Obtaining your statutory report from Experian
Experian is the largest of the credit reference agencies and as such is used by the majority of banks and building societies when assessing credit. Experian have in recent years expanded into providing information on individuals’ credit reports to consumers – not only do they share information with lenders for a fee but they offer paid for services to the people who the information is about!
Note: You can also request a statutory report from Equifax and CallCredit. Many lenders share information with all credit reference agencies, but some do not – so it is possible that information will show up on your Equifax report that won’t show on your Experian report and vice versa.
There are two main ways of obtaining your credit information from Experian. The first is to join their CreditExpert service, which although free for the first month will cost you around £8 a month for subsequent months (£96 a year).
The second is to send for your Experian statutory report, which contains the same credit report information, for a one-off fee of £2. You can do this as often as you need to – you could even send for it every month.
As you can imagine, we’d recommend you pay the one-off £2 charge direct to Experian rather than join the subscription service.
Your statutory credit report details your credit history. It contains all the public and private information recorded in your name and available to lenders carrying out a credit check through Experian. The statutory report contains all the information Experian hold on you, it just lacks the additional presentation of the CreditExpert service.
You can now obtain the statutory report online by visiting http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/statutory-report.html. Alternatively, you can send a written request, along with a cheque or postal order made payable to Experian Limited for £2 to:
Experian Credit Report Services
PO Box 1135,
WA55 1 EP
We’d recommend you download and print Experian credit report request form to make the process easier.
What additional benefits do I get from the CreditExpert service?
First off, we do not recommend the CreditExpert service, nor are we affiliated with it. Actually, we discourage people from joining not because we think it’s particularly bad but because we think £15 a month is a high price for consumers to pay for a service that provides information that they could probably gain from elsewhere anyway. In addition, we believe that the ‘Experian CreditExpert Credit Score’ is actually quite unhelpful as it often complete different to the actual credit score a customer gets when applying to a lender. It encourages the view that a ‘credit score’ is universal and will have some sort of validity or acceptance whenever you apply for credit, which is not the case.
However, the benefits of services such as CreditExpert are;
The report can be viewed instantly, so long as Experian can validate your identity online.
Experian’s site provides hints and tips on what might improve your credit score (though we believe we provide similar helpful information here… and of course don’t charge for it!)