Credit Reports Available Online For All Consumers
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Issued 13 July 2010 BIS
Consumers can now access their
statutory credit report online for a nominal fee of only £2 from all three major
UK credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit.
An agreement between the Department
for Business, Innovation and Skills and the industry means consumers will now
have easier access to their credit reports. Continued free access to credit
reports for victims of ID fraud and the financially vulnerable has also been
secured by the government.
Credit reference agencies and
consumer groups have committed to work together to raise awareness of the
importance of checking credit records.
Consumer Minister Edward Davey
“These are highly beneficial
changes. All consumers now have easier access to their £2 statutory credit
reports, with victims of ID fraud and the financially vulnerable receiving free
access to their reports. These significant improvements will help consumers take
better control of their finances.”
Credit reports allow consumers to
monitor their financial commitments by viewing, for example, what credit
commitments they have outstanding and any late payments they have made. It is
important as the information held on their credit reports may affect their
ability to access further credit or get the best deals in the future.
Previously, statutory credit
reports for £2 were only available by post, which could take seven days to
Peter Vicary-Smith, Which? Chief
'This should provide a quicker and
more convenient access for consumers to their credit file, and could encourage
more people to check their file more regularly. This is a welcome initiative in
the battle against fraud and the elimination of faulty data.'
1) Consumers have a statutory
right to access a copy of their credit report under the terms of the Consumer
Credit Act 1974. The charge under the statutory scheme for consumers to access
their credit report is £2. This covers a proportion of the administration
2) In the July 2009 Consumer White
Paper the Government committed to working with the credit reference agencies (CRAs)
to improve peoples’ access to understanding of their credit reports.
3) A case study from the credit
report agency Equifax, which has been offering £2 statutory reports online since
February 2010 can be found below. Both case studies are available for interview
and can be contacted via Louise Fowler at Harrison Sadler on 020 8977 9132.
4) Free reports will be offered to
those referred by debt advice agencies, which Experian has done since 1996.
5) The three credit reference
agencies are online at:
John lives in South East London and
obtained a copy of his £2 statutory credit report online after fraudsters
managed to open a bank account in his name and subsequently used this to set up
mobile phone contracts, defrauding the mobile phone companies out of thousands
“Becoming involved in this sort of
fraud was a real shock, you never expect it will happen to you. As I could look
at my credit report instantly online it provided me with the reassurance and
peace of mind that no other fraudulent activity was happening in my name. I
certainly found the process of ordering my statutory report from Equifax’s
website straightforward and convenient.”
A local government worker, John
Lynch, from Walton, Surrey was thinking about getting finance for some home
improvements. He was already aware of the role of credit information in the
application process and had previously obtained a copy of his statutory credit
report by post. He was, therefore, really pleased to see that Equifax was now
offering access to his £2 statutory report online instantly – so he could check
that all the information held on him was correct straight away and then get on
with making applications for new finance.
“It was so easy and convenient to access my credit report
online for just £2. In the past I had ordered my statutory report through the
post and whilst it only took 7 days that’s still a bit of a delay when you just
want to get on with making an application for new finance. So being able to do
the whole thing online – including accessing the report so that I could check
that all the details about my current credit status were correct – was great!”
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department
for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions
of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-07-13 23:28:17 in Business Articles