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How is Your Credit Rating?

If you've ever been offered a substantial line of credit with one company and been refused by another, it's all a result of each company's credit scoring policies. Your personal credit score may fall within the acceptable limits for one company and not for another.

How do you know what your credit score is, and what is on your credit score?

There are two primary credit reference agencies operating in the UK: Experian and Equifax. These companies have detailed information on about 44 million Britons, including information on credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts, specific information on unpaid bills, and failure to pay hire-purchase debts and County Court Judgments. If it sounds like a lot of personal information, it is--and every time you apply for a credit card, personal loan, or a mortgage, prospective lenders run this type of a credit check on your financial history.

Each lender's preferences and tolerances determine the credit scores that will be acceptable for that particular lending agency. It all depends on the target market. A lender targeting students will not likely care if an applicant is married. Another lending institution might view marriage as a sign of stability, and scores high in this area will increase an applicant's chances of meeting the desired rating. Other similar personal information may increase or decrease your score for a particular lender.

One factor that nearly all lending institutions review is the number of credit applications you've completed. If you have applied for multiple lines of credit in a short period of time, this will work against you. To this end, consider asking a lending institution why you were turned down rather than moving on to the next lender. You may still be able to work with the lender. You may also find out through this process that your credit history has mistakes. You are allowed to correct any factual errors, so making the proper enquiries can work to your benefit.

How to check your credit rating

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of your credit record (and it is a good idea to check it periodically, but not too frequently), you can try a free trial at

through Experian. Because Experian and Equifax review different types of information, it is worth checking your rating through Equifax as well.

Having a poor credit score does not automatically mean that you will be unable to secure a loan. It does mean that you are much more likely to have a higher interest rate than those with a better score. When reviewing your credit, you may be able to add explanatory notes, such as why you were late making crucial payments (such as your mortgage). This information may help a lender in the decision-making process, particularly if the reasons are legitimate.

Information on Credit Ratings


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