Credit reference agency Equifax says consumers can now access their statutory credit report via its website.

The move, which other agencies are compelled to follow after Government guidelines announced yesterday, will give consumers easier access to their credit report (see the Government lending crackdown MSE News story).

It will also help identify their chances of being accepted for new credit cards, loans or mortgages, or to correct errors.

The Government stated yesterday that everyone must have access to their credit report online for a maximum of 2 by June 2010 (see the Credit Rating guide).

In the past, agencies would send you your report, if requested. Access will be free for ID fraud victims and those receiving debt advice.

Rival agencies Experian and Call Credit say their reports will be available online by the June deadline.

Equifax has been trialling the online service since August but it was largely hidden on its website until last month. It was only able to announce the web-based facility today, stating it had to wait for the Government report to come out first.

It's possible for most people to get their report for nothing by signing up to a free trial and then cancelling before the introductory period ends (see the Credit Rating guide).

To be sure of you credit status you need to check all three firms because different lenders report your repayment history, and view it when you apply for borrowing, via different agencies.

Further reading/Key Links

Boost credit rating: Credit Rating
Rate hikes: Reject Rate Jacking
Cut credit card debt: Best Balance Transfers