A: Signing up to Credit Monitor and viewing your score will not affect it.
TransUnion will run a soft search on sign up to provide you with your credit score this is not visible to lenders. A soft credit search is often carried out by lenders who use them to make a general decision about whether you’d qualify for their product and soft searches do not affect your credit score.
If you download the app to see your credit report, that won’t affect the score either.
A: Yes - you need to be a resident of the UK and we'll ask for your most recent address.
A: You need to be at least 18 years old to register for Credit Monitor.
A: The two main reasons we might not be able to match you with your credit score and your credit report are that either you haven’t answered the security and identity questions correctly or, you have a ‘thin’ credit file (in other words, your credit history is too limited for TransUnion to gather a full report on you).
Unfortunately, if we are unsuccessful at finding your score, you won’t be able to use Credit Monitor at this time.
A: To make sure your personal financial data is protected from access by unauthorised persons, Credit Monitor uses a complex verification mechanism to authenticate your identity.
Unfortunately, due to the sensitive nature of the data we are unable to tell you at which point(s) your verification failed, and Credit Monitor is unable to influence this or make manual changes to your submission.
If you’ve requested your credit report, and you have failed verification, then unfortunately we cannot provide you with it.
If you would like to know what information TransUnion holds on you, you can contact them directly or request your free statutory report here.
A: Firstly, make sure you are on the electoral register. You can check or sign up via your local authority. Lenders use the electoral register as a way of verifying your identity and your home address, and this reduces the chances of identity fraud.
You can also check with your utilities provider to see if they report payments to TransUnion.
If you don’t have a credit card already, there are certain types of credit cards that are intended for people with thin files and designed to help them build up a credit history.
Make sure you use credit responsibly – only take on debt you can manage and try to pay off in full each month.
A: Your credit score, worked out from your credit report is a general interpretation of how much of a ‘risk’ lenders might think you are.
The higher your score, the more likely you are to be offered cards and loans with cheaper rates and better offers, and the more you’re likely to be able to borrow.
A: It’s worked out based on a number of factors including your past behaviour with credit products – things like credit cards, overdrafts, loans and monthly utility accounts.
The companies providing these services report your use and payments to a credit reference agency, where it can be seen by future lenders you apply for credit with. Altogether, this information paints a picture of how reliable you are at repaying money.
If you download the app to see your credit report, you can see all this information.
Some factors like your income and outgoings don’t affect your score, but can also be considered by lenders.
A: The score you see in Credit Monitor is out of 710 and is provided by the credit reference agency TransUnion. Other credit reference agencies include Experian and Equifax.
Not all lenders share data with all credit reference agencies and your score can differ between agencies because of this.
A: Your credit score refreshes in Credit Monitor on a monthly basis so it’s a good idea to keep checking it regularly so you can ensure that credit report in it is accurate.
A: Credit Monitor will alert you to factors which are having an impact on your score, so you can see the types of actions you can take that might help to improve your score if needed.
If you see that there is room for improvement, there are some actions that you can take to help address this, e.g.
- Ensure you are registered on the electoral roll
- Pay any credit commitments or bills on time
- Don’t exceed your agreed overdraft or credit limits
- If you have any credit accounts that you no longer use or require, you may benefit from closing them.
- Settle any outstanding public data records as soon as you can e.g. any outstanding CCJs
A: If you download our free app, you can see all the financial and related information our credit reference agency partner TransUnion holds about you.
It has no access to other personal information, such as criminal records, salary or your ethnicity.
A: Your credit report refreshes in Credit Monitor every month with details from lenders. Keep checking it every month to make sure the details are correct.
A: Only credit products are shown on your credit report, so savings accounts or current accounts without an overdraft facility will not be present, as they do not represent your credit history.
If you have opened a new account it could be that lenders have not provided this information to TransUnion as yet. It can take up to 10 weeks before this is added to your report.
If an account you opened 15 or more years ago is not showing on your credit report, it could be that you weren’t notified at the time of opening the account that data would be shared for credit referencing purposes, so it is therefore not permitted.
