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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Alana
    Question of the week: Credit reference agencies
    • #1
    • 28th Jul 09, 7:19 PM
    Question of the week: Credit reference agencies 28th Jul 09 at 7:19 PM
    Q. How can credit reference agencies justify their £60-£70 annual fee for credit reports when they are available for £2 a time? Nic, by email.

    Martin's A. They don't have to justify it, they're commercial companies and it makes them money. Experian and Equifax compile credit files, so lenders can assess whether to loan out money to us. You have a statutory right to see a paper copy for £2, but the agencies spotted a lucrative market, selling 'credit monitoring services' for up to £70 a year.

    These are often unnecessary, and prey on our fear of being 'blacklisted', worse at some entry points their sites just say "free credit report" without obviously explaining you need set up a direct debit and the cost if you don't cancel.

    Yet on the bright side, it does leave open a loophole to get an online version of your credit rating for free. Sign up for the free 30 days trials on offer, then cancel before this time is up to avoid paying a penny, full details of how to cancel are in the Credit Rating guide.




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    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 28-07-2009 at 7:35 PM.
Page 1
    • duggie1982
    • By duggie1982 28th Jul 09, 9:27 PM
    • 699 Posts
    • 362 Thanks
    duggie1982
    • #2
    • 28th Jul 09, 9:27 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Jul 09, 9:27 PM
    Nice one. As a business, why not.

    Only costs McDonalds a few pence to make a Big Mac Meal but goes for about £3-£4 a go.

    We are all here to make money.
  • CannyJock
    • #3
    • 28th Jul 09, 10:05 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Jul 09, 10:05 PM
    As a full-time stoozer, I consider the £6.99 for Experian each month to be an acceptable business expense Lets me check what's on file whenever I feel like it to time new applications, confirm card closures.
    "A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five." - Groucho Marx
  • jones_london
    • #4
    • 28th Jul 09, 10:51 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Jul 09, 10:51 PM
    I chased up flybe earlier regarding the outcome of an application I made last week. They said I was declined because they couldnt verify where I lived (despite living here for 4 years and being on the electrol register)...They use Equifax for searches (ive never checked my report with them, only Experian)..So I got flybe to check my Experian report (which i know is correct) and they accepted me for a card - Yay !! I guess my lesson is to check all agency reports.
    • iceage3
    • By iceage3 29th Jul 09, 7:30 AM
    • 234 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    iceage3
    • #5
    • 29th Jul 09, 7:30 AM
    • #5
    • 29th Jul 09, 7:30 AM
    hello

    i am with experian and want to cancel.i have noticed there is a lot of free credit reports online now ,as soon as u put in email address the next page is payment page.
    is there any out there without going through this?ie free
  • CannyJock
    • #6
    • 29th Jul 09, 8:18 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Jul 09, 8:18 AM
    hello

    i am with experian and want to cancel.i have noticed there is a lot of free credit reports online now ,as soon as u put in email address the next page is payment page.
    is there any out there without going through this?ie free
    Originally posted by iceage3

    From their FAQ:

    If you would still like to cancel your Credit Expert membership you can do so by contacting our team on free phone 0800 656 9000 and selecting option 4.
    "A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five." - Groucho Marx
    • Joe_Bloggs
    • By Joe_Bloggs 29th Jul 09, 8:39 AM
    • 4,493 Posts
    • 1,583 Thanks
    Joe_Bloggs
    • #7
    • 29th Jul 09, 8:39 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Jul 09, 8:39 AM
    Why not just apply to the credit reference agencies for a loan, credit card or Mortgage ? These reference agencies could use their experience of lenders to advise which credit to apply for. The potential lenders were going to consult the credit reference agencies anyway. This would minimise the possibility of refused credit damaging a credit report. Some may think that this idea is far fetched however lowermybills from Experian has been going ten years.
    J_B.
  • lovemoneyhoney
    • #8
    • 29th Jul 09, 8:41 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Jul 09, 8:41 PM
    You can buy ID protection for cheaper than it would cost you to view your credit reports online and you get the same unlimited online access to your credit reports through Experian, Alerts to your mobile or email if you have any significant changes to your credit report (save you checking it!), Garlik Data Patrol - searches the web for your details and sends you a weekly report to show you which websites hold any of the personal details you ask it to seach for. You also get an advice line with a caseworker who helps you to clear your name if you become a victim and £60000 of insurance cover to help cover legal fees and any other fees associated with clearing your name. It also includes £200 of cover to relace your Passport or Driving Licence if you lose it or have it stolen plus a few other benefits...........
    I have this cover through CPP and it only cost £69.99. Have used the credit reports and claimed for a new passport when i lost mine - no problem.
  • PNPSUKNET
    • #9
    • 29th Jul 09, 9:07 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Jul 09, 9:07 PM
    Newbe spam


