Facts About Consumers Revealed by New Credit Report
According to Credit Action the national charity for financial education, the level of personal debt in the UK reached an all-time high in 2013 at just over £6,000 per household, and since then the situation has remained concerning.
With an overall uncertain economic outlook, companies that extend credit to consumers have a greater need than ever for credit checks to ensure that applicants won’t default on their payments.
Companies also increasingly hire the services of specialised companies to screen candidates. A number of studies having shown that between 30 and 60% of employees are untruthful when applying for a job, it certainly isn’t unwarranted.
For banks or any business handling money, the financial history and honesty of their employees is paramount, and a full background check is more than advisable. But those checks are not limited to the financial sector, as high executives across all types of industries may also come under scrutiny, due to their access to sensitive data and their decision- making powers.
Credit checks are also vital to letting agencies when vetting potential tenants as evicting them, should they not pay their rent, is a long and costly process, in which the landlords don’t recover unpaid rents in any case.
This is where the service from ConsumerCheck can assist you - an easy, low-cost service for checking credit status. There is no requirement for a lengthy subscription, users can ‘pay as you go’ or buy economic packages for carrying out regular credit checks on a larger scale.
The information featuring on credit reports come from various official sources such as the Electoral Roll, County Court Judgments, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and GAIN (Gone Away Information Network), which provides information on individuals with outstanding debts who have moved away without leaving a forwarding address.
It is important to note that credit checks are strictly regulated not to infringe civil liberties and they will not give you any private information about the person you are checking, they will merely give you a picture of their credit worthiness and their financial history. By law, credit reports can only be conducted based on the information provided by the client placing the order, and the agency can only return results obtained from the search criteria provided by the client.
ConsumerCheck’s credit reports are divided into 6 sections for easier access to information.
This page will give you an overview of the person you are checking, such as their full name and address. It will also show a summary of their financial situation, such as whether there are any CCJs (County Court Judgments) recorded against them, or bankruptcy and insolvency.
This section shows how long the consumer has been living at their current address if they are on the Electoral Roll, and how long they have been living at previous addresses if relevant. While moving on a regular basis isn’t necessarily an indication of credit unworthiness, moving too frequently can be a sign of financial instability. Living in the same place for a number of years, and being registered on the Electoral Roll generally means that the person being checked is less likely to disappear.
This page gives you the credit ranking of the consumer, assessed from very low to highest risk, and divided into 10 bands. These bands are meant as a guideline, and what is seen as “normal”, i.e. an acceptable level of risk, will depend on the purposes of the credit check and your own criteria.
CCJs (County Court Judgments) and Insolvency
This information is probably some of the most important data when carrying out a credit check. It will show you the details of any case recorded against a consumer, not only the date(s) of the judgement, but also the amount which was defaulted on.
This page will tell you how many times the individual’s credit worthiness was checked, which could be concerning if this figure is high, and reveal applications to other forms of credit.
This section confirms your search criteria so that you can see on which basis results are returned.
With a credit report, you will be well equipped to decide whether to accept someone as a tenant or hire them, at a minimal cost.