Checkmyfile, a groundbreaking service in the financial industry, stands as the first and only service in the UK to provide a comprehensive multi-agency credit report. By gathering information from all four leading credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva – Checkmyfile offers an unparalleled insight into one’s credit status. In this article, we delve into the nuts and bolts of how Checkmyfile operates, its key features, and how you can utilise it to understand and optimise your credit health. Let’s get started!
What is Checkmyfile, and how does it work in the UK?
Checkmyfile is a credit reference agency based in the United Kingdom. It was the first company in the UK to offer consumers online access to their credit reports, and it’s recognised for pioneering the multi-agency approach to credit reporting.
Rather than compiling its data from a single credit reference agency, as is typical, Checkmyfile collects information from four of the major credit reference agencies in the UK, which are Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva. This gives users a more comprehensive view of their credit status.
When you sign up with Checkmyfile, you’re given access to a detailed credit report that includes information from all four of these agencies. This can include personal information, credit accounts and balances, credit applications, public records (such as court judgements, insolvencies, or bankruptcies), and other relevant information.
By consolidating this information, Checkmyfile can provide a more accurate credit score and a better understanding of your overall credit standing. It can be particularly helpful in identifying discrepancies between different agencies’ reports, which can sometimes occur due to variations in how data is collected and reported.
Once you sign up, you can access your report instantly and monitor it for changes, which can help you detect signs of identity theft or fraud. Checkmyfile operates on a subscription basis, but it does offer a 30-day free trial to new users.
As with any credit reference agency, the information they provide can be influential in determining whether or not you’re approved for credit, as well as what terms you’re offered. Consequently, it’s a good idea to review your credit report regularly and take steps to correct any inaccuracies you find.
How can I get my credit report?
Getting your credit report from Checkmyfile involves a straightforward process:
- Visit the Checkmyfile website: You will first need to visit the Checkmyfile website, where you can sign up for an account.
- Create an account: On the website, click on the ‘Try it Free’ button to start creating your account. You will need to provide your personal details, such as your full name, date of birth, email address, and current address.
- Verify your identity: After entering your personal details, Checkmyfile will attempt to verify your identity. This is to protect your privacy and ensure that only you can access your credit report. You might be asked some security questions based on your credit history.
- Subscription details: After verifying your identity, you will need to enter your payment details. While Checkmyfile does offer a 30-day free trial, it is a subscription service. You will need to provide credit or debit card details for the monthly subscription fee, but you won’t be charged if you cancel within the trial period.
- Access your report: Once your account is set up and your identity has been verified, you will have immediate access to your credit report. This will include information from all four major UK credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva.
Remember, it’s your responsibility to cancel the subscription during the free trial period if you do not wish to continue using the service and avoid the subscription fee. You can do this from within your Checkmyfile account.
Lastly, always ensure to sign up via a secure internet connection to protect your personal information.
How does Checkmyfile differ from other credit reporting services?
Checkmyfile differs from other credit reporting services in the UK in several ways:
Multi-agency reports: One of the key differentiators of Checkmyfile is its multi-agency approach to credit reporting. While most services pull data from a single credit reference agency, Checkmyfile consolidates data from four of the main credit reference agencies in the UK – Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva. This provides a more comprehensive view of an individual’s credit history and credit score.
Comparison of reports: Given that Checkmyfile collects data from four different credit reference agencies, users can compare reports from these different sources side-by-side. This can be especially useful in spotting discrepancies and inaccuracies across different reports.
Detailed reports: Checkmyfile provides a detailed analysis of credit history, including public records, electoral roll information, financial associates, credit applications, and individual account data. This provides a broader context to help users understand their credit score.
Credit score analysis: Not only does Checkmyfile give you your credit score, but it also explains the factors affecting it. This can help you understand how to improve your credit score over time.
Identity fraud assistance: Checkmyfile offers guidance and assistance if you become a victim of identity fraud, helping you navigate through the necessary steps to report and recover from fraud.
Customer service: Checkmyfile is often praised for its high-quality customer service, with support available via phone or email.
