Understanding Your Credit Check

The NRLA credit check is in four sections:

Gauge Score: A credit score presented at the head of the first page.

Input Details: Section on the first page confirming the details input by you.

Overall Summary: Summary of search results presented on the first page.

Detailed Results Section: The rest of the report which gives more detailed results.

This is a guide to understanding the overall summary section and Gauge Score. We suggest you review the overall summary section and the Gauge Score first. After you review these sections you should review the detailed section to further understand your applicant's creditworthiness and credit history.

Your NRLA credit check should be one element of a selection process that also includes references, discussions with applicants and requests for guarantors where necessary.

Data Protection

The following is very important:

  • If you are a landlord you cannot give the tenant a credit check.
  • If you are an agent you cannot give applicants or landlords a credit check.
  • You cannot publish a credit check.

Understanding the Gauge Score

Gauge Score is a credit rating for the applicant based on all the data you provided and any undeclared data that was found and automatically included. Gauge score is a measurement provided by TransUnion of how individuals with a similar profile manage credit.

Using the Gauge Score given in the report and table A below you can assess the likelihood of an applicant falling into arrears.

As an example 3% of applicants with a Gauge Score of 600 will fall into arrears when given credit. Put another way, 97% of applicants will manage credit successfully.

In the case of the applicant with a Gauge Score of 480 some 66% of applicants with this rating will go into arrears. This is a very bad credit rating. However, some landlords may still accept an applicant with such a bad credit rating if a creditworthy guarantor (who the landlord should also credit check) is available.

Gauge Score % who fall into arrears Gauge Score % who fall into arrears
480 66.0% 570 8.1%
490 58.6 575 6.9%
500 50.0% 580 5.9%
510 41.4% 585 5.0%
520 33.3% 590 4.2%
530 26.1% 595 3.6%
540 20.0% 600 3.0%
545 17.4% 605 2.6%
550 15.0% 610 2.2%
555 12.9% 615 1.8%
560 11.1% 620 1.5%
565 9.5% 625 1.3%

Table A: Percentage of applicants who will fall into arrears for a given Gauge Score.

Important: Applicants with no credit history such as benefit claimants, young applicants or people who prefer not to use credit may have low credit scores. It is therefore important to also use referencing and guarantors as part of your selection procedure.

Understanding the Overall Summary

Address Summary

This a summary of all address data used in the credit search. Tenants do not always declare addresses linked with bad credit. The NRLA credit check is set up to search for other addresses linked to the applicant. When undeclared/linked addresses are found up to four addresses are automatically included in the check for free. If an applicant has undeclared addresses then you should discuss each of them with the applicant.

The report categorises the address as shown in the table below:

Address Category Category Definition
Current Current address as input by you.
Previous Previous Address as input by you.
Undeclared Forwarding Address Any undeclared address which has been searched and which is a future address when compared to the most recent input address which has achieved an Individual level match (see below).
Undeclared Previous Address Any undeclared address which has been searched and which is a historical address when compared to the most recent input address which has achieved an Individual level match (see below).
Undeclared Address TransUnion cannot determine whether an undeclared address is a forwarding address or previous address.

The report will also state the source of the match and the match level of the linking (see table below).

Match Level Extent of Match
Individual Individual found at address entered.
Surname Surname matched to individuals at the address.
House The input address has been found but the input name has not been found at this address.
Not confirmed The data input cannot be matched at name and address level to any TransUnion dataset.

In the example shown below the applicant has been confirmed as currently living at Flat 1A, 99 Top Gear Road at the highest match level (Individual). The source of confirmation was the Electoral Roll. However, two undeclared forwarding addresses (101 Top Gear Road and 100 Top Gear Road) have been discovered although the match level could not be confirmed.

The source of the undeclared addresses was not declared by the credit agency. The two undeclared addresses would have been included in the search results.

Summary of Public Data

This section gives details of bankruptcies and insolvencies (BAI) and County Court Judgments (CCJ's). The information will include decrees, sequestrations, trust deeds, IVAs, bankruptcies, debt relief orders and CCJ records for the last six years. The section details how many judgements are active or have been satisfied/discharged. The total value of the active judgements is also declared. Full details of each judgement are given later in the report.

Summary of Credit History

This section gives details of the number of credit searches over three month and twelve month periods. High levels of credit searches or a sudden high level of credit searches could indicate a high level of existing debt and/or a sudden requirement for debt.

In the example above the applicant has not had any recent searches for credit.

Summary Undeclared Links

This section gives extra details about undeclared addresses, financial associates and aliases (greater detail is given later in the report).

As the accuracy of a credit check is improved by including as much relevant address data as possible the NRLA credit check is set up to automatically include up to four undeclared addresses. The report will state how many of the undeclared addresses have been searched and how many have not been searched.

Undeclared associations are financial arrangements held with other people.

Undeclared aliases are aliases/other names by which the applicant is known by (ie maiden name).

In the example above two undeclared addresses have been included into the results, two financial arrangements with third parties have been identified and an alias has been discovered. Full details will be included in the detailed section of the report.

Summary of Notices

Individuals have the option to correct or dispute information contained in their credit file.

This section summarises whether there are any corrections or notices. Full details are given later in the report.

The example above shows that the applicant is disputing information on their credit file. You should discuss any corrections or disputes with the applicant.

What happens if an applicant disputes the information in the credit check?

Applicants have a statutory right to see all the details that a rating agency hold about them.

The statutory report costs the applicant £2.00 and is available by the applicant contacting TransUnion. The report must be sent to the applicant by TransUnion within 2 weeks of receipt of request. A free and far quicker method for the applicant is to register with www.creditkarma.co.uk. This is a website designed by TransUnion to give applicants instant access to all the detail the company holds about the applicant. The service is free for life.