Checkmyfile Explained

illustration of Checkmyfile Explained

With other credit checker agencies, you’ll see a limited view of your credit history and your overall score. With checkmyfile, you can see data from four of the major UK credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax, TransUnion and Crediva. 

That makes it the most thorough and trusted credit report available for UK residents. Plus, you can get it for free for the first 30 days with a trial (usually £14.99 a month). 

When it comes to having credit issues, it’s always best to face them head on. The first step towards that is to get an accurate, up-to-date and thorough look at your credit history and credit score. 

This Guide will answer any questions you have about checkmyfile and getting your credit in order.

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What is checkmyfile?

Understanding your credit history and what's affecting your credit score is essential if you want to start improving your your score. The world of credit can be confusing, as your score will differ depending on which credit reference agency you look at.

There's a few different credit reference agencies in the UK. The main ones are: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Some banks also offer their customers a free credit checking service. 

But each of these different credit reference agencies contain different information about you, and work out your score differently. For example, Experian’s credit score range is 0-999, but TransUnion’s credit score range is between 0-710. Because the agencies have different score ranges, it can be difficult to work out what’s a universally 'good' score and what’s a 'bad' score. 

checkmyfile gives you a complete report from across all the different agencies. When lenders are deciding whether to lend to you, they refer to different credit agencies to run their checks - checkmyfile gathers data across all these agencies and combines them into one easy report. That makes your checkmyfile report the most thorough way to see an overview of your credit history and work out how to improve it if you need to. 

Read our Guide to finding and understanding your credit score: How to find out your credit score.

With checkmyfile you can:

  • Check your thorough credit history as reported to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion as well as public data from Crediva

  • See the types of credit you have in one place – from your electric bill to your mortgage

  • See if you have any court records on your credit file e.g. insolvencies, bankruptcies or court judgements

  • Check for identity fraud – you can see if any of the credit referencing agencies have placed a warning for you that your identity may have been wrongfully used

  • See if you’re correctly registered on the electoral roll

  • View up to 6 years' history of your repayment performance

  • See who is financially linked to you e.g. people you share any kind of credit accounts with

  • Spot differences in what's been reported by the main credit reference agencies

  • Identify the accounts that are negatively impacting your score, and take steps to minimise the impact

What is checkmyfile for?

As well as giving you an overview and thorough view of your credit history, checkmyfile means you can check the important information lenders use to make a decision when you’re applying for a mortgage. 

When you register for an account, you can log in at any time to track how your checkmyfile credit score changes on a month by month basis. Plus, you can get advice from their credit analysts on how to improve and maintain your credit score.

How to use checkmyfile

checkmyfile is super easy to use. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to use their service from the browser on your computer or phone:

  1. Sign up: Go to checkmyfile and register for your free 30 day trial by entering your personal information and card details (you won’t be charged unless you don’t cancel after your 30 day free trial).

  2. Download your first checkmyfile credit report: After registering, you’ll be able to download your report as a PDF document. To do this, click ‘Download Printable Report’ at the very bottom of your online report. The password to access the PDF credit report is the 6-digit format of your date of birth. Your report will show you detailed information about your credit repayment history and other information like your electoral roll status, financial associations, and any court records (CCJs, insolvencies, etc). 

  3. How to see your checkmyfile score: After you view or download your credit report, your checkmyfile credit score will be clearly visible at the top of your report. 

  4. To update your checkmyfile credit report: checkmyfile reports update once a month. When your report is due to be updated, a pink banner will appear at the top of your online report – click the pink banner to view the latest information held about you by each of the agencies.

How does checkmyfile work out my credit score?

checkmyfile has its own unique scorecard used to work out your checkmyfile credit score. All credit reference agencies and lenders have their own unique scorecard that they use to calculate your credit score.

There isn’t a universal scorecard that all credit agencies use. While they're all built on the same principles, it isn’t possible to directly compare scores between agencies.

checkmyfile calculates your unique credit score based on the information provided by the four credit reference agencies. Your checkmyfile score represents how a lender might view you based on the information reported by the four agencies. Any adverse information reported by just one of the credit reference agencies will have an impact on your overall checkmyfile score.

How much is checkmyfile?

If you’re looking to check your complete credit history and see what a mortgage lender - or any other kind of credit lender - will see when they research your credit history for free, checkmyfile is a good option.

checkmyfile is free for the first 30 days, then it's £14.99 a month if you want to track your progress and see any month-to-month changes. There's loads of other benefits like tips on how to improve your credit score. You can cancel at any time.