Remember, while Checkmyfile offers a comprehensive and detailed view of your credit report, it does come at a subscription cost.
Is Checkmyfile safe to use?
Yes, Checkmyfile is safe to use. As a registered and regulated credit reference agency in the UK, Checkmyfile adheres to strict data protection standards to ensure the safety and privacy of its users’ information. Here are a few reasons why Checkmyfile is safe:
Data protection: Checkmyfile complies with the UK’s data protection laws, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights.
Secure transmission: Checkmyfile uses secure encryption technologies to transmit data. This means that any information you provide to the site, including personal details and payment information, is encrypted for protection against unauthorised access.
Identity verification: Checkmyfile uses rigorous identity verification procedures to ensure that only you can access your credit report. This often includes asking multiple security questions based on your credit history.
Regular monitoring: Checkmyfile provides regular monitoring and alerts, which can help you quickly identify and respond to potential instances of fraud or identity theft.
While Checkmyfile takes these precautions to secure your data, you also have a role to play in maintaining the security of your information. This includes keeping your login information secure, using a secure internet connection when accessing your credit report, and being wary of phishing attempts that may impersonate Checkmyfile.
How frequently does Checkmyfile update credit reports?
Checkmyfile updates its credit reports on a monthly basis. The exact timing of updates can depend on when the credit reference agencies — Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva — provide updated information. These agencies typically update their records every 4-6 weeks.
When a lender or creditor reports a change in your credit activity, such as a new account being opened or payment being made, it is then reflected in your credit report after the credit reference agencies update their records.
Therefore, if you make a significant payment or close an account, for example, it may take up to a month or so to see this change reflected in your Checkmyfile report.
It’s also worth noting that not all lenders report to all credit reference agencies, which is why there may be discrepancies between different reports. This is one of the reasons why Checkmyfile’s multi-agency report can be beneficial, as it gives you a comprehensive view of your credit status.
Remember to regularly check your credit report and promptly report any inaccuracies you see to the relevant credit reference agency or agencies.
What does my credit score mean on Checkmyfile?
Your credit score on Checkmyfile is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness based on the information in your credit report. It’s a tool that lenders use to quickly assess your credit risk.
Checkmyfile uses a credit score range from 0 to 1000, with 0 being the worst score and 1000 being the best possible score. The score is based on the combined information from four major UK credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva. It’s important to remember that the higher your score, the more creditworthy you are considered by potential lenders.
Here’s a general understanding of the credit score bands on Checkmyfile:
- 0-560: Very Poor
- 561-720: Poor
- 721-880: Fair
- 881-960: Good
- 961-1000: Excellent
If your score is in the ‘Very Poor’ to ‘Poor’ range, you might find it hard to get approved for credit, or you might be offered higher interest rates. A ‘Fair’ score indicates a moderate credit risk, but you may not qualify for the best interest rates. Scores in the ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’ range are likely to have more options when it comes to credit and are typically offered lower interest rates.
It’s important to note that your credit score is just one factor that lenders consider when making credit decisions. Other factors can include your income, your employment status, and the amount of debt you currently have.
How can I correct errors on my report?
If you find any errors or inaccuracies on your Checkmyfile report, it’s important to correct them, as they could impact your credit score and your ability to obtain credit. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to do it:
Identify the Error: Before you can correct an error, you need to identify exactly what the mistake is. This could range from incorrect personal information to inaccuracies in your credit accounts.
Determine the Source: Since Checkmyfile consolidates information from four credit reference agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva), you need to determine which agency’s data is incorrect. Checkmyfile allows you to see which agency reported each piece of information, so you can easily identify the source of the error.
Contact Checkmyfile: You can use Checkmyfile’s online tool to raise a dispute. Checkmyfile will then liaise with the respective credit reference agency to investigate and correct the error. Alternatively, you can contact the customer service of Checkmyfile for assistance.
Contact the credit reference agency directly: If you prefer, you can also contact the respective credit reference agency directly to dispute the error. Each agency has its own dispute process, which usually involves providing details about the error and any supporting evidence you might have.
