We're often asked about credit, from Credit Reference Agencies to credit scores and what they mean for you.

If you have questions about credit, take a look at our FAQs below!

What is a Credit Reference Agency (CRA)?

Credit Reference Agencies collect data on individuals and companies such as previous addresses, whether or not you’re registered to vote and if you pay your bills on time. Each CRA will give you a credit score based on the information they have about you.


Other companies use this credit score to help them decide whether to loan you money, offer you a mortgage, a mobile phone contract, credit card, or even a gas or electricity account.


The three main consumer Credit Reference Agencies (CRA) in the UK are:

  • Experian
  • TransUnion, and
  • Equifax.


We currently share data with Experian and TransUnion.

What data do you share about me to a Credit Reference Agency?

Every month, we share information to identify you, such as your name and date of birth, as well as your address, and how long you have been our customer. We tell the CRA if you pay your water bill on time or if you owe us money.


We tell you about the data we share using privacy statements on your annual bills, our reminder letters and also here on our website.

How will I know if you have shared data about me?

When you open an account with us for your water services, we’ll share your information every month for the whole time you are our customer.

Why are you sharing my data?

Sharing data can help us offer the right support to you. It helps you to manage your finances, by stopping you from borrowing more money than you can afford to pay back. It also helps to detect and prevent fraud.

By sharing data we can:

  • make sure your information is always correct
  • protect you from fraudsters (people trying to steal your identity)
  • help you manage your account
  • make sure we offer you the right support when you need it
  • tell you about things that may interest you or help you to save money, and
  • find and collect money from you if you do not pay and do not contact us.
Are you allowed to share my data? Can I opt out?

We take great care to look after your personal information and share it securely. We share only the minimum amount of information that we’re expected to.


Under data protection laws, companies can share information about you, either with your permission or without your permission, if there’s a valid and important reason to do so.


You’re not able to ask us to stop as we don’t need your permission to share your data.


This is because it:

  • supports companies offering money/credit by only letting you borrow what you can afford
  • helps detect fraud and anti-money laundering services
  • is used to confirm a customer’s identity
  • supports finding and collecting money from customers who have not paid their bills
  • supports our legal and regulatory requirements under the Water Industry Act 1991.


Will anyone be able to look at the data you share with Credit Reference Agencies?

No, access to your information is very tightly controlled and only those entitled to do so can see it. There are strict laws and rules which protect your data.

How do I check my credit score?

The easiest way to find out your credit score or rating is through a credit report. You can get a credit report from a credit broker such as Credit Karma.

You have the right to access the information a Credit Reference Agency holds about you. Each Credit Reference Agency can provide you with a copy of the information they hold about you.

I’ve found a mistake on my credit report, what should I do?

If you think you’ve spotted a mistake with your report, you can ask for this to be reviewed through the TransUnion or Experian website.

Click here for TransUnion contact details and TransUnion enquiry form


Click here for Experian contact details and Experian enquiry form

Why has my credit score changed?

As we only share our information, you will need to contact the Credit Reference Agency to ask them about any changes. You can contact TransUnion here, or Experian here.

What affects my credit rating or score?

Your credit score helps lenders decide if they will allow you to borrow money, and lots of things can affect it. If you pay the correct payment on time, you’ll build a good credit score as lenders can see that you are able to pay back money you’ve borrowed on time.


If you pay your bills late or if you pay less than you should, this lowers your credit score and lenders will consider you a higher risk.


Some things can impact your credit score for up to six years. Examples include if we take you to Court for money you owe and you are given a County Court Judgment (CCJ). We can also ask the CRA to register an overdue balance against your credit file, this is called a Default. If you are made bankrupt, this will also stay on your credit file for a minimum of six years.


It is important to make your payments on time. Forgetting to make a repayment can still lower your credit score, because anyone looking to lend money/credit won’t know it simply slipped your mind.


If you’re struggling to pay your bill, the sooner you talk to us the more we can help. You can get in touch with us on Facebook Messenger or call us on 0345 733 5566.

I missed some payments with you but then I caught up, I want my account to show that I am up to date

If you’re up to date with your payments, we’ll share this with the CRAs. If you were previously behind on your payments, we will already have shared this with the CRA for the time you owed us money (unless we agreed with you in advance that you could pay us late).

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