    You can buy ID protection for cheaper than it would cost you to view your credit reports online and you get the same unlimited online access to your credit reports through Experian, Alerts to your mobile or email if you have any significant changes to your credit report (save you checking it!), Garlik Data Patrol - searches the web for your details and sends you a weekly report to show you which websites hold any of the personal details you ask it to seach for. You also get an advice line with a caseworker who helps you to clear your name if you become a victim and £60000 of insurance cover to help cover legal fees and any other fees associated with clearing your name. It also includes £200 of cover to relace your Passport or Driving Licence if you lose it or have it stolen plus a few other benefits...........
    I have this cover through CPP and it only cost £69.99. Have used the credit reports and claimed for a new passport when i lost mine - no problem.
    Originally posted by lovemoneyhoney
  • never-in-doubt
    Cheapest option is to do what I do and have a subscription to the statutory report so on the 20th of each month, Experian & Equifax send my latest file. I simply wrote in requesting it with payment of £24 each.

    Obviously means I only get monthly reports but that is fine for my purpose and a lot cheaper....
    • PROLIANT
    • By PROLIANT 30th Jul 09, 7:22 AM
    • 6,045 Posts
    • 5,599 Thanks
    PROLIANT
    It is called "convenience"; you pay £2 for a paper based report which takes time to arrive, people do not want to wait - they want it yesterday, that is the culture we live in today, for example, you cant be chewed traveling 1 mile on the bus or on foot to the supermarket for a few odds n sods so instead you use Mr. Sings convenience shop on the corner of your street, you pay more for the items but you don’t care you got them quicker and with less effort - ergo you go online and enter some information and there you go, all of your credit information in front of you on your computer telly.

    Simple, there is a market for this and people want to pay for it, although the whiners come on here crying they have been scammed once they realise that there ignorance of the terms and conditions or there laziness by not canceling the free trial period has caught up with them - what do you know, they are a "victim".

    Sad.
    Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.
    • CLAPTON
    • By CLAPTON 30th Jul 09, 8:13 AM
    • 41,650 Posts
    • 30,691 Thanks
    CLAPTON
    It is called "convenience"; you pay £2 for a paper based report which takes time to arrive, people do not want to wait - they want it yesterday, that is the culture we live in today, for example, you cant be chewed traveling 1 mile on the bus or on foot to the supermarket for a few odds n sods so instead you use Mr. Sings convenience shop on the corner of your street, you pay more for the items but you donít care you got them quicker and with less effort - ergo you go online and enter some information and there you go, all of your credit information in front of you on your computer telly.

    Simple, there is a market for this and people want to pay for it, although the whiners come on here crying they have been scammed once they realise that there ignorance of the terms and conditions or there laziness by not canceling the free trial period has caught up with them - what do you know, they are a "victim".

    Sad.
    Originally posted by PROLIANT

    These companies aren't simply normal companies like a supermarkets which I can choose to use or not.

    They have special privileges given by statute .. so they have access to Electoral roll information, are given information about credit applications.

    In practice it's virtually impossible to live a normal life without being involved with these companies.

    So no I don't think it whining to except that such a privileged set of companies should provide online access at a government controlled price of £2 per access; in fact a reasonable case can be made that in return for their statute controlled near monopoly, that online acess should be free to normal consumers.
    • PROLIANT
    • By PROLIANT 30th Jul 09, 8:34 AM
    • 6,045 Posts
    • 5,599 Thanks
    PROLIANT
    These companies aren't simply normal companies like a supermarkets which I can choose to use or not.
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    You can choose whether you use them or not. Experian, Equifax and Call Credit Check are not holding a gun to our heads.

    They have special privileges given by statute .. so they have access to Electoral roll information, are given information about credit applications.
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    Of course they do, they are in business of information.

    In practice it's virtually impossible to live a normal life without being involved with these companies.
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    It is not mandatory to check your credit files every Day/Week/Month, why not just order your file via the post for £2?

