What is a Credit Reference Agency (CRA)?

Credit Reference Agencies, sometimes referred to as ‘Credit Bureaus,’ generate credit scores and other indicators to help with lending decisions and verify identities.

The CRAs gather account information from various financial providers such as banks, telephone, and utilities companies in addition to public information such as electoral rolls and bankruptcies. They collate this information to share with UK lenders to support and inform lending decisions when a customer applies (known as a credit search). Since they have personal information like full names, dates of birth, and billing addresses, they are also able to verify the identity of users.

Lenders use these agencies to perform credit and identity checks. In the UK, there are 3 main credit reference agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. If you have a question or a problem with your credit score or identity verification, you should contact these agencies directly.

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