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What kind of accounts are on my Experian Credit Report?

Key Facts

  • A credit account is any kind of financial account that you have with a bank or financial institution.
  • All credit account information will remain on your credit report for 6 years.
  • How you manage your credit accounts affects your Experian Credit Score. 

What is a credit account?

Examples of credit accounts:

Current accounts

Loans

Credit cards

Mortgages

Utility accounts (e.g. gas, electricity or water accounts)

Home entertainment packages (e.g. broadband, TV and home phone accounts)

Mobile phone contracts

Mail order catalogue accounts

All of these accounts are used to build your Experian Credit Report and Score.  Every 4-6 weeks, we receive an update from the account providers telling us about new accounts, closed accounts, and the payments that have or have not been made.

I’ve got a credit account that I don’t use any more. Should I close it?

If you close any kind of credit account, this can either increase or decrease your Experian Credit Score because there are 15 different ‘factors’ that affect your credit score altogether. Here are some examples:

  • Your credit score will decrease if the average age of all your credit accounts lowers.

If the account you close is the oldest credit account you have, this will lower the average age of your credit accounts, and therefore decrease your credit score.

  • Your credit score will increase if you are using less credit accounts altogether.

If this account is a credit card, and you have 4 credit cards that you use all of the time, this gives the impression that you may be quite reliant on credit. If you stop using so much credit, and you close one of the 4 credit cards you were always using, this might increase your credit score.

  • Your credit score will decrease if you now have less credit available to you overall.

If you have 4 credit cards, each with a limit of £1,000, your total credit limit is £4,000 (assuming you don’t have any loans or overdrafts etc). If you close one of those credit cards, your total credit limit drops to £3000 and this would decrease your Experian Credit Score.

 

How long will a credit account stay on my report for?

All of the credit accounts you have had will stay on your Experian Credit Report for 6 years. If you close a credit account, or pay off a loan, that information will be shown on your report for 6 years from the date the account is closed. In addition, if you miss a payment on a credit account for example,  the account will show 6 years of payment history, even once it is paid off.

The effect of all the actions you take in terms of your financial management will reduce over time – you are most affected by the most recent events.

If you’ve got any questions about your credit accounts, you can speak to one of our team who will be able to discuss your credit report with you and help you understand it further, and show you how you could increase your Experian Credit Score.

If you want to contact us, please call our UK based team on 0344 481 0800.

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