A credit score is a number that indicates an individual’s credit worthiness. Your credit score summaries details of your personal credit history from the previous 6 years, including mortgages, credit cards, overdrafts, loans, mobile phone contracts and even some utilities such as gas, electricity and water.

If you’re over 18 and have taken out credit, credit reference agencies are likely to hold a credit report on you and allocate a credit score to you. Each credit reference agency has their own credit scoring approach .There are three such agencies in the UK – Equifax, Experian and CallCredit. The My Community Bank Network uses Call Credit.

Everyone should take time to manage and boost their credit score. It’s not just about whether you can get a personal loan, credit card  or mortgage. It can also affect mobile contracts, landlines, television, broadband, utilities, car finance, monthly car or home insurance, bank accounts and more.

Type of information in your credit report

Your credit report contains information that helps lenders assess whether you’re a reliable borrower. A credit report includes the following information:

    • Account Information: A view of bank and credit accounts you’ve had and whether you’ve made repayments on time and in full. Items such as missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years, as do court judgments for non-payment of debts, bankruptcies and individual voluntary arrangements.
    • Address Details: A view of electoral roll (electoral register) information for your current address and previous addresses you provide when you apply. It also contains details of any other addresses you’ve been linked to in the last six years, such as those you’ve given to lenders on application forms.
    • Financial Connections: A list of the people with whom you have a financial connection, such as a joint mortgage – they are known as your financial associates. Their credit history does not appear in your credit report. However, when you apply for credit, lenders are able to look at their credit history. Also, their circumstances could affect your ability to repay what you owe.