You probably already know that what’s on your credit report can affect your ability to borrow. That’s because it shows a picture of your borrowing history, including any late or missed payments.

If you’ve had problems with making repayments, it’s likely your credit report will have some damage. But how do things like missed payments, CCJs and defaults appear on your credit record? And who can actually see this?

We’ll take you through some of the reasons why someone might check your credit report, and what they can see.

What your credit report shows

Your credit report is a record of how you’ve been managing money – how much you’ve borrowed and whether you’re up-to-date with your payments. It will also show your recent applications for credit, even if these weren’t successful.

Typically, your credit report shows your borrowing history for the last six years. If you’ve got an account you opened more than six years ago, you could still see it on your credit record – as long as it’s been active within the last six years.

You’ll also be able to see personal details on your credit report like your address and date of birth. And if you’ve got a joint account or credit with a partner, you could see their information on your credit record too.

Reasons why someone checks your credit report

When you apply for credit, lenders will run a credit search on you. This means they’ll look at your credit record and see how you match up to their eligibility criteria.

If you don’t meet their criteria, they might reject you. Or, if they don’t turn you down, they might accept you at a higher interest rate or for a lower credit limit than you applied for.

Lenders aren’t the only ones who can check your credit report though. Here are some other businesses and people who could run a search on your credit record.

  1. A landlord: If you apply for a tenancy agreement, a letting agent or landlord might check your credit report. This is so they can determine if you’re likely to be a responsible tenant.
  2. An employer: Some companies will credit check you if you apply for a job with them. This is more likely if you’re applying for a job at a financial services company, for example, or if you’ll be handling money in the role.
  3. An insurer, a mobile phone provider or a utility company: Some services will check your credit report if you apply for monthly payments with them. If you’ve got a patchy credit record, you might have to pay for the whole year or term upfront instead.
  4. You: yes, you can check your own credit record! And you don’t have to pay for this service – you can check your credit record for free. It’s a good idea to do this regularly to make sure everything on your credit record is correct.

Have you had problems with debt in the past? Find out how to go from a bad credit rating to a better one.