What is the difference between a credit report and a credit score?

A credit report shows a summary of your financial reliability i.e. who you currently have credit with and whether you have been on time with payments. A credit score is a numerical calculation to help lenders determine the risk of lending to you (i.e. how likely you are to make the repayments on time).

Why you should keep your credit links clean

You should keep your credit links clean as they could affect any future loan applications. The more repayments you make on time, the cleaner your credit report will be. You should also make sure that any joint financial links you have are clean. You can also improve your credit rating by paying bills on time and demonstrating stability.

How often can I check my credit report?

You can check your credit report as often as you like – not just when you are thinking about applying for a loan. Using agencies like Experian, Equifax or Noddle mean you can sign up to a monthly subscription service where you can have access to your account and credit file whenever you like.

Even though every check of your report creates a search footprint, the only real footprints left behind are by actual credit check applications. These are the ones that are seen by lenders and can be used to calculate your credit score.

Avoiding repeated credit applications with help keep your report clean

Don’t make lots of loan applications at the same time – especially if you have been declined. Loan providers are likely to search your credit reference file every time you make an application. Declines in a short space of time will be recorded and could affect future applications. Some lenders will provide a soft search option, which should give customers an idea if their application is to be accepted. When potential lenders check your credit report, they will not see the soft inquiries.

Am I more likely to get a loan if I have never borrowed?

Having a clean credit report doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a loan. Some lenders are more confident lending to people who have a history of borrowing and repaying debt on time.

I am ready to apply for a loan, now what?

If you’re looking for a loan, 118 118 Money has a selection available to suit your needs:

You can apply online now or if you’d like to chat to us about your loan application, just call us on 08000 118 000 or 02920 893300*.
We’re here for you 24/7.

(*08000 118 000 is free from UK landlines. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary. 02920 893300 is charged by your provider as a UK national number.)

Representative example: Amount of credit £1,810.48 for 24 months. Interest rate: 71.3% pa (fixed). 24 scheduled monthly payments of £143.48. Total amount repayable: £3443.52. Representative 99.9% APR.

Rates from 35.9% APR - 99.9% APR fixed.