Supascore is a free reporting serving, allowing you to access, understand and manage your credit report and score. The information used to make your credit report and score is obtained from TransUnion, a UK Credit Reference Agency, and it may include details about your previous credit history. This same information may also be used by lenders and credit providers to help them decide on providing credit to potential borrowers.
In simple terms a credit report is a record of your credit history, showing how you manage your finances. It details information such as how long you have had credit accounts, how much debt you have, if you have CCJ’s, basically how you have previously handled credit.
Credit reports are compiled from the data collected by credit reference agencies.
Credit reference agencies gather information from public records and financial accounts that have been active within the last six years.
This can include information about:
Credit accounts (credit cards, loans, mortgages)
Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA)
Judgments (CCJs, Insolvencies and Bankruptcies)
The information on this report helps lenders assess your level of risk when making a decision about providing you with credit. Therefore, it’s important to check that the information held about you by credit reference agencies is correct. There are many services that provide you with access to your credit file information, however there are only a few that provide you with this access for free. We use TransUnion data to provide you with your free credit report. This is a free service from Supacompare.
A credit reference agency (CRA) is an independent company that collects and securely holds data and reports finance-related and public information about you. This information, including details about your credit applications, financial history and current accounts is provided upon request to potential lenders, employers or landlords. This is used to help in identifying you, or when in relation to taking out credit, the likelihood of your defaulting on payment.
In the UK, there are four main Credit Reference Agenices: TransUnion, Equifax, Experian and Crediva. You are able to contact them directly using the addresses below:
Consumer Services, TransUnion International UK Limited, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ
Crediva Limited, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Global Reach, Dunleavy Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN
Equifax Ltd, Customer Service Centre, PO Box 10036, Leicester, LE3 4FS
Customer Support Centre, Experian Ltd, PO BOX 9000, Nottingham NG80 7WF
To provide your Credit Report, Supacompare uses TransUnion.
Personal Information: Including your name and addresses
Financial Associations: For example someone you have taken out joint credit with
Credit Accounts: Including loans, mortgages and credit cards
Credit Searches: A record of the companies and dates when your credit report has been retrieved for a credit application
Public Records: Details about CCJ’s, bankruptcies and electoral roll
The information on your credit report is used to create your credit score, a number which represents your credit history. If your credit report shows a positive credit history e.g. you make your payments on time, you will have a higher score. This may help you get loans and credit cards at lower rates. However, if your credit report details a history of missed payments or multiple CCJ’s, your credit score will be lower. This may mean that it will be more difficult for you to get approved for credit as it could indicate to a lender that you will have difficulty repaying in the future.
You should check your credit report on a regular basis, and before making credit applications. By doing this, you can highlight any mistakes on your file which may prevent you from obtaining credit. It will also allow you to check if any fraudulent applications have been made in your name.
A credit score is a number that is calculated from your credit report to represent your credit history. The higher the number the better, as those with a higher score are generally viewed as being a lower risk and are more likely to obtain credit at more favourable terms.
It is important to note that your credit score is only a guide as it is not the same as an individual lender's score. Even if you have a high credit score it does not guarantee that you will be accepted for credit as each lender has different criteria when assessing which customers to lend money to.
When you make a credit application, the lender will assess this based on your most recent credit report activity. The lender will not see historical information which has since changed.
When making a lending decision, lenders will consider various factors including:
The details provided in your enquiry
Data from the credit reference agency: credit payment history, if you are on the electoral roll at your present address, if you have any CCJ’s or Insolvencies
Details surrounding existing accounts you have with the lender
That lender's internal rules and policies
No! Using Supascore will never impact your credit score.
Although lenders and organisations generally update their files with a credit reference agency every month, there are circumstances where it can take up to 12 weeks for the data to be updated.
Active Accounts: These accounts are still open, and will usually be updated by the lender monthly, however in some circumstances it can take up to 12 weeks.
Settled Accounts: This is an account where you have made all of the necessary payments and it has been closed. These accounts may be one where the term has ended, such as a loan or mortgage, or one which you have closed, for example a credit card account.
The status codes on your credit report show if you have made your credit repayments on time and if you are up to date with the payments. If you have missed any payments it will show how many months in arrears you are.
If the lender has deemed that you have broken the terms of the credit agreement (generally if you fall 6 months behind), the account will show as being in Default. Where possible, it is important that you keep up with your repayments as a Default will remain on your credit report for 6 years and it may impact on your ability to obtain credit in the future. Even if you make all of the repayments after the default is dated, the history of your account will not change, and the status history of ‘D’ will show that you have defaulted on the account.
A record of all defaulted accounts is held for six years from the date the lender decided that the terms of the agreement had been broken (the ‘default’ date).
Only in the following circumstance will a judgment be removed:
If six years have passed since the original court date
If the case is set aside after being taken back to court
You can produce evidence that an insurance company was responsible for the debt
If paid within one month
A judgment can still be marked as Satisfied on your file if paid more than one month after the original judgment. To do this you need to send a Credit Reference Agency the appropriate Certificate of Satisfaction. Although the judgment will remain on your file for six years from the judgment date, lenders will be able to see that it has been paid.
A Notice of Correction is your chance to explain why you feel your credit score has been affected by something which you feel was unavoidable. It is a short note (no longer than 200 words) that you can add to an entry on your credit report, enabling you to further explain the background to a lender when they are assessing you for credit worthiness.
As a lender is obliged to read a Notice of Correction before making their decision, it can slow down your credit application.
After signing up to your credit report, if you want to add a Notice of Correction, write to a Credit Reference Agency with your full name, address, email address login and the note that you would like to be added to your file.
