How to save money on credit reports
Published: 1 May 2008
By Peter Thompson 1 Comment
Updated: 3 April 2009
With debt problems mounting in the UK and identity theft on the increase, it is sensible to check your credit report occasionally to ensure that it is accurate.
We’ll show you how to save money on obtaining your credit report in this article.
You have probably seen all the adverts on various web sites and on TV that persuade you to get a free online credit report.
This can be a good idea. You do need to provide your credit card details and register for a monthly subscription to receive your free credit report.
Experian, trading as Credit Expert, for example, charges you a monthly fee for your membership, once your free 30 day trial ends. This is a recurring charge on your credit card until you cancel your membership with Experian.
Benefits of monthly membership
There are undoubted benefits of monthly membership to the Credit Expert services.
You can receive text and email alerts when a new record is added to your credit file and there is a service to help alert you to possible instances of id fraud.
You can also access your credit report online whenever you wish.
There are a number of reasons why you could benefit form regularly checking your credit report.
These are sensible and important benefits, however you need to assess whether you need them on a monthly basis.
You can also receive your Statutory Credit Report for only £2, perhaps a fact that Experian and Equifax are reluctant to tell you.
Your credit report for only £2
By law you are entitled to receive your latest credit report whenever you want it at a cost of only £2. Credit reference companies such as Equifax and Experian are duty bound by the Data Protection Act to provide your latest report to you for this cost and within 7 working days.
It is difficult to find how to order your Statutory Credit Report for only £2 on the Experian web site, however this link will take you straight to the correct page.
Alternatively you can order a Statutory Credit Report from Equifax for only £2 too.
Is a Statutory Credit Report good enough?
At the end of the day the choice is yours.
The upside is in terms of cash paid it is cheaper and the Statutory Credit Report gives you the information you need.
The downside is you do have to fill in a form each time and send it off to the credit reference agency with your money as a cheque or postal order. You then have to wait up to seven days from when the agency receives your application to get the returned credit report.
Signing up to one of the credit refernce agency services is more costly but monitoring your credit report is likely to be easier.
At the end of the day the choice is yours. It could be worth trying the free credit report service available from the likes of Experian to make your decision easier?