Contact the creditor: If the error relates to a specific account or financial product, you might also need to contact the relevant lender or provider. For example, if your report shows a late payment that you believe you made on time, you may need to contact the lender with proof of payment.
Once the investigation is complete, the credit reference agency should correct your report if it agrees with your dispute. It will then notify Checkmyfile of the change, and the corrected information should appear on your Checkmyfile report during the next monthly update. However, if the agency doesn’t agree with your dispute, you have the right to add a note of correction to your report, explaining the dispute from your perspective.
How can I improve my credit score?
Improving your credit score is a process that takes time, discipline, and a good understanding of your credit behaviour. Here are some general steps you can take to improve your credit score according to Checkmyfile and other credit reference agencies:
- Pay on time: Ensure you make all your payments on time, whether it’s for credit cards, loans, or other forms of credit. Late or missed payments can have a negative impact on your credit score.
- Limit credit utilisation: Try to use a small percentage of your available credit. High utilisation can indicate to lenders that you’re over-reliant on credit, which can negatively affect your score.
- Avoid multiple credit applications: Each time you apply for credit, it results in a hard search on your credit report, which can lower your score. Frequent applications may suggest to lenders that you’re in financial difficulty.
- Maintain old credit accounts: Length of credit history is a factor in your credit score. If you have older credit accounts that are in good standing, it’s often beneficial to keep them open.
- Regularly check your credit report: Regularly review your credit report to ensure all the information is correct. Incorrect information could be hurting your score.
- Register on the Electoral Roll: Being registered on the electoral roll at your current address provides proof of address and identity, which can improve your credit score.
- Reduce debt: Pay down existing debt where possible. Lenders may view high levels of outstanding debt as a sign of financial stress.
- Avoid county court judgments (CCJs) and defaults: These serious marks on your credit file can significantly lower your score and stay on your report for six years.
- Keep your personal information up to date: Ensure your personal information, such as your current address, is up to date on your credit report.
Remember, improving your credit score isn’t an overnight process. It can take several months or even years to see significant improvements. Regular monitoring of your credit report will help you understand your credit profile and how your behaviours influence your credit score.
How does Checkmyfile source its information?
Checkmyfile sources its information from four of the major credit reference agencies (CRAs) in the UK: Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva. These agencies compile credit reports based on a variety of data sources, including:
- Lenders and creditors: Banks, credit card companies, and other lenders regularly provide information about their customers’ credit behaviour. This can include account balances, credit limits, repayment history, and any late or missed payments.
- Court records: Information about County Court Judgments (CCJs), bankruptcies, and other public record information is also included in your credit report.
- Electoral roll: The Electoral Roll, or Electoral Register, is used to confirm your current and previous addresses, which is an important part of your identification.
- Search information: When you apply for credit, the lender will carry out a search of your credit file. This search will leave a ‘footprint’, which is also included in your credit report.
- Fraud prevention agencies: These agencies share information to help prevent fraud, and this information can be included in your credit report as well.
The information gathered from these sources is used to create a comprehensive view of your credit behavior, which is reflected in your credit report and credit score. Checkmyfile uniquely provides the information from all four credit reference agencies in one report, allowing you to see a more complete view of your credit history and how you’re viewed by different lenders.
Can I cancel my Checkmyfile subscription online?
Yes, you can cancel your Checkmyfile subscription online. The process is straightforward and involves the following steps:
- Log in to your Checkmyfile account.
- Navigate to the “Your Account” or “Settings” section (the exact name may vary).
- Look for an option to cancel your subscription. This is typically under “Your Subscriptions,” “Manage Subscription,” or a similar section.
- Follow the prompts to confirm your cancellation.
Also, make sure to keep any confirmation emails or messages you receive after the cancellation in case there are any issues in the future. If you face any issues while trying to cancel your subscription online, you should contact Checkmyfile’s customer service for assistance.
How comprehensive is the information provided by Checkmyfile compared to other credit report services?
