Can I check my Experian credit report and score even though my recent previous address is in France?

Dear James,

I am a French citizen but have been living here with my partner for 2.5 years. We have a seven-month-old daughter and will remain in the UK. My partner owns the flat we live in but we want to move and get a mortgage together. I therefore am interested to know my credit score. Is this something I can get being French and living here? If so, what do I put in the "previous address" section of the form?

Nicolas, Harrow

Dear Nicolas,

Yes you can order a credit report and score from us and this would be a great first step for you to take before approaching any mortgage lenders. That way you can identify and take any action necessary to improve your credit history before lenders consult it. A credit score is simply a prediction of how likely it is you will miss future repayments based on the information available. Lenders base their scores on the information on your credit report, your credit application form and any data they already have if there’s an existing relationship. However, because UK lenders can only access UK data and you have only lived here for a few years, you might find that your credit report is a little light at the moment, and this could damage your score. Assuming you have a bank account here and there is an overdraft facility attached to it, you should have some credit history information. Of course, you might have other credit products too. Start by checking your report.  Assuming you opt for the CreditExpert 30-day free trial, once you’ve entered your UK address or addresses simply leave the previous address fields blank. When you get your report you’ll see any credit history information registered about you in the UK plus details from the electoral register. As a European Union citizen you are entitled to register to vote here to enable you to vote in European elections, so if you haven’t registered yet you should contact your local council straight away. This is important because UK lenders use this information to help check your name and address and, as a result, not being registered can affect your credit score. Talking of scores, a good way to see how your credit report shapes up is to order your Experian Credit Score, which is a numerical rating between 0 and 999. The higher your score, the more attractive your credit report is likely to be to a prospective lender. You’ll also get tips on improving your score in the future, which you might find particularly helpful. You can find more details about the Experian Credit Score here. Good luck. (November 2012)

James
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