The uSwitch It’s My Report campaign calls for free annual credit reports for all, as well as standardised credit scores and making it mandatory for companies to specifically tell applicants why credit was refused.
Currently UK consumers have to pay a £2 fee for access to their report on top of a ‘monthly subscription’ fee of around £15 to credit referencing agencies, although many agencies do offer one-off free trial periods.
However, credit reporting in other countries is already very different.
Other countries get free credit reports
The campaign takes its inspiration from the many countries around the world who already have free annual credit reports.
Consumers in Canada and New Zealand enjoy free access to their credit reports whenever they want, although New-Zealanders and Canadians do have to pay charges for postage to gain access to hard copies of their report.
Many countries already have the system the It’s My Report campaign is calling for. Notably Australia, South Afirca, Hong Kong, Germany and the USA all offer their citizens one free credit report per year.
The argument in favour of free credit reports is that access to information allows people to easily review and amend it if necessary. This can be good for consumers and makes the lending market more efficient, as well as empowering people to take control of problem debt.
David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch, said “All consumers should have free access to their own personal credit report – not only to view it, but to check it thoroughly and correct any errors.
“That’s why we are launching ‘It’s My Report’ so consumers can regain control of their own information and take action where needed to ensure they always get the best possible deal.”
How we want UK credit reporting system to work
However, we are asking to go further and to lead the world in consumer credit reporting. We want UK consumers to enjoy:
- Free access to credit reports and score once a year
- Credit providers have to give specific reasons why credit was refused
- Standardisation of the credit score scale used in the UK
To help us achieve this sign the It’s My report petition.