Checkmyfile is known for providing one of the most comprehensive credit reports in the UK because it compiles information from four major credit reference agencies (CRAs).
This multi-agency approach is a key differentiator for Checkmyfile. Most other credit report services gather information from a single CRA. By aggregating data from all four, Checkmyfile provides a more complete and accurate picture of a person’s credit history.
Specifically, the Checkmyfile credit report offers:
- A combined credit score based on data from the four CRAs.
- Side-by-side comparison of the data held by each CRA.
- Information on your credit accounts including balances, limits, and payment history.
- Public record information such as County Court Judgments (CCJs) and bankruptcies.
- Electoral roll information to confirm your current and previous addresses.
- Financial associates information (individuals with whom you have a financial link).
- Credit application search data (footprints left when a lender checks your report).
- Fraud prevention indicators to alert you to potential identity theft.
With this level of detail, users can understand the factors influencing their credit scores and can take steps to improve their credit health. Furthermore, by presenting information from multiple CRAs, Checkmyfile allows users to spot and resolve discrepancies that may exist between the different credit reports.
Why is my Checkmyfile score different from other credit rating agencies?
Credit scores can differ between Checkmyfile and other credit rating agencies for several reasons:
- Different scoring models: Each credit reference agency uses its own scoring model, which may weigh credit factors differently. Some might place more emphasis on payment history, while others might focus more on the types of credit you have. Checkmyfile provides a combined score based on information from four major credit reference agencies in the UK (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva), which may differ from individual scores provided by these agencies.
- Different credit information: Not all lenders report to all credit reference agencies. This means that the information each agency, and therefore Checkmyfile, has about your credit history could be different, which could lead to different scores.
- Scoring range differences: Different agencies have different credit score ranges. For instance, Experian’s score ranges from 0-999, Equifax’s ranges from 0-700, and TransUnion’s (previously Callcredit) ranges from 0-710. Checkmyfile’s own scale ranges from 0 to 1000. A score of 600, for example, would be considered poor on Experian’s scale but fair on Equifax’s and TransUnion’s scales.
- Timing of updates: Agencies receive information from lenders at different times. One agency might report a recent payment or a new line of credit before another, resulting in a temporary difference in scores.
Does Checkmyfile have a mobile app for accessing credit reports?
Checkmyfile did not have a dedicated mobile application. However, their website is mobile-friendly and can be accessed from any internet-enabled smartphone or tablet. You can log into your account and view your credit report information directly from your device’s web browser.
How quickly can I access my credit report after signing up to Checkmyfile?
After signing up to Checkmyfile, you can usually access your credit report immediately. The service allows you to view your information online, which means there’s no waiting for a report to be delivered by post or email.
When you sign up, you’ll need to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, and potentially other details to verify your identity. This is an important step to protect your information and prevent fraud. Once your identity is verified, you should be able to view your credit report right away.
It’s worth noting that while access is immediate, the report may not yet reflect very recent changes to your credit history. Credit reference agencies typically update information monthly, although the exact schedule can vary depending on the lender and the type of information.
How does Checkmyfile handle privacy and data protection?
As a credit reporting agency operating within the UK, Checkmyfile is bound by the strict data protection laws set by the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which the UK continues to adhere to after Brexit.
Here’s how Checkmyfile handles privacy and data protection:
- Data Collection: Checkmyfile only collects necessary data to provide their services, including personal and financial information. They gather data from public records and credit reference agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva).
- Data Use: The information collected is used to compile your credit report, verify your identity, and deliver their services. They also use your data to improve their services and communicate with you. They do not use your data for marketing purposes unless you explicitly opt-in.
- Data Storage and Security: Checkmyfile uses robust security measures to safeguard your data. These measures include encryption, secure servers, and strict access controls. They store your data for as long as necessary to provide their services, in accordance with legal requirements and their data retention policy.
- Data Sharing: Checkmyfile does not sell your personal data. They may share your information with credit reference agencies to provide their services and with law enforcement or regulatory bodies when required by law.
