Having checked you’re eligibility, the next step is to check your credit file. Even if you have a great credit record, this is important.
The reason for this is that occasionally people find adverse credit on their credit file that they’re not aware of. It sounds unbelievable, but it happens more often than you would realise. One common scenario is where two family members living together have similar (or even the same) names (think father and son. Husband and wife would be very unusual). Sometimes the adverse credit is recorded against the wrong person. Another common scenario is where an individual moves house but doesn’t correctly close a utility account. The utility provider sends all their communications including chasers to the old address, which the individual never receives. Before they know it they have a County Court Judgement registered against them, which they know nothing about.
In terms of credit files, we recommend CheckMyFile. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it’s free (provided you cancel within 30 days), and secondly, it includes the four main credit reference agencies. Many alternative credit reports will only contain the information from one agency. Given that some credit may not be picked up by all agencies, it’s important to see the complete picture.
You can download your CheckMyFile report here.