    So no I don't think it whining to except that such a privileged set of companies should provide online access at a government controlled price of £2 per access; in fact a reasonable case can be made that in return for their statute controlled near monopoly, that online acess should be free to normal consumers.
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    I agree that the price should be reduced to say £3 or £4 per month with an easy option to cancel the CPA from your account, if people were so effected by the fee charged by the CRA's, then why do they pay it and not do it the old fashioned way by paying a couple of quid via the Great British postal service?.....Because they want it now, not tomorrow, not next week.
    I also think that the cost of producing a paper-based credit report is greater than that of querying a database through a web user interface, the charges levied by the CRA's will eventually come down once the "trend" and the "gimmick" of fancy colourful credit reports and ID Theft protection services simmers down, people will buy fewer subscriptions there data services and the CRA's will therefore reduce the subscription fee to drive more custom back to the website.

    My point being in my first post is that the services provided by these companies ARE a convenience and we as adult's make our own choices to decide which service you want to pay for - the fast service or the standard service, all companies have a sliding scale for their products and services, you want faster, better, full-fat you will pay more where ever you go in life be it a Credit Reference Agency or a Supermarket.

    Regards
    Last edited by PROLIANT; 30-07-2009 at 8:44 AM.
    Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.
  • Windscreen Viper
    People ought to be aware also that the "free 30 days" offer is limited to once only.

    I checked mine for 30 days with Experian about 5 years ago and now of course I can only get the report again if I sign up and pay each month - fair enough I suppose, but just letting other folks know......
    • CLAPTON
    • By CLAPTON 30th Jul 09, 8:45 AM
    • 41,650 Posts
    • 30,691 Thanks
    CLAPTON
    You can choose whether you use them or not. Experian, Equifax and Call Credit Check are not holding a gun to our heads.



    Of course they do, they are in business of information.



    It is not mandatory to check your credit files every Day/Week/Month, why not just order your file via the post for £2?



    I agree that the price should be reduced to say £3 or £4 per month with an easy option to cancel the CPA from your account, if people were so effected by the fee charged by the CRA's, then why do they pay it and not do it the old fashioned way by paying a couple of quid via the Great British postal service?.....Because they want it now, not tomorrow, not next week.
    I also think that the cost of producing a paper-based credit report is greater than that of querying a database through a web user interface, the charges levied by the CRA's will eventually come down once the "trend" and the "gimmick" of fancy colourful credit reports and ID Theft protection services simmers down, people will buy fewer subscriptions there data services and the CRA's will therefore reduce the subscription fee to drive more custom back to the website.

    My point being in my first post is that the services provided by these companies ARE a convenience and you as an adult make your own choices to decide which service you want to pay for - the fast service or the standard service, all companies have a sliding scale for their products and services, you want faster, better, full-fat you will pay more where ever you go in life be it a Credit Reference Agency or a Supermarket.

    Regards
    Originally posted by PROLIANT

    Are you saying I can choose for them NOT to hold my electoral roll details?

    Are you saying I can obtain credit without allowing access to their systems?

    Are you saying I can refuse a CIFAS mark if I like?

    These are government supported tri-opolies with licenses to print money and as such their charges to the general public should be limited by statute.

    Free online access to the general public, in exchange from their monopolistic cash generating power is a very reasonable requirement.

    If we had a FSA that looked after comsumers' interests then this would have happened years ago. .. as indeed would a whole load of other requirements on their activities too.
    • PROLIANT
    • By PROLIANT 30th Jul 09, 8:56 AM
    • 6,045 Posts
    • 5,599 Thanks
    PROLIANT
    Are you saying I can choose for them NOT to hold my electoral roll details?
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    Yes - Remove your name from the electoral database.

    Are you saying I can obtain credit without allowing access to their systems?
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    No, any finacial services business worth their salt should have access to your finacial history so they know who they are dealing with so they can assess "risk" to their business.

    Are you saying I can refuse a CIFAS mark if I like?
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    No, if you fudge your credit application or commit financial type fraud then you should be "marked" or "flagged" and made known to the world as a dodgy character, not saying you are Clapton but just as an example.

    These are government supported tri-opolies with licenses to print money and as such their charges to the general public should be limited by statute.
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    Controlled yes, please read the final statement in my previous post.

    Free online access to the general public, in exchange from their monopolistic cash generating power is a very reasonable requirement.
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    Free would be nice but it will never happen, something else will go up in price to compensate.


    If we had a FSA that looked after comsumers' interests then this would have happened years ago. .. as indeed would a whole load of other requirements on their activities too.
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    FSA? Soon to be de-commissioned and sent the scrap yard, not before time, control to be passed back to the Bank of England.
    Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.
    • CLAPTON
    • By CLAPTON 30th Jul 09, 9:02 AM
    • 41,650 Posts
    • 30,691 Thanks
    CLAPTON
    Yes - Remove your name from the electoral database.