To change this, please contact your lender directly and speak to them about sharing your data with TransUnion.
Finally, not all lenders share information with TransUnion – they may choose to share with other credit reference agencies instead.
A: The length of time information is retained on your credit history can vary depending on what type of data it is, for example:
Your behaviour with credit products – things like credit cards, overdrafts, loans and monthly utility accounts will stay on your credit file for six years from the date they are closed and settled. If an account has fallen into default it will stay on your credit report for six years from the date of default.
A: If you spot something that doesn’t look quite right, you can raise a dispute on a specific item that you believe to be wrong. You can do this by clicking on the raise a dispute button next to the record.
A: It’s important you dispute any activity that you do not recognise. TransUnion will then contact the lender who has provided the data to make them aware that the data is possibly fraudulent. The lender will then perform a fraud investigation and remove any data if they find evidence that fraud has occurred.
You may wish to add a password to your credit file as an extra level of security.
If you do so, any lenders performing a credit search will need to request the password from you to proceed with the application. You can do this in the app by letting us know something isn’t right and adding an explanation to the record (Notice of Correction).
If you do decide to add a password to your credit report it’s worth bearing in mind that Notice of Correction data is not shared across the credit reference agencies. For consistency, you should also request a Notice of Correction to be raised with the other credit reference agencies too, please see their contact information below:
- Experian Ltd: 0344 481 0800
- Equifax: 0800 014 2955 / 0333 321 4043.
You may also wish to contact Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service. They will be able to apply a Protective Registration warning on your credit report, for an administration fee. This will inform lenders that you think your data could be at further risk of fraudulent access, so they can make additional checks to protect you moving forward.
The Protective Registration flag can be applied to your report with immediate effect by telephoning 0330 100 0180 (and must then be confirmed in writing). You can also apply online at www.cifas.org.uk/pr_for_individuals.
A: TransUnion will guide you through the process. TransUnion will contact you with any further updates and will provide you with a response within 28 days of the dispute being raised. If you require an update or do not hear within 28 days you can contact them directly by emailing Consumer@transunion.co.uk quoting your reference number.
A: No, you as the customer must give permission for a search to be made on your credit report. This will normally be done as part of a pre-application eligibility check or during the application process for a credit account.
A: You can see everyone who has searched your TransUnion credit file in the last two years.
Any searches you do on your own credit file are classed as a soft search and are not seen by lenders.
A: Lenders look at searches along with other information you have provided in your application. From this, lenders can spot any unusual activity or look for possible signs that would indicate financial difficulties, such as opening multiple applications in a short period of time. They can also help lenders to prevent fraud.
A: A soft credit search is often carried out by lenders who use them to make a general decision about whether you’d qualify for their product and soft searches do not affect your credit score.
A hard credit search is when a company performs a complete check of your credit history.
These ‘hard’ searches are recorded on your credit report - too many of these searches e.g. if you are trying lots of different lenders to apply for credit - can have a negative impact on your credit file.
A: TransUnion UK keeps a record of all searches for two years.
This allows lenders to take account of previous credit searches when you apply for credit.
However, your report doesn’t show whether or not an application was successful.
A: If you have noticed a search in your credit report and don’t recognise it, it could be that the name shown on your credit report is a parent company or subsidiary of a company that you may recognise and you may have approved to run a credit check on you. To find out more information, it may be best to get in touch with the company that carried it out.
Please also remember that searches stay on your file for two years.
A: As part of our service to you, we’re keeping an eye on what’s happening with your credit file, and we’ll let you know as soon as possible about any activity that could indicate something suspicious. It’s very likely that you’ll already know about the changes we’re telling you about, because it’ll be something you’ve done yourself. We’ll let you know just in case, so it’s easier for you to act quickly when you see something you don’t recognise.
