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Understanding your credit reports

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: July 8, 2021

If you look through the credit account info at the monthly credit account records you’ll see various numbers and codes that might not make any sense to the untrained eye! Below is a key to help you read yours. Remember if you haven’t already, you can sign up for your free trial of credit reports.

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There are 3 main reference agencies and multiple re-sellers of reports that all present the information differently. Whichever report you look at, they are all split into sections in the same way.

The important bits the lenders are looking at are:

  • Financial Account Information
    This outlines the monthly account conduct for all your active credit accounts. It includes phones, utilities, credit cards, loans, mortgages etc.
  • Public Record Information
    This covers details around any county court judgements (CCJ’s) and bankruptcy etc.
  • Credit Check History
    This lists all the searches you’ve had on your credit report by different creditors/insurers etc.

Lenders also look at:

  • Address links
    This lists any links you’ve had to other addresses
  • Electoral Roll Information
    This is detail around where you are registered to vote and how long you’ve been registered there. The longer the better.
  • Connections & other names
    This lists any financial associates, usually being people you have or had joint accounts with.

Financial account information

Status Description
Status 0 A status of ‘0’ is usually green, representing a normal payment made on time;
Status 1, 2, 3 A yellow ‘1’ for a single missed monthly payment; a yellow ‘2’ for accounts that are 2 months behind; a yellow ‘3’ for three months;
Status 4,5,6 Then a red ‘4’ for 4 months behind, red ‘5’, and so on… the impact of these late payments to mortgage credit scores had a varying degree of severity depending on the number, type of account, and how recent they are, as detailed below.NOTE:If the account is defaulted it may show as ‘6’, ‘8’ or ‘DF’.
Unclassified This is when payment conduct has not been reported by your creditor for some reason – it may be due to it being a newly opened account.
Debt Management Program When you are in a DMP this registers on the system for Check My File as a ‘DM’, some other reference agencies will show it as ‘AR’ or just as late, not necessarily ‘DM’.
Arrangement to pay This is usually when you have been behind, or struggled to maintain payments and have made a personal arrangement with the lender to pay a lesser amount than you should.

An example:

This report shows conduct up to date since Sept 2010, being 3 payments behind in August, 2 in July, 1 in June. this means the payments that were in arrears to status 3 in August were paid back up to date in full in September.

For more information follow the links below:

Public Record Information

This section covers any Bankruptcies, insolvencies, or court judgements filed in your name. As below, for CCJ’s it outlines the type of issue, the date the issue was registered, the amount that it was registered for, and the court that registered the judgement. If it were a bankruptcy it would have the same details, with the date of satisfaction (discharge date), without the £ amount – this figure is not public info.

This information in your report will form the basis of the initial lending decision made.

If approved based on your credit score, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be accepted for the full mortgage – there is also your deposit and Loan to value, and your income and affordability to take into account.

Every lender is different, so when it comes to getting the best mortgage for you you’ll need to speak to an expert.

If you’re applying for a joint mortgage and one applicant has bad credit, this will also be taken into account and you may need a specialist to review both of your credit files to search the market for you to ensure you get the best deals available.

Make an enquiry and someone will be in touch ASAP.

Let our free broker-matching service do all the hard work in finding the advisor with the right expertise for your circumstances. We don’t charge a fee and there’s absolutely no obligation or marks on your credit rating.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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