    No, any finacial services business worth their salt should have access to your finacial history so they know who they are dealing with so they can assess "risk" to their business.



    No, if you fudge your credit application or commit financial type fraud then you should be "marked" or "flagged" and made known to the world as a dodgy character, not saying you are Clapton but just as an example.



    Controlled yes, please read the final statement in my previous post.



    Free would be nice but it will never happen, something else will go up in price to compensate.




    FSA? Soon to be de-commissioned and sent the scrap yard, not before time, control to be passed back to the Bank of England.
    Originally posted by PROLIANT

    I can't legally remove my name from the electoral roll.

    I can't realistically live a normal life without having my details on these DBases.

    The Conservative have indeed said they will transfer the banking regulatory role to the BoE but have promised to set a consumer orientated body as well... maybe they will take on board the monopolistic power of the CRAs and at a very minimum provide cheap online access. (although I doubt it).
    • PROLIANT
    • By PROLIANT 30th Jul 09, 9:06 AM
    • 6,045 Posts
    • 5,599 Thanks
    PROLIANT
    I can't legally remove my name from the electoral roll.
    Originally posted by CLAPTON
    Really? I was not aware of this, I have done this myself in the past, some years ago now however once the slip came through the door I done the business.
    How naughty of me.
    Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.
    • CLAPTON
    • By CLAPTON 30th Jul 09, 9:34 AM
    • 41,650 Posts
    • 30,691 Thanks
    CLAPTON
    Really? I was not aware of this, I have done this myself in the past, some years ago now however once the slip came through the door I done the business.
    How naughty of me.
    Originally posted by PROLIANT

    Indeed, it is a legal requirement to be on the electorl roll if you are eligible.

    You can opt not to be on the 'edited' version of the roll but the full version is sent to the CRAs whether you like it or not.
  • never-in-doubt
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CLAPTON
    Are you saying I can choose for them NOT to hold my electoral roll details?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PROLIANT
    Yes - Remove your name from the electoral database.

    Not possible, you have to be on the e/r - only the edited version allows exemption.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CLAPTON
    Are you saying I can obtain credit without allowing access to their systems?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PROLIANT
    No, any finacial services business worth their salt should have access to your finacial history so they know who they are dealing with so they can assess "risk" to their business.

    Disagree, they never used to operate this way and instead used inter-bank sharing and this will come back, before too long. CRA's are a thing of the past, before long they will be like maestro - forgotten to the UK public!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CLAPTON
    Are you saying I can refuse a CIFAS mark if I like?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PROLIANT
    No, if you fudge your credit application or commit financial type fraud then you should be "marked" or "flagged" and made known to the world as a dodgy character, not saying you are Clapton but just as an example.

    Oh right, and CIFAS don't get added by mistake, again lets assume an incorrect entry was linked to you with the CRA's or an ex got into debt or whatever - mistakes do happen and trust me, CIFAS are no better than the CRA's and as such it is not all about financial crime.


    Maybe you forget that CIFAS doesn't classify people, it simply records the data it has and protective registration wouldn't alert me as being a dodgy character so wrong of you to imply everyone that uses CIFAS is 'dodgy' when this is simply not true.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CLAPTON
    These are government supported tri-opolies with licenses to print money and as such their charges to the general public should be limited by statute.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PROLIANT
    Controlled yes, please read the final statement in my previous post.

    Controlled is a loose term, they are out of control lol.... They are governed, not contolled.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CLAPTON
    Free online access to the general public, in exchange from their monopolistic cash generating power is a very reasonable requirement.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PROLIANT
    Free would be nice but it will never happen, something else will go up in price to compensate.

    True, like the banks spending way out of control and paying silly bonus's to idiots all the while we'll foot the bill. I don't expect anything less.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CLAPTON
    If we had a FSA that looked after comsumers' interests then this would have happened years ago. .. as indeed would a whole load of other requirements on their activities too.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PROLIANT
    FSA? Soon to be de-commissioned and sent the scrap yard, not before time, control to be passed back to the Bank of England.

    I think we need something with balls - the FSA were a waste of space and so are the ICO - we need a power like Trading Standards to take ownership - they seem to be the best at enforcing procedure and would have my vote every time.
    Last edited by never-in-doubt; 30-07-2009 at 10:31 AM.
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