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Credit Report Buyer’s Guide

Credit reports have gained recognition and popularity since the recession, with more of us calling on loans to finance our lifestyles and a larger amount of people now being vetted by banks and lenders using credit scores to obtain cash. We are paying a lot more attention to our credit scores and are more aware than ever before of how they can affect our finances and therefore our lives – an awareness which is partly thanks to increased marketing of credit reports through companies such as credit giant Experian. So, how do you go about choosing the best credit report for you?

There are varying levels of credit report

Most companies offer different levels of report – from basic free reports through to a detailed analysis of your credit score. Which you choose of course depends on your situation and your reasons for purchasing a report.

What is your reason for buying a credit report?

People purchase credit reports for lots of different reasons. Sometimes it’s for a general overview – at other times it is preparation in anticipation of a large purchase or on requiring a large loan, like a mortgage. The reason for you purchasing a credit report does influence the type and level of report you choose, so it’s important to bear this in mind when shopping around.

How old are you? What financial outgoings do you have in the immediate future?

If you’re young and have yet to face large financial outgoings like a mortgage and car finance, then it’s likely your credit rating has little information to go off. You may need starter advice which can often easily be obtained from banks on how to keep your finances in check and ensure your credit rating builds well and stays positive. If you have a mortgage and several loans and are looking to secure more finance, then a credit rating can give a clear picture of what you need to do, where your issues may be and what options are open to you. You may even be looking to retire and claim your pension and therefore it’s handy to know your credit rating to get a better understanding of your personal financial position before you take the next step.

What is your current knowledge of your credit rating?

You may already have a rough idea of how you credit score currently measures up. If you know for sure that it is bad, you may be better off going for some advice which will include a review of your credit rating and will then offer pointers to help you to improve it based on that rather than paying for the two services separately. Adversely, if you know it’s good, then you may just need some advice to keep up the good work and on how to maintain your positive score.

Overall, when choosing a credit report provider, it’s important to take into account the merits of specific companies, and whether they suit your requirements. You can request a free credit report once a year from the 3 major credit reporting agencies. The process is easy and takes just a minute after creating an account. Experian and Equifax offer comprehensive,easy to understand analysis of your rating and advice on how you can improve – but if you’re looking for a more in-depth professional report and advice which could affect the outcome of a business venture or other important investment, then a bespoke service may be better for you.

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