Consumers now have a statutory right to access a copy of their credit report online for a nominal fee of only £2 from all three major UK credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit. Previously, statutory credit reports for £2 were only available by post, which could take seven days to arrive.
Credit reports allow consumers to monitor their financial commitments by viewing, for example, what credit commitments they have outstanding and any late payments they have made. It is important as the information held on their credit reports may affect their ability to access further credit or get the best deals in the future.
Commenting on the new online access, Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of consumer advocacy group Which? said: "This should provide a quicker and more convenient access for consumers to their credit file, and could encourage more people to check their file more regularly. This is a welcome initiative in the battle against ID fraud and the elimination of faulty data."
A Consumer White Paper published in July 2009 by the previous government committed to working with the credit reference agencies to improve peoples' access to understanding of their credit reports.
An agreement subsequently reached between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the industry means consumers will now have easier access to their credit reports. Continued free access to credit reports for victims of ID fraud and the financially vulnerable has also been secured.