How To Fix Mistakes On Your Credit Report
You know how to avoid a poor credit score as well as how to boost it. And so, you have been doing everything right – including borrowing money and making the repayments on time, sometimes even early.
However, when you check your credit report your score is low. You can’t understand why until you notice a very obvious mistake.
You may think it will never happen to you, but mistakes can and do happen. This is one reason why it is so important to check, otherwise this could have gone unnoticed, lowering your score, through no fault of your own and making it much harder for you to borrow money when the time comes.
If there are mistakes or you have been the victim of fraud, checking your credit report will enable you to rectify it quickly and easily.
Fixing Credit Errors
There are three main credit reference agencies you need to check:
- Callcredit, via the Noddle website
You have a legal right to see a copy of your credit report for £2. Experian and Equifax offer free 30-day trials of their credit report and the Noddle service offers free access to your credit report for life.
So, what do you do if and when you notice a mistake?
You need to challenge it by complaining to the credit reference agency – which can be done either by email or over the phone. They will then contact the organisation that provided the data and investigate it on your behalf.
You could also speak directly to the lender you believe to be responsible for the incorrect entry. Credit reference agencies rely on the information provided by lenders and therefore the lender is often in the best position to resolve this.
Disputed Information Tag
They then have 28 days to remove the information or tell you why they don’t agree with you. During this time the ‘mistake’ will be marked as ‘disputed information’ and lenders aren’t allowed to rely on this when assessing your credit rating.
When the agency receives a response they will let you know the outcome and what action can be taken from there. If they have agreed to change the entry, the credit reference agency will be authorised to update their records.
It may be that the information on your report is accurate but doesn’t reflect your current situation – for example, perhaps redundancy or illness saw you spiral into debt. Now, you’re back in work and paying it off. This can’t be removed but you could add a ‘notice of correction’ to your credit report – a statement of up to 200 words explaining what happened. This means although lenders will be able to see that you have had financial issues, they can also see that there was a valid reason for it and you have since worked towards sorting it out.
If you have contacted the credit reference agencies and the original lender and there is an obvious inaccuracy, which they are unwilling to correct, then you may wish to report your concerns to the ICO.
Images via Pixabay.