Recently checked your credit history and concerned it’s in a bad state?
Don’t panic - we’ll walk you through what can cause a negative credit history and how you can go about changing it.
I need to correct a mistake
It’s important to check that your credit history is correct and up-to-date.
Any errors can mean the difference between being accepted for a loan, credit card or mortgage and having your application rejected, damaging your credit history further.
And it only takes a small mistake to harm your credit history.
Credit checking agencies - Experian, Equifax and Callcredit - keep a record of your borrowing activity over the last six years or so.
If in the past you’ve been issued with a CCJ (County Court Judgement) but paid this debt within the first month and it’s still showing up on your credit history, this could be an error.
If you do spot a mistake, make sure this is amended sooner rather than later.
You can do this in one of two ways. You can contact the credit-checking agency to let them know of the error so they can investigate. If they agree it’s a mistake, they can remove it.
Alternatively, you can get in touch directly with the lender in question. You might do this if it’s a banking error that has caused your credit history to be affected. For example, if the lender has failed to take a Direct Debit for your minimum payment on your credit card.
Don’t forget you can dispute a negative mark by adding a Notice of Correction to your credit history. This is handy if the lender disagrees that the mark is an error. It allows you to share your version of events with lenders who look at your credit history.
How do I make things right?
If you have a bad credit history because you’ve simply broken your agreement with the lender by missing your payments, there is no way of having these marks removed from your credit history.
Perhaps the simplest thing to do is, if you haven’t already, sign up to the electoral role. This way lenders are able to easily identify who you are, which can help any application you make for credit run smoothly.
Another thing to bear in mind is to make sure you keep up with your current credit card, loan and mortgage payments.
Even missing a smaller payment like your mobile phone contract can have a negative effect on your credit history.
Paying everything on time each month will be reflected on your credit history, and will show lenders that you’re a responsible borrower.
And remember, if you’ve never borrowed before, the lack of borrowing activity may negatively affect your credit history. This is because lenders don’t have a record of how reliable you have been as a borrower in the past.
Some lenders specialise in lending to people with a poor credit history.
Borrowing responsibly and paying back what you owe on time each month will show lenders that you are a trustworthy borrower, and will also gradually improve your credit history.
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