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What is a credit reference?

Credit reference

A credit reference is a database of information on a person's credit history. It covers things like loans, repayments, repayments and bankruptcies to help potential lenders decide whether a person or company is likely to pay back debt.

Where have you heard about credit references?

If you've ever taken out a loan with a bank, you'll have been asked for a credit reference. Banks use them to check you're reliable and to decide what kind of loan to offer you.

What you need to know about credit references.

Credit references offer information on an individual about:

  • Credit agreements, both past and present
  • How much you owe and your repayment history
  • Information about you on the electoral register
  • Bankruptcies and insolvencies on your record
  • Court judgements

Banks offer extra information in their credit references, including the type of account someone has and how long they've had it for, as well as details of any late payments or overdrafts.

Credit agencies give credit references for individuals and companies. Credit references can also be issued by banks or other financial institutions for a company they've done business with. These are useful when a company is looking to work with a third party to confirm that the company is a good and reliable client.

Find out more about credit references.

For more information on how creditors get information about applicants, read our guide to credit scorecards.

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