know, you may unearth some inaccuracies that could jeopardize your chances of being accepted for a loan.

Credit Matters
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