10 million people have found credit report errors: are you one of them? Quick Loans Express explores the effect an inaccurate report can have on your finances.
Credit Score Errors
It is very important to ensure your credit file is accurate. This is because if it isn’t, it can jeopardise your chances of getting a mortgage or any loan such as short term loans or logbook loans. It could even stop you from getting a mobile phone contract or opening a bank account. Lenders, banks and contractors will use your credit file to check your credit score and how you manage your money.
It is possible for there to be mistakes in your credit record and this can be fixed. Mistakes in the credit filing system should not cost you. You should check your credit score before applying for any loans or mortgage to avoid errors and to check for the possibility of being accepted. It is vital to do a prior check, as a rejected loan could further plummet your weak credit rating if you weren’t entitled to a loan.
The reality is that thousands of people face refusals for a loan or mortgage each year because they have a bad credit score. (Find out our bad credit loans high acceptance rates here.) This can either be because of their actions or because of an error. In fact, a record 42% of people who checked their credit report found errors. That is equivalent to 10 million people across the UK and a huge percentage – no doubt many of these people could have been directly affected by these mistakes. However in order to better your chances of getting a good credit score, you need to fix them.
Common Credit Report Errors
- Errors to identity information (name address, phone number)
- Accounts belonging to a person with same or similar name mixed with your file. (known as a mixed file)
- Incorrect accounts resulting from identity theft.
Incorrect Reporting Of Account Status
- Sealed accounts registered as open
- You are an authorised user but are reported as the owner of the account.
- Same debt repeated more than once (possibly under different names)
- A delayed report in time of last payment
Data Management Errors
- Wrong information after a correction
- Accounts that appear multiple times with different creditors listed
- Accounts with an incorrect current balance or credit limit.
All it takes is a mistaken address or simple credit file errors, for your loan application to be declined. The best thing you can do is to check for credit record before applying anywhere. You should examine your credit record and if you find anything odd or something you are unsure about, contact the agency directly. They will help you tackle mistakes and even make a case against firms who have entered incorrect details about your recent loans. (Lenders must consider notice of corrections.)
You shouldn’t only wait for times when you need a loan to check your credit file. You should be keeping a watchful eye out for fraud. Your credit file will flag up any new activity which can inform you in cases of identity theft or mistaken details.
Checking Up Your Credit Score for Free
Credit agencies allow you to check your credit file for free. This allows you to check for inaccuracies, to check your status before applying for any mortgage, loans, or because you are curious to see what lenders can see about you.
Unfortunately, although credit agencies offer you a free viewing of your credit score, there are additional charges for using their further services. Quick Loans Express shows you how to get around it.
There are three main reference agencies that lenders will use to check applicants credit scores. These are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and each credit check company score differently.
Scored Out Of: 999
As an Experian score is the most useful because ¾ of lenders use it, you can access it for free using CreditExpert. Again, it is free for the first 30 days and then £14.99 per month. If you don’t want to pay, download the file and then cancel your subscription as soon as you have signed up.
Using Experian CreditMatcher, you can get just a display of your score only (but not the nitty-gritty details.) If you are a Barclaycard customer, you can view your score for free using their credit card app.
Scored Out Of: 459
It is possible to check Equifax for free using the Clearscore Website, and this is free without any monthly payments. Alternatively, you can go straight to Equifax for a free 30-day trial, and you can see your credit score and report online. After 30 days, you are required to pay £7.95 a month unless you cancel your subscription. A one-off report without monthly payments would cost you £2 and you can get it online or in the post from Equifax.
Scored Out Of: 850
Register to the website Noddle for free. Use Noddle to dispute any unrecognised searches and transactions.
CheckMyFile and CreditAngel also offer 30 day free trials. However, they then charge a monthly fee of around £8.99 after the trial. You have to provide these companies with your bank details up front. The best way to get this free is to download off your credit report before cancelling your subscription.
Consequently, lenders can choose any and they will often pick and choose between them. However, on average, 77% use Experian, 55% use Equifax and only 34% use TransUnion.
How to Report an Error On a Credit Report
If you want to report an error that you have found on your credit report, you should first contact the creditor, credit card or short term loans provider to dispute the mistake. It will be very helpful to provide them with any evidence or documentation so they can fix and update their records. They have to look into and correct your dispute within 30 days. The credit reference agencies then collect these records and update credit files in turn
However, if your creditors deny any errors, you should approach your credit reference agency. After an investigation into your dispute, they will choose how to proceed. You should also check the other credit reference agencies for errors.
Whose Responsibility Is It to Identify Credit Report Errors?
Although it seems unfair, the responsibility to identify credit report errors falls on the consumer and not on the creditor or credit reference agencies. That is why it is extremely important to ensure you regularly check your credit report. If you do find any, report them1
How to Fix a Bad Credit Score
Once you have checked your credit score and tackled any credit report errors, it is time to deal with fixing a bad credit score. A bad credit score reflects badly on your finances and it can stop you getting loans such as an instant payday loan. Quick Loans Express show you 8 ways to improve your credit score. Check it out!
The article "Common Credit Report Errors and How to Fix Them" was last modified on May 8, 2019