- User Rights: As a user, you have several rights under data protection law, including the right to access your data, correct inaccuracies, object to certain uses of your data, and in some cases, have your data deleted or restrict its processing.
Can Checkmyfile help me if I’ve been a victim of identity theft?
Yes, Checkmyfile can assist you if you’ve been a victim of identity theft. By regularly checking your multi-agency credit report from Checkmyfile, you can spot unusual or fraudulent activity that may indicate identity theft, such as new accounts or credit inquiries you didn’t initiate.
Here are some steps you can take if you’ve been a victim of identity theft:
- Contact Checkmyfile: If you notice any suspicious activity on your credit report, contact Checkmyfile immediately. They can help you understand the information in your report and guide you on the next steps.
- Contact the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs): Inform all four CRAs — Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva — about identity theft. They can place a fraud alert on your credit files, which will warn potential creditors to verify the identity of anyone attempting to open an account in your name.
- Report to Action Fraud: In the UK, you should report identity theft to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.
- Contact the Creditors: If fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name, contact those creditors directly to inform them of the situation.
- Regular Monitoring: Keep regularly checking your credit report to monitor for any new fraudulent activity.
How can I contact Checkmyfile customer service?
You can contact Checkmyfile customer service through the following means:
Phone: You can call them at 0800 011 9894 during normal office hours.
Email: You can send an email to their customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post: You can also write to them at their office address:
Checkmyfile, 20-21 Lemon Street, Truro, TR1 2LS, United Kingdom.
What reviews or ratings has Checkmyfile received from customers in the UK?
Historically, Checkmyfile has generally received positive feedback for its comprehensive multi-agency credit reports, user-friendly website, and customer service. Some customers have appreciated the ability to see information from multiple credit reference agencies in one place.
However, as with any service, there can also be negative experiences. Some customers might have had issues with subscription cancellation, billing, or specific aspects of the service.
For the most accurate and up-to-date customer reviews and ratings, consider checking platforms like Trustpilot, Google Reviews, or other review aggregators. It’s also worthwhile to read through both positive and negative reviews to get a balanced understanding of the service.
Does using Checkmyfile affect my credit score?
No, using Checkmyfile or any other credit reporting service to check your own credit report or credit score does not affect your credit score. This is what’s known as a “soft search or “soft pull.”
Soft inquiries include checks you make on your own credit, checks made by companies for promotional purposes (like pre-approved credit card offers), or checks made by employers or landlords. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score and are not visible to potential lenders when they check your credit report.
On the other hand, “hard search or “hard pulls” do have a small, typically temporary impact on your credit score. These are made when a lender or company checks your credit because you’ve applied for credit or a loan with them. These hard inquiries are visible to others viewing your credit report because they represent potential new debt that doesn’t yet show up in the credit report as an account.
It’s important to note that regularly checking your credit report is a good habit to cultivate. It helps you understand your credit health, spot errors or inaccuracies that need to be corrected, and potentially identify signs of identity theft.
Pros and cons of using Checkmyfile compared to other credit report providers?
Using Checkmyfile has several pros and cons compared to other credit report providers. Here’s a brief overview:
Multi-agency report: Checkmyfile is one of the few credit check services in the UK that provides a comprehensive multi-agency report. It compiles data from the four main credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Crediva. This gives you a more complete view of your credit status, as not all lenders report to every agency.
Detailed information: Checkmyfile provides detailed information on credit history, including public record information such as electoral roll data, court judgements, insolvencies, and more.
Identity fraud assistance: Checkmyfile offers assistance if you become a victim of identity theft, which can be a valuable service.
Cost: While Checkmyfile does offer a free trial, there’s a monthly cost after the trial ends. This cost is higher than some other services, although it’s worth noting that you’re receiving a more comprehensive report.
Potentially overwhelming information: The comprehensive information provided could be overwhelming or confusing for some people, especially if they’re new to credit reports.
Cancellation: Some users have reported that cancelling the service after the free trial can be more complicated than expected, though this is often a common complaint with many subscription-based services.
How does Checkmyfile help me understand the factors impacting my credit score?
