Your credit report will detail your financial circumstances, payment history, current levels of borrowing and current available borrowing on products such as credit cards, store cards and overdrafts.
The report will cover a six year period and will show your payments made, payments made on time, payments missed, arrears, arrangements to pay, county court judgements (CCJ’S), defaults, trust deeds, individual voluntary arrangements and bankruptcies.
All of this is factored in when a mortgage lender assesses the suitability of your mortgage application.
There are four main credit reference agencies, which of these mortgage lenders choose to work with varies depending on the needs of the induvial mortgage lender. Some lenders will use Equifax, some will use Experian, some will use TransUnion and others will use CallCredit. In some instances lenders will check information held on you from multiple credit reference agencies.
When you view your own report it is helpful to review the information held on all four credit reference agencies, as you will often find not all product providers update every credit reference agency and so sometimes you will find information held by one credit report not held by another.
When factoring in your suitability to meet their lending criteria, mortgage lenders will assess a variety of different criteria such as your income, your expenditure, your budget, your future circumstances, your type of employment; whether you're self-employed, permanent employed, part time employed, fixed term contract, zero hour contract, etc. They will also factor in how much you are looking to borrow as a percentage of your homes value (known as Loan to Value)
They will also factor the information contained within your credit report.
Lenders will look to make sure that you have made payments on time, that you're not too reliant on your borrowing facilities such as usage of a credit card or overdraft, that your current account conduct has been maintained satisfactorily. I.e. that you've not had declined direct debits, you've not had payments rejected or cheques returned unpaid and that you've not been incurred any bank charges.
Every credit reference agency will provide you with a credit score and you will often see the credit score advertised on television and on social media and written media however the score itself is not the be all and end all have you been able to obtain a mortgage.
Many clients have low credit scores and find they are still able to readily find a mortgage lender that will lend to them. Similarly, you can have a high credit score and sometimes struggle to be able to obtain a mortgage.
The pertinent information on the credit file is your payment history and track record, your current level of indebtedness and your ability to maintain your payments along with an ability to demonstrate a continued period of managing your finances.
By clicking on the above link, you will be able to download a free credit report as part of a 30 day trial*. This credit report will show you the information held by all four credit reference agencies.
It will provide you the opportunity to review your personal information, check that everything is correct that there's nothing duplicated, that there is nothing that you are unaware of.
By reviewing your credit file in advance of beginning to look for a mortgage you will have time to challenge any discrepancies and have any incorrect information removed from your credit report.
By being in control of your credit history, knowing what's on your credit report and prepared early in advance. This puts you in the best possible position to apply for your new our first mortgage.
*You can try a FREE trial of CheckMyFile for 30days. After the 30 day trial period is over Check My File will begin charging you a monthly membership fee of £14.99. You can cancel your trial and/or your membership at any time. I will receive a small commission for any referrals to check my file.