How to correct an error on your credit history

How to correct an error on your credit history

author: Linzi Nuttall

By Linzi Nuttall

If you’ve been wondering why you’re struggling to get credit, or have just been curious to see what your lenders see, you may have gone online to access your credit history.

There are a number of services offering access to your credit report, including free websites like Noddle, ClearScore and CreditMatcher or paid-for ones like Equifax.

Whichever service you use, if you find an unpleasant surprise in the form of a mistake on your credit history, you’ll want to get it rectified as soon as possible. 

But it’s difficult to know how to make changes to your credit history. In this blog, we explain how to go about removing mistakes on it.


What’s wrong?

There are many reasons for mistakes on your credit history.

You could have had a County Court Judgement (CCJ) for example, which if you repaid in full within one month should automatically come off your credit history. If you’ve done this but it’s stayed on, it may be a mistake.

Or, you could have been a victim of financial fraud and someone took credit out in your name. This needs removing because it is unfair for you to be punished for someone else’s actions.

Alternatively, it may be a technical error with your bank, meaning your payment didn’t go through on time, for example. Again, this is out of your hands.

Whatever the reason, if you find something on your credit history that you don’t agree with and think you have grounds to dispute, you have every right to. But how?


How do I get it corrected?

There are two ways to dispute something on your credit history and both have the same outcome – contacting the lender.

You can either do this directly by calling the lender or alternatively, by getting in touch with the credit reference agency (so Noddle, ClearScore or CreditMatcher for example), who will contact them on your behalf.

The lender will then launch an investigation into what happened.

If they agree it is an inaccuracy, the lender will go to the credit reference agency and give them authorisation to fix it in your file. Success!

It’ll take between about four and six weeks to fix, after which time when you log in to see your credit history, you should see the mistake rectified.

Tip: if you get the mistake rectified with one credit reference agency, you will need to check your credit history with the others too and, if the error is there, ask them to do the same.


Notice of Correction

If the lender does not agree that there’s a mistake, you can’t force them to remove it so unfortunately it will stay on your credit history.

There is, however, something you can do in this instance - a Notice of Correction.

A Notice of Correction is a short blurb that you write, which can sit alongside the item on your credit history that you dispute.

You have 200 words in which to write an explanation for what happened. So, if you had a late repayment because of a technical issue with your bank for example, you can explain this in the 200 words, so lenders will be able to see your version of what happened.

This will not change the outcome (i.e. the item will remain on the credit history and your credit score will stay the same) but it allows you to give your side of the story if you like, and for lenders to take that into account.


Don’t just sit back

Whatever the circumstances, if you find something on your credit history that you think is incorrect, you don’t simply have to sit and take it.

There are things you can do and we hope we’ve helped point you in the right direction to get it rectified.

So if you disagree with something on your credit history, go ahead – make the change! 

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Linzi Nuttall

By Linzi Nuttall