The UK’s Three Main Credit Reference Agencies

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK who deal with people’s personal data. Each is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and authorised to conduct business as a credit reference agency.

At some point in our lives we will all apply for credit — be it a car loan, a mortgage, a mobile phone contract or a new credit card. Even if you are not currently applying for credit, you should do so to ensure the information we have is accurate. Interested In This Article? Towers use Creditserve online and bespoke credit reports in conjunction with our credit Insurance policy, we find this combination gives our sales ledger very good protection from bad debt. Without them, every time you applied for credit, the financial institution would have to do its own check on your creditworthiness.

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK who deal with people’s personal data. Each is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and authorised to conduct business as a credit reference agency.
As a credit reference ageny we offer tailored packages of credit management services, which inlcude online company credit checks in the UK, Europe & USA, which allows you to obtain individual company credit reports in these countries.
There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK who deal with people’s personal data. Each is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and authorised to conduct business as a credit reference agency.
What is a credit reference agency? A credit reference agency (CRA) is an independent organisation that securely holds data about you – including things like your credit applications, accounts, and financial behaviour. There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK. Experian is one of the largest, and we provide the UK’s most trusted credit score*.
What is a credit reference agency? A credit reference agency (CRA) is an independent organisation that securely holds data about you – including things like your credit applications, accounts, and financial behaviour. There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK. Experian is one of the largest, and we provide the UK’s most trusted credit score*.
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Credit reference agencies collect and collate all the information held about you as regards your management of credit. Their data reveals how well you’ve managed your personal finances in the past as well as the financial commitments you have at present.

Not only would this slow down your application but it might not be so thorough and accurate. Making decisions without all the necessary information means companies might make the wrong decision about approving or refusing credit. Also, it would increase the risk of fraudsters getting away with identity fraud — a growing problem in the UK.

Credit reference agencies collect and collate all the information held about you as regards your management of credit. From this financial history, credit providers can decide how great a risk you represent if they were to lend you money.

Instead, they hold the information provided by lenders and from public records and share it with financial institutions when you make a credit application. Their data is updated every weeks with information supplied by lenders and other companies who you have a financial connection with. As well as banks and building societies, these could be utility companies, mobile phone operators, social housing providers, credit card providers and major retailers.

It is possible that the data held on you by the three main agencies is slightly different. This can have an impact on your credit application.

Information held about you is bound by the terms of the Data Protection Act. This means you must give your permission for someone to access information about you. They are also used to combat money laundering and help in the recovery of debts.

Their data is consulted by government bodies to check entitlement to certain benefits and to recover unpaid taxes and other such money owed. Lenders should share their information with all 3 credit reference agencies. You might find that the data held on you by the 3 main agencies is slightly different. Some financial institutions use one agency whilst others use 2 or might even consult all three.

This is worth knowing before you apply for new credit. Experian uses a scoring system of ; Equifax have a scale that goes from while Callcredit scores range from This means that you should pay less attention to the number itself and more to where it falls within the range. Another thing to bear in mind is that CRAs have no personal axe to grind.

They never recommend whether a credit provider should lend you money and nor do they possess a blacklist. This is called a footprint. Even if you are not currently applying for credit, you should do so to ensure the information we have is accurate. You can find more information about which credit report is most suitable for you in our consumer help section.

A financial disassociation is a method of removing a financial connection between yourself and any other people showing as financially connected with you on your personal credit report. What is a Credit Reference Agency? How many credit reference agencies are there? Why do we have credit reference agencies? Do credit reference agencies make lending decisions?

What information do credit reference agencies hold? Credit reference agencies hold personal information and details about your financial history. You can check your credit report in two ways: Download a disassociation form A financial disassociation is a method of removing a financial connection between yourself and any other people showing as financially connected with you on your personal credit report.

Your credit report is compiled by companies known as credit reference agencies (CRAs). There are 3 CRAs in the UK – Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. These CRAs are the companies that create, and keep hold of your credit reports. No – credit reference agencies will not decide whether you are to be given credit. That is the lender’s decision. Credit reference agencies are independent organisations that hold the information that lenders use to decide whether you should get credit. There are three main credit reference agencies compiling info on us: Equifax, Experian and Callcredit. Apply for credit and lenders will ask one, two or all three of them for information. This guide shows you which lenders use which agency.