How to cancel checkmyfile

checkmyfile offers a free 30 day trial of their platform - after that it’s £14.99 monthly. When you register for an account, you’ll have to put your card details in but won’t pay until your 30 day free trial runs out. 

You can cancel your checkmyfile account online, anytime. Here’s how:

  1. Log into your checkmyfile account and click on 'Expert Help' 

  2. Click 'I need help with my account'

  3. Then click 'I'd like to stop my subscription'

You can also cancel by emailing [email protected] or calling 0800 086 9360 (phone lines are open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays). 

Does using checkmyfile affect your credit score?

No! Signing up to checkmyfile will leave a search footprint (known as a 'soft search') on your credit report, but these footprints can’t be seen by lenders and don’t have an effect on your credit score.

What is a soft credit search?

A soft search happens whenever you or a lender takes a general look into your credit history. When you have an account with a mortgage lender, a credit card company or any other kind of creditor, they’ll do a soft search on you to pre-approve your payment every time you’re due to pay back your credit. When this happens, it doesn’t affect your credit score, but the fact that they checked will come up on your file (but other lenders won't be able to see). Soft searches happen when you check your own credit history and score with checkmyfile, or any other credit reference agency.

What is a hard credit search?

The opposite of a ‘soft search’ is a ‘hard search’. That’s when you apply for credit from a new creditor and they do a credit check on you to check they’re happy to lend to you. A hard check will only ever happen if you’re making a new application, and the creditor will always have to ask your permission first before they do a hard search. 

A hard search on your credit file is visible for two years. Too many hard searches in a short time period can affect your credit score because it implies to creditors that you might be opening multiple new credit accounts and relying too much on borrowing. Lenders don’t tend to like that because it can indicate you might end up owing money to many lenders on a monthly basis, and could struggle to pay it all back. They could then worry that you'll struggle to pay them back if they approve your application.

Is checkmyfile worth paying for?

If you want a one-off report, you can register for checkmyfile and generate a free online credit report. You can cancel at any time if you don't want to continue.  

If you’re wanting to monitor your credit and track your progress towards a better credit score, it could be worth £14.99 a month to keep your account active so you can log in regularly. Bear in mind that subscriptions can be easily cancelled and reactivated at any time.

If you want the most up-to-date and thorough credit checker in the UK, a subscription to checkmyfile could well be worth it. It’s especially useful if:

  • You want to apply for a mortgage, but you’re worried your credit history and score will make it difficult for you. Creating an account and keeping your subscription is 100% worth it if you want to keep an eye on your credit status and how you’ll appear to lenders. For more info on improving your credit score before you get a mortgage, read our Guide: How to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage. 

  • You’re struggling with credit issues, or have in the past. To make a positive difference to your credit score, you firstly need to get a thorough view of everything that affects it, and how the different credit referencing agencies score you. checkmyfile gives the most thorough overview, and also shows you all the info each different credit referencing agency uses to determine your score. 

How does checkmyfile compare to other credit agencies in the UK?

checkmyfile is different to other credit checkers because it shows you the entire set of information and scores from four separate agencies, rather than just one. 

Each credit checking agency has their own way of scoring you based on the information they have. checkmyfile is the only multi-agency credit report – which means it shows you what information all the major credit reference agencies have about you in one place. 

This table shows you how Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (the three main UK credit reference agencies) rank credit scores:

Experian Equifax TransUnion
Excellent 961-999 466-700 628-710
Good 881-960 420-465 604-627
Fair 721-880 380-419 566-603
Poor 561-720 280-379 561-565
Very Poor 0-561 0-279 0-550

checkmyfile has its own unique scorecard. They show you info from Experian, Equifax, TransUnion and Crediva, and work out your score based on the information from these four agencies. So you can get the most accurate credit score, and clearest view of your credit history possible.

How often is your credit score updated?

Your credit score is updated every month. Each lender (your bank, your mortgage lender, credit accounts) reports data about their borrowers to the credit reference agencies on a monthly basis according to their own schedules. That means your individual score can change month-to-month based on your recent activity. 

Updated information from one of your creditors or lenders can affect your credit score. Lenders have their own schedules for reporting. They might report to Experian one week, and TransUnion the following week. So exactly when your credit file will be updated depends on their reporting schedules, and when you last updated your checkmyfile report. 

With checkmyfile, you can see the most up-to-date information from the four major credit agencies on the day your checkmyfile report is updated. 

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