Your credit file and credit report are very significant when looking for a mortgage. Having a poor credit score or defaults, CCJS or missed payments on your credit file could make it harder for you to get a mortgage offer. This means that a lot of people want to check their credit report to get a better understanding of what lenders will be able to see.

Checkmyfile is a service that lets you look at a detailed overview of your whole credit report, using information from 3 of the main UK credit reference agencies. This lets you see more information than just checking the individual agencies.

The more information you have about your credit report, the better prepared you’ll be when looking for a mortgage. Plus, it can help you figure out whether you're likely to need a special adverse credit lender. Knowing more about your credit history can also help you know whether you need the help of a broker with experience in poor credit mortgages.

What Is a Credit Score?

Credit scores are based on previous financial habits and uses of credit products. Your credit rating will increase if you use credit in a responsible way. That means using no more than 60% of your available credit on a regular basis, avoiding maxing out your lines of credit and paying back any repayments on time.

Your credit rating can go down if you miss payments or have defaults registered against you. It’ll also go down if you frequently use over 60% of your available lines of credit.

A credit score is significant as it lets the lender see your financial history at a glance. By looking at this, they’ll be able to judge how risky a borrower is. Having a poor or no credit score can make it harder to get a mortgage as lenders will not have proof that you’re likely to make your monthly repayments properly.

How Does Checkmyfile Work?

Checkmyfile uses information from some of the main UK credit agencies to compile a more comprehensive report which you can access.

Using Checkmyfile is easy. Start by signing up for an account and entering your personal details. This will allow Checkmyfile to find your credit information. After this, you can use your Checkmyfile login details to access your account. From your account, download your report as an easily viewable PDF document.

What Are the Main UK Credit Agencies?

The main UK credit agencies used by Checkmyfile are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. All these agencies will show slightly different credit reports. Credit agencies have various ways of calculating your credit score, along with different rating systems. For example, Experian uses a scale from 0 - 999, while TransUnion uses a rating system from 0 - 710. This can make it rather confusing if you have to try to compare multiple different figures yourself and take differences into account to figure out what lenders will think of your credit report.

How Does My Checkmyfile Score Compare to My Credit Score from These Agencies?

Checkmyfile uses a different scoring system compared to all the individual credit agencies. Rather than simply averaging out the numbers these agencies give you as a credit score, Checkmyfile looks at the information provided to order to give you a score based on how favourably lenders will look at your credit history.

What Is a Good Credit Score on Checkmyfile?

Checkmyfile uses a simply credit score system from 0 – 1000. Generally, the higher your score, the better your credit rating. A higher credit score will also often let you get a better interest rate and a higher LTV is usually available. LTV offers. Of course, this doesn’t mean that having a credit score under 600 for example won’t stop you from getting a mortgage but it can make it harder.

What Does Checkmyfile Show?

When you look at your Checkmyfile credit report you'll see your credit score alongside other information such as any defaults, CCJs, missed payments or other credit history problems. This should help you see which problems could affect your mortgage application and how long ago these problems were registered. This is very important to know as different lenders will consider various credit problems differently. They’ll often consider them differently based on how long ago they occurred. For example, if you have defaulted within the past 3 months, you’ll often struggle to find a lender. On the other hand, if it’s older than 24 months you’ll have more success finding a mortgage.

Checking your credit history can also help you make sure that older issues have been taken off your credit file, since, for example, bad credit events shouldn't show on your credit report 6 years after they’re initially registered.

At a quick glance, some of the things shown by Checkmyfile are:

  • Credit history from the main credit agencies
  • What types of credit you have with different lenders
  • Court records such as insolvencies, bankruptcies, or court judgements
  • Any identity fraud warnings that are placed on your identity
  • Whether or not you are registered on the electoral roll
  • Repayment history for the past six years
  • Other people you are financially linked to with joint accounts
  • Analysis of differences between different credit reports from different agencies
  • Which lines of credit are negatively affecting your credit score

All of this can be useful information when you’re beginning the process of applying for a mortgage, especially if you’re worried about a problem in your credit history.

When Does My Credit Score Get Updated?

Your credit score is updated every month. This is because all lenders report data about their borrowers monthly; this includes information about mortgages, credit cards, car finance, overdrafts, and more. However, different lenders and different credit reporting agencies will update on different days in the month.

Checkmyfile will show you the latest information they have, which will depend on which agencies have updated so far that month. Check back often to see any more recent information that they’ve received. This lets you keep on top of how your credit score is changing, which is particularly useful if you’re trying to build or improve your credit rating.

Does Using Checkmyfile Affect My Credit Score?

Using Checkmyfile will show as a soft credit search on your credit history. This won’t show up when other people look at your credit report, so it won’t affect how likely you’re to get a mortgage offer.

What Is a Soft Credit Check?