Checkmyfile provides detailed credit reports that offer insights into the factors impacting your credit score. Here’s how they can help you understand these factors:
- Checkmyfile provides explanations for each data point in your credit report. These include your credit accounts, payment history, the amount of debt you carry, the length of your credit history, and the types of credit you use. They also explain public record information such as court judgments, bankruptcies, and insolvencies, which can have a significant impact on your credit score.
- Checkmyfile uses a colour-coding system to help users easily understand the status of each account on their credit report. Green is for well-maintained accounts, amber for potentially problematic ones, and red for those that may harm your credit score.
- Checkmyfile provides a credit score that’s calculated based on the data from all four credit reference agencies. Along with this score, they provide an analysis that explains why your score is at its current level and what factors are impacting it.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your credit report, Checkmyfile’s customer service team can provide explanations and guidance to help you understand the factors impacting your credit score.
By helping you understand these factors, Checkmyfile empowers you to take steps to improve or maintain your credit score, such as paying bills on time, reducing outstanding debt, and avoiding new debt. Remember, improving a credit score takes time and consistent effort, but the benefits are well worth it.
What kind of alerts or notifications does Checkmyfile provide to help me monitor changes in my credit?
Checkmyfile provides a notification system that alerts you to significant changes on your credit report. While the exact features may have evolved, the service traditionally includes notifications for:
- New credit applications: If a lender makes a credit check on you, perhaps because you’ve applied for a loan or credit card, Checkmyfile can send you an alert.
- Change in account status: Normally, you would receive a notification if there are any modifications to your accounts, especially if you become delinquent or go into default.
- Public record changes: If there are new or updated public records, such as a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you, this would generally generate an alert.
- New account openings: When a new account gets opened in your name, Checkmyfile can alert you.
- Address change: If there’s a change to your registered address, you can receive a notification.
These alerts are intended to help you stay on top of your credit situation and identify potential fraudulent activity quickly. It’s always a good idea to check for the most current features directly from Checkmyfile’s website or customer service.
What are the fees?
Checkmyfile offers a 30-day free trial for new users. After the trial period, there’s a monthly subscription fee which is £14.99 per month.
It’s important to note that these fees could change, and there may be additional or different services available for varying fees. Be sure to check the Checkmyfile website or contact their customer service directly for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information. Remember, it’s your responsibility to cancel the service if you don’t wish to continue after the free trial to avoid incurring charges.
Please be aware that if you cancel after the monthly charge has been taken, you might not be eligible for a refund for that month. Always make sure to read the terms and conditions of any service you sign up for.
How is a credit score calculated?
Credit scores are calculated using a mathematical algorithm that evaluates the information in your credit report. Each credit reference agency (CRA) has its own algorithm, and they may consider slightly different factors, so your score could differ between agencies. However, most credit scores consider the following types of information:
- Payment history: This is typically the most important factor in your credit score. It considers whether you’ve paid your credit accounts on time. Late payments, defaults, and bankruptcies have a negative impact.
- Credit utilisation: This is the ratio of your current total credit card balances to your total credit card limits. It’s often better to keep your credit utilisation under 30%.
- Length of credit history: This factor takes into account how long you’ve had credit. A longer credit history is typically better because it gives lenders more information about your long-term financial behaviour.
- Credit mix: This looks at the different types of credit you have, such as credit cards, store accounts, instalment loans, finance company accounts, and mortgage loans. A mix of different types of credit can be beneficial.
- New credit: This considers how many new accounts you’ve opened or applied for recently. Many credit applications in a short time can negatively affect your score.
- Public records: This includes matters of public records such as bankruptcies, County Court Judgements (CCJs), and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), which can significantly harm your credit score.
Each of these factors is weighted differently in the calculation. For example, payment history and credit utilisation are typically given more weight than the types of credit you have. It’s important to remember that every lender may use a slightly different scoring model and have its own criteria when deciding whether to offer credit. Maintaining healthy financial habits, such as paying bills on time and keeping credit card balances low, can help improve your credit score over time.