A healthy credit report is key to taking advantage of the best deals on the market. So, it’s important the information is up-to-date and accurate so it’s the best reflection of your financial position.
Credit reports can look a bit overwhelming, and the thought of looking through it can seem downright boring but we’re going to show you what to look for and how to rectify it as quickly as possible.
Most of the problems can be sorted by directly contacting the credit reference agency who are holding the information you believe to be incorrect. Below is how you can contact each, then we'll go into the sort of problems you might run into.
Experian Contact them online here
Equifax Contact them online using their 'Ask a Question' page or by calling 0800 014 2955 or 0333 321 4043
Transunion UK (formerly CallCredit) Contact them online here or call them on 800 916 8800
Not being on the electoral roll
If your name isn’t registered on the electoral roll then it’s a really quick fix. You can correct this by registering on the .gov website.
Or, if your name isn’t shown but you have definitely registered on the electoral roll, or if it’s showing incorrectly or with the wrong registration dates – you can correct this by asking the credit reference agency who is holding the incorrect information to change it.
Aliases or other names you have been known by
If there are any names showing on your credit report that aren’t affiliated to you, you can ask for them to be removed.
Correct this by contacting the credit reference agency, be aware that before they remove any names from your file they will have to verify this with whoever provided the information to them in the first place.
Financial associations or associates
It’s important that you’re only shown to be connected to people that you actually share a financial connection with, because their credit report can be taken into consideration by lenders when you apply for credit (read our article, 3 Ways Your Living Arrangements Affect Your Credit Score for more on this).
Correct any incorrect or out-dated financial associations by requesting a disassociation request with the credit reference agency showing this information.
Court judgements will show up on your credit report for six years.
If a CCJ is showing up on your credit file despite the fact you've paid it off then you can correct this by contacting the credit referency agency and asking them to 'tag' the item as 'satisfied'.
If you paid the CCJ within one month of it being issued then it shouldn’t feature on your report at all. If the information is incorrect in any way, then contact the court concerned quoting the case number provided.
Bankruptcies and sequestrations
Bankruptcies will usually be shown on your credit report for six years. If the bankruptcy has ended or been 'discharged' this should be reflected on the item – the Insolvency Service should have informed the credit reference agency for you. Similarly, if the bankruptcy no longer exists i.e. it has been 'annulled' then it should have been removed from your report.
If this is not the case then you can correct this by simply advising the appropriate credit reference agency. It might speed things up if you do this and send along a copy of your Discharge or Annulment Certificate, you ask the court that dealt with your bankruptcy for this certificate and it costs £70, and then £10 for extra copies.
Voluntary arrangements will usually be shown on your credit report for six years. If the voluntary arrangement has been cancelled or completed then correct this by sending the credit reference agency the confirmation from whoever organised the arrangement.
Credit account information
Credit accounts show your repayment history. If any of this is incorrect then ask the credit reference agency and/or lender to amend it. The repayment history is shown through a series of status codes (up to 36 months). These show whether repayments have been made on time or late.
If an agreement with a lender has broken down and their attempts to recover repayments have failed then your account may show as defaulted – then you should receive a notification that the account was falling into default.
If the account was subsequently repaid then it should be tagged as 'satisfied'. If the account has been closed and all payments have been made then correct it through the credit reference agency.
Any organisation that has looked at your credit report is logged as a 'search'. These searches may have been because you made a credit application, or for authentication purposes.
Only in exceptional circumstances should a search be made without your consent. If there are searches on your report that you don’t recognise then contact your credit reference agency as soon as possible.
Your credit file will show addresses you have lived at or been connected with. If you don’t recognise these then you should also contact the credit reference agency.
CIFAS is the Fraud Prevention Service in the UK. Any CIFAS entries will show the name, address or the organisation who registered the entry. If you have any queries about the information then it should be taken up with the organisation concerned.
Our articles cover a wide range of mainstream financial products and employee benefits. Terms and conditions of each product may vary depending on your provider. Please ensure you check the specific terms and conditions of any financial products and employee benefits available to you from your employer.