Credit reports come in many shapes and size, which can making getting hold of and checking your credit report a much more difficult and convoluted process than it should be.
That's one of the reasons we've started out It's My Report campaign to make credit reports free, fair and fit for purpose.
So what are statutory reports, and how do they differ from monthly reports?
There are four main types of credit reports you will see advertised - 'free' reports, the £2 statutory reports, paid for monthly services (often with a free introductory period), and multi-agency reporting, like CheckMyFile.
First off it's important to understand you don't have one single credit file. Each credit reporting agency (there are three) have their own credit file on you, and different lenders deal with different agencies. For your complete credit profile you need one report from all three.
There are also no such things as 'free' credit reports, which is one of the reasons we're campaigning for them.
When you see 'free' reports being advertised they are more often than not free introductory periods to paid monthly services, like Experian's Credit Expert service.
While you could argue that these are still 'free' for a limited time period you will be charged if you don't cancel your contract in time.
These monthly services offer additional extras like ID fraud alerts and your credit score, but they are only from one of the three agencies, unlike multi-agency reporting.
Multi-agency reporting services offer a similar deal, but they incorporate your credit file from each of the three agencies. In this way they give you a more complete picture, but they still charge you a monthly fee.
The £2 statutory credit report provides all the information that lenders will see when they request your credit file from the reporting agency in question, but it doesn't contain your credit score, and doesn't have any extras like alerts.
However, for a one off fee of £2 it is very comprehensive. However, if you want to see your whole credit file you will need a statutory report from each of the three agencies:
You can get your statutory Experian report online or by calling 0844 481 8000.
You can get your statutory Equifax report online or by calling 0844 335 0550.
You can get your statutory Callcredit report online or by calling 0870 060 1414.
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