No credit history? No home Covid test 🤷‍♂️

In summary, been in country less than 12 months, so had to walk 90 minutes for a physical test, some five days later. Madenss.

The Department for Health and Social Care, which is running the test system across the UK, says it uses a credit reference agency, TransUnion, to verify people’s identities to “reduce fraud and prevent multiple testing kits being ordered, diverting capacity from where it is needed most”.

I read that as it took them 5 days to do a 90 minute walk. :rofl:

It doesn’t actually say in the article if they accepted that test site and actually did the journey.

Couldn’t they have taken a taxi with protective gear on, could have been only 15 mins away.

I have in my head the many millions of people around the world that need to walk 90mins to get fresh water in developing countries.

Anyway yes, she should be able to submit documentation to override the identity check.


That was exactly what I had to do when my eldest had symptoms because there are no home covid tests. It’s what the test centre suggested. Pure madness


She could have called NHS 111 or 119 and ordered a home testing kit that way. A little sensationalism here I think.

[…] Both the government and TransUnion were very clear that people do not have to pass a credit check to get a home test kit.

The Department for Health and Social Care also told the BBC: “Tests can also be booked by calling 119 and people can access testing and in-person testing sites, where a member of staff will confirm their identity in person.” […]

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Indeed. Also the Venn diagram of people who are failing identity checks, and requiring home test, and don’t have an available test center that’s in acceptable walking distance, and don’t want to take a taxi, is not going to really overlap at all.

Out of 66 million living in the UK I’m guessing only a handful would be in that position.

Still I hope they found an alternative way to provide identity. Like using the NHS 111. They could have had it dropped round from a local support staff, and shown ID at the door for this exceptional case. I would have hoped they would have suggested a taxi first before that.


The problem IMO is not this particular case, but the concept itself of your credit history having anything to do with access to healthcare and the precedent that it sets.

Credit history should indeed be credit history. It should not be used for anything else. Using it a primary identity verification method is flawed for a variety of reasons. Proving your identity and being part of the UK banking system are two different things (foreigners visiting the UK have no reason to open any financial/credit accounts here, and yet still need to be able to prove their identity, and this is just one of many examples). Furthermore CRAs aren’t really reputed for their customer service and you wouldn’t want your access to healthcare depending on everything being alright with the CRA.

There’s also the privacy aspect of it - you might not want CRAs to know that you requested a Covid test considering these companies also provide marketing/data broker services and one of them was recently told off by the ICO so it isn’t even just a theoretical concern.

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Well the issue here is TransUnion won’t have new people to the country or those just turned adults in its records.

You need to have used at least one service that reports to them for them (not necessarily a bank could be insurance or a phone contract etc) to have you on record with an address to then be queried as living at that address.

The government has its own system which it could have used as instead or as a fallback.

The company you choose to verify your identity will ask you for some personal details. They’ll check those details against records held by mobile phone providers, credit agencies, HM Passport Office or the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).