What information doesn’t go on your credit report?

Ever since the financial crisis of 2007, more and more emphasis has been placed on the importance of credit scores. A summation of much of your financial past and present, a credit file can play a major part in whether or not you are considered to be someone who borrows responsibly or someone who is seen as a financial risk.

The right credit score can see you securing a mortgage, taking out a credit card or getting your dream mobile phone contract, yet for something so significant, misconceptions continue to surround what is and isn’t included in your personal file.

All borrowers should be aware that certain personal details will never be included on a credit score and, as such, will have no impact on your ability or inability to apply for a loan in any capacity. For example, credit agencies are not interested in your religion, your ethnicity or your political beliefs. But there are more widespread credit myths to be debunked in order to get a real understanding of what your score really says about you.

Can previous occupants of my current address impact on my credit score?

It is a common belief that credit scores can be damaged simply because there are unpaid debts registered at your address, but this is untrue. Even if the previous inhabitant of your home was deeply in debt, this cannot impact negatively on you. Indeed, credit agencies track your financial history through your name and not your address, so rest assured that past occupants will be considered entirely separately when it comes to lending decisions.

Can co-habitants’ poor credit impact on me?

Some people are under the impression that simply living with someone who has poor credit can lead to them being looked upon unfavourably by lenders. This is only true in certain circumstances – for example, when a joint mortgage is registered in more than one name or utility bills have more than one name on them. This does create a link for credit agencies, but simply living with someone whose credit is less than glowing cannot reflect badly on you.

Will my criminal record show on my credit file?

Past criminal convictions do not routinely show up on credit files. After all, they are a reflection of your financial capabilities and nothing else. However, it is worth noting that in cases where criminal activity is directly linked to your finances, it could end up contributing to a credit score. For example, convictions for fraud may be noted as a warning to lenders. Furthermore, if a crime leads to a custodial sentence, the potential for bankruptcy, unpaid debts and registered County Court Judgements does become a real possibility.

Do parking fines and council tax arrears appear on my credit file?

More and more of us are falling foul of both parking fines and missed council tax payments – the former as the goalposts keep changing, and the latter as prices continue to rise year on year. As serious as both can be, neither will automatically appear on a credit report, and thus they cannot immediately impact on your ability to borrow. Remember that credit scores really focus on what is seen as consumer debt (where you have borrowed a set amount and agreed to pay it back or you have signed up to a contract in order to receive a service), and neither council tax or parking fines fall into this category.

Are details of my medical background reported on my credit score?

Your medical details are personal to you and should remain so. Therefore they do not appear on a routine credit score. However, missed payments do, so even if a medical problem has been the cause of these, your credit file will continue to record them. It is worth noting, however, that credit scores are not the be all and end all for lenders universally, so do not let medical setbacks deter you from seeking borrowing when it is required.

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