A: We’re looking out for changes to your credit file that could suggest fraudulent activity. These can range from small things, like a change of address, to larger things like new accounts being opened, or even your details being registered with a fraud prevention service. It’s very likely you’ll already know about the changes we see, because you’ll have made them yourself, but we want to give you the chance to double check. The alerts will refer to things that have happened during the previous month, as it can take 4-6 weeks for the information to be sent to TransUnion.
A: We work with TransUnion to check your file on a daily basis, and will let you know about updates as soon as possible. This means that alerts can be sent to you before the record appears as part of your monthly report update.
A: We send alerts by email, but you can always check if there are any that you’ve missed on our website, where we will keep a record of everything that we sent you. Our alerts are free, and you’re automatically signed up to them when you get your free credit score and report from Credit Monitor.
A: The alerts are an integral part of Credit Monitor, and this means you can’t decide which alerts you want to have sent to you. If you’re getting too many alerts, or just don’t want to receive them anymore, you can unsubscribe at the bottom of the alert email. But, if you do this, you’ll also be unsubscribed from the monthly score update emails. You will still be able to see any new alerts by logging into the website.
A: The alerts are currently only available on our website, because we wanted you to be able to start receiving them as soon as possible. But, we do have plans to add alerts into the app soon.
A: Lenders use a combination of the following to help them make their decision:
- Information supplied by you when you apply (such as income and expenditure)
- Data supplied by a credit reference agency like TransUnion , who helps lenders check if you’re on the electoral roll at your current address, if you’ve paid your credit commitments on time and if you have insolvencies or County Court Judgements (CCJs)
- Information about any existing accounts you already have with the lender and how they have been maintained
- Their own policies and rules
A: No. If a company performs a search a record will be shown on your credit report, but it will not show whether your application was accepted or rejected.
A: Lenders base their decisions on different factors, so if one lender turns you down, it doesn't mean everyone will.
It’s worth remembering every time you apply for credit, it’s recorded on your credit report and some lenders see a large number of applications in a short period of time as a reason to turn you down.
A: Yes. You are still able to register for Credit Monitor if you have a CCJ.
A: These are removed from your credit file automatically six years after the original judgement date.
If you think a CCJ has been made in error, you should contact the county court concerned, asking for it to be withdrawn. If the court agrees, the CCJ will be cancelled, and won’t be shown on your credit report.
A county court will also allow a judgement to be removed if it was paid within one month and a Certificate of Satisfaction or Cancellation has been issued. This is known as being ‘set aside’.
A: If the judgement is paid more than one month after the original judgement, it can be marked as Satisfied on your credit file; you just need to send TransUnion the relevant Certificate of Satisfaction.
The judgement will stay on your file for six years from the judgement date but lenders will be able to see that the amount has been paid.
A: Yes. You are still able to register for Credit Monitor if you have an IVA .
A: Your IVA will stay on your credit file for six years from the day it started.
For example, if your original IVA lasted for four years, it will stay on your credit file for a further two years after the IVA ends.
A: To mark an IVA as discharged you will need to send the relevant Certificate of Discharge to TransUnion. For an IVA to be marked as completed, you will need to send written confirmation from your supervisor to TransUnion.
A: Yes, you can use Credit Monitor if you have been declared bankrupt.
A: Normally, you'll be discharged from bankruptcy after a year - on the first anniversary of the date the bankruptcy order was made.
In some cases you may be discharged later. This is called delayed discharge.
Until you’re discharged from your bankruptcy it’s against the law to borrow more than £500 from any lender without telling them you’re bankrupt. You don’t need to tell them if you’re borrowing less than this, but they’ll usually find out by checking your credit report.
Details of your bankruptcy will remain on your credit file for six years from the date the court makes you bankrupt. This means that your bankruptcy will continue to affect your credit rating for some years, even after you have been discharged from it.
A: We’ll send you a monthly email letting you know when your updated credit score and report (if you’ve asked for one) are available.
We may also contact you from time to time with information that we think you might find useful. You can choose to stop receiving these emails at any time by emailing email@example.com.
A: To make a complaint about Credit Monitor please email our support team at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond.
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