A soft credit check is when a lender looks at an overview of your credit history. This also occurs when you view your credit history using any of the major credit agencies or Checkmyfile. Lenders will typically do a soft search of your credit file when you first start applying for a line of credit, during the pre-approval stage. When you’re applying for a mortgage, this will typically happen before the Decision in Principle (DIP). You’ll be able to see a list of soft searches when you check your credit history, but lenders cannot see these. A soft credit check won’t affect your credit score.

What is a Hard Credit Check?

A hard credit search happens when you’re further through the process of applying for a new line of credit, usually during the proper application stage. Lenders will have to get your permission when they want to do a hard credit check, though this is usually covered in the contracts they use.

Regardless of what type of credit you’re applying for, a hard credit check will usually take place. This includes mortgages, credit cards, overdrafts, car finance, and more. A hard credit check will stay on your credit record for 2 years and is visible to other lenders. If you have too many hard credit searches in a short time it can be concerning to lenders since it suggests that you’re opening many new lines of credit and might struggle to pay them all back. This could make lenders less likely to offer you a mortgage.

Is Checkmyfile Free?

Checkmyfile usually has a monthly fee of £14.99, which allows you to see your credit report over a long period, which is useful to see how actions are improving your credit history.

If you’re a first-time user of Checkmyfile, there's a 30-day free trial available. This may be sufficient if you want to look at your credit history once in order to be prepared before looking for a mortgage. As long as you don’t make any major changes to your credit use in the time between using Checkmyfile and applying for mortgages, your credit report should not change much. This means that you can realistically see what you need to know during the 30-day free trial.

How to Cancel Checkmyfile

Starting the free trial on Checkmyfile means that you’ll have to input your payment details. If you cancel your subscription during the first 30 days, you won't be charged. If you don’t cancel your free trial before the end of the 30 days, you’ll be charged £14.99 for your monthly subscription. You can also cancel at any other time to make sure that you no longer pay for the service.

Cancel Checkmyfile by following these steps:

  1. Log on to your Checkmyfile account
  2. Select "Expert help"
  3. Select "I need help with my account"
  4. Then find "I'd like to stop my subscription"

If you have any trouble cancelling your account, contact the Checkmyfile customer support team through their online or phone contact details.

Free Alternatives to Checkmyfile

If you’d rather not pay for the long-term use of a service like Checkmyfile, you can still look at some of the major credit agencies for information. Agencies such as Experian and TransUnion are free to use. However, these only give you a rough overview of your credit rating. You’ll usually see your credit score, a list of searches and some information on what you can do to improve your score. However, they won’t show information on defaults, missed payments, CCJs or other major issues that could make it harder for you to get a mortgage.

Is Checkmyfile Worth It?

If you want to just check your credit history before applying for a mortgage, the free trial of Checkmyfile can be very helpful. If you have good credit and foresee no issues with applying for a mortgage, you could then cancel the free trial.

However, if you have a poor credit rating and see multiple issues flagged, it could be useful to use a service like Checkmyfile to keep looking at your credit score. Being able to see the impacts of various actions will help you know when you can apply for a mortgage, and it can be very motivating to see your credit score improve while you work on preparing your finances. Checkmyfile can also flag any particularly difficult circumstances where it might be vital to find a broker for your mortgage application.

Will a Poor Credit History Stop Me from Getting a Mortgage?

Yes, having poor credit can make it harder to get approval for a mortgage. This is because lenders will want to know that you’re not high-risk. Lenders prefer borrowers who have evidence of paying back their debts on time and in full.

However, even if you have poor credit there are still ways that you can get a mortgage. If you have significant poor credit issues currently or in the past, you might need to use a specialist adverse credit lender. These lenders are more likely to accept people with bad credit, but there are some downsides to using lenders like these.

For example, a poor credit mortgage will often come with terms, including:

  • Interest Rates
    You’ll usually have a higher interest rate if you have poor credit.
  • Deposit
    Most lenders may have a higher deposit requirement if you have bad credit. For example, most lenders will offer mortgages of up to 95% to borrowers with good credit, meaning they’d only have to pay a 5% deposit. Adverse credit mortgages can have deposit requirements of 10% - 25% as the minimum.
  • Speciality Mortgages Are Less Common - Adverse credit lenders are less likely to offer mortgages on unusual properties such as non-standard construction houses, ex-council houses, high-rise flats, or shared ownership properties, due to the higher risk presented by these.

This means that even if you can get a mortgage with a poor credit score, you might want to improve your credit score to give yourself more mortgage options.

Checkmyfile - Roundup

Checkmyfile is a service that looks at information from 3 of the main credit agencies in the UK and presents details that could help you assess your likelihood of getting a mortgage. The 30 day free trial is highly recommended for anyone who wants to look at their credit history before applying for a mortgage. Paying for the monthly subscription to the service is a great option if you want to track your progress of building a healthy credit score.

If you think your credit history might make it hard for you to get a mortgage, consider using a broker. Here at John Charcol, we have experience helping people get great mortgage deals despite adverse credit. Our team of experts is always ready to help. Get in touch to see how we can handle your case.

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