Do remember that it cannot be incorrect, frivolous, defamatory, or libellous and must not be longer than 200 words.
An associate is someone who you are financially connected to, for example someone you have shared a joint mortgage or joint bank account with. A record is kept of any person who is financially associated with you, and you will see information such as the details of the associate, the date the link was created, and the name of the company who created the link.
To disassociate yourself from someone you have had a financial connection with, make sure that any joint accounts are transferred to a single name or closed.
Please note that it can take up to 12 weeks for any changes to show on your supascore credit report. This is because the data providers update account balances in general every 4-6 weeks, but in some instances, it can take up to 12 weeks. If it has gone past this time, then you can seek to amend it by:
Contacting the company that the account relates to. They can make the necessary amendment or ask the Credit Reference agency to update your file if they agree the information is incorrect
If you are a supascore member, you can raise the issue via your account.
Alternatively, you can write to TransUnion at TransUnion, Dispute Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ, please include all supporting material (for example statements or letters from the lender involved). This will be sent on your behalf to the relevant lender and it is expected that you will receive a response within 28 days. Making repayments to a defaulted account after the defaulted date does not change the history of the account even when you have made all the repayments. The status history of 'D' shows that you have defaulted on the account.
To provide your Supascore credit report, Supacompare partners with TransUnion, one of the main credit reference agencies in the UK, to provide our customers with their credit report.
TransUnion match the information you submitted to Supacompare with the information they hold and, if found, return a series of authentication questions which need to be answered to access your report.
If you have been unable to access your credit report, it may be as a result of the following: ThinFile, Not Found, Failed or Blocked
This means that, although TransUnion have located your credit report, they do not hold enough information about you and have been unable to produce a full credit report.
Don’t worry, this just means that once you have built up some history, they will be able to create your credit report. You can find out more on how to build your credit history in supacompare here.
Alternatively, if you would like to see what information TransUnion currently hold on you, you can also apply for your statutory report.
If you’ve not been found by TransUnion, this doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have enough credit history or that you have poor credit history. This simply means that, with the details you have provided us, TransUnion have been unable to accurately match you to any information that they hold. You should check over the details you’ve provided us and make sure all your financial accounts are up to date.
If you notice that any of your information in your account is incorrect, such as your Date of Birth, Name or Address, you can update this information in your account. When we receive new information, we will attempt to retrieve your credit report again for you.
Please note, we will only be able to try and retrieve your credit report if you change your Date of Birth, Name or Address. Therefore, if you have provided us with new information and your lenders or the public bodies update their information to match, this would not generate a new search.
Alternatively, if you’d like to see what information TransUnion holds on you, you can ask to have your statutory report posted to you or you can try to obtain it online.
Failed / Blocked
Once TransUnion have located your credit report, they may provide a series of authentication questions (KBA) which will need to be answered correctly before you can view your credit report information.
Customers have a limited number of attempts to pass this authentication. If you have failed the authentication, it may help if you request your statutory report from TransUnion (here) before reattempting the authentication stage. You can then check the information that TransUnion hold on you.
If the authentication is failed more than once, TransUnion may block your account. If this happens, you would no longer be able to receive your credit report via our services.
What does it mean if you can’t find enough information?
If you have tried to access your credit report but have been told that ‘we have been unable to provide you with your credit report as we don’t have enough data’, this means that TransUnion does not hold enough information about you to provide you with a full credit report.
This can often be because you don’t have much credit history or you may have only recently arrived in the UK and the credit reference agencies have not received enough information about you. Potential reasons include:
Don’t have much credit history
You may not have taken out any credit products yet or not built up enough of a credit profile.
If you have lived in shared accommodation (such as at a university) or do not have your own home, you may not have been registered on the electoral roll.
Recently moved to the UK
If you have recently moved to the UK, the credit reference agencies in the UK may not hold much information about you. This is because lenders outside of the UK are unable to share your account information with any of the credit reference agencies in the UK that create your credit report.
If you have got lenders in the UK, you should check with your lender’s what information they hold on you and ensure this information is correct. Double check this against the information you have provided to us as any information that is different could have an impact on if we are able to provide you with your credit report.
To receive a credit report and credit score, the credit reference agencies need to collect information about you so they can build up a picture of you and calculate your credit score.
Some things that you can do to build up a credit profile are:
Register with the electoral office
lenders can use this information to check your identity and address information, being on the electoral roll can help to improve your credit score but, more importantly, help you build up a credit profile).
Apply for a credit builder product
These products are useful for someone that is unable to apply for any credit cards, loans or other credit products. They each work slightly differently so you should check the details of each product that you are looking at but essentially, you pay an amount to these companies each month and they report this to the credit reference agencies as a loan. This helps to build your credit profile as it works in a similar way to repaying a credit product. At the end of the agreed time, you can then access the money that you paid in. (Please note, there may be a fee you need to pay to withdraw this money.)
Apply for a mobile phone contract
It can be hard to apply for credit cards and loans if you have no history and, even if you are eligible, you may only see products with high interest rates that you are not interested in. Mobile phone contracts can be easier to be accepted for and this information is often updated with the credit reference agencies so it can help to build your profile. Running these accounts so they are paid on time each month will also ensure your credit score is not impacted and can help to improve your credit profile and score.
Apply for a loan or credit card
When used responsibly, loans and credit cards may help build some credit history, but they can be much harder to obtain as lenders will want to make sure that you can afford to pay back any money that you borrow. Check your eligibility for loans and credit cards before making any applications so you have a higher chance of being accepted.
When taking out any loan or credit card, always make sure that you can afford to make the repayments on time each month, this will help you to avoid any extra charges and is considered ‘good behaviour’ that will help you to improve your credit score and promote a good credit history.