Accessing your credit report at least once a year is an easy way to see how well you’re managing your debt levels, as well as being able to tell if there’s anything untoward on your file.
It’s important to remember that you can access your credit report free and any credit-reporting body must provide you with a copy within 10 days of receiving your request. When you visit the websites of some credit reporting bodies, they may try to sell you an express option, but unless you’re in a particular hurry, you won’t be charged as long as:
- you’ve applied for credit and been refused within the last 90 days
- you are requesting that wrong information on your credit report be corrected
- you haven’t applied for a report in the last 12 months, except in the above circumstances.
When contacting a credit reporting body, you will need to provide your full name, address date of birth, previous address and driver’s licence number to verify your identity.
To request a copy of your credit report, you should contact one of these credit-reporting bodies:
What should I do if there’s something on my report with which I don’t agree?
Whatever you do, don’t engage the services of a credit-fixing agency, which will charge you for a service you can easily carry out yourself. The practices of such agencies have also been questioned and you could find yourself in a bigger mess than when you started the process.
If there is something on your file that is wrong or it shows a debt that has since been paid, simply contact the credit-reporting body and ask for it to be amended. You will have to provide proof that a debt doesn’t belong to you or that you have paid off a debt, but you can do this free of charge.