Checked your credit report and spotted something that’s not quite right? We’ll tell you how to get it sorted.
£100 missing from your account? You’d be straight on the blower to the bank, wouldn’t you?
Pay check arrived and you’ve been underpaid? We bet you’d be knocking down your work’s finance offices’ door right away!
Well, the same thing applies to mistakes on your credit report. If you spot one, don’t hang about. It’s just as important to put it right.
Why do I need to get it fixed?
As we said above, you’d fix mistakes on your bank account, payslips, phone bills, mortgage statements, holiday allowance at work, the list goes on... So why ignore the very thing that’s going to help you when you apply for credit?
If you leave it, your credit score could suffer and it could even mean you get knocked back when you apply for credit. And there’s nothing more annoying than going through a credit application, only to get a no at the end.
Plus, each application can leave a mark on your credit report, which you want to avoid if possible, as you don’t want lenders thinking you’re applying for lots of credit.
So, whether it’s the wrong address, a CCJ that you settled on time, an account that you don’t have, or a missed payment that you don’t recognise, don’t stand for mistakes - get it sorted!
Go on then, how do I sort it?
Getting mistakes fixed does require a teeny bit of legwork from yourself, but it should be pretty straightforward.
You have two choices:
1. Contact the lender involved directly and tell them what you think’s wrong.
2. Use the correction services offered by the credit reference agencies. This is a better option if you’re short for time (or a bit lazy!) as they’ll get in touch with the lenders for you.
Whichever way you decide on, gather as much info as you can to back up your correction, such as letters or statements from the lender. They don’t need everything you’ve ever received in the post, but send them anything you think proves your point.
If the lender agrees that you’re right, woohoo! They’ll update your details, or ask the credit reference agency to update your report. And that’s the end of that.
Well, nearly. You might not see the change reflected on your report straight away, as they’re only updated every 4 – 6 weeks.
What if the lender disagrees?
Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to get them to change their minds. Once a decision is made, they tend to stick to their guns.
However, you can add a ‘notice of correction’ onto your report. This is a written statement that you can add to explain your side of the story.
Now, don’t get carried away. They don’t need your life story, just the details of the dispute in up to 200 words. It won’t help improve your credit score, but future lenders will be able to see it when considering your credit application, so it’s worth a shot.
I’m still not happy
If you’re adamant you’re right and want to take the dispute further, you can refer it to the Information Commissioner’s Office. This is the public body that makes sure companies comply with the Data Protection Act. We won’t go into it here, but follow the link to find out more.
Just one more thing!
You have three credit reports and different lenders use different ones before making a decision. If you’ve only checked one of them, it’s a good idea to check the others to make sure they are all showing the right information.
You can check them through the links below and it’s totally free, so no excuses. Pop the kettle on, put your feet up and take a look – your future credit applications will thank you for it!
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.