When it comes to securing finance for a new venture, whether that be a commercial investment or updates to a residential property, it is important to understand your likelihood of securing a good deal on your loan.
Regularly checking your credit report is essential for maintaining good financial health. It provides an overview of your accounts and allows you to address any incorrect information early on.
So, what should you do to correct mistakes on your credit report?
It is important to use a reliable credit reference agency, such as checkmyfile, and monitor your credit history closely to help you catch any credit report errors. If you do find mistakes, know that you have the power to reach out to the provider directly or work with your CRA to take steps towards correcting them.
In this blog, we explain how you can get a comprehensive overview of your credit report and what to do if you notice any wrong information.
How to check your credit report?
If you are looking to check your file for credit report errors, you can do so by using a credit reference agency. There are many to choose from in the UK, and they all have their own unique scoring system – so you may find that your score varies slightly between the different credit reference agencies.
For a more accurate and comprehensive credit report, you can use the checkmyfile credit reference agency. Checkmyfile compares your information from across the four main credit reference agencies, including
You’ll benefit from a more detailed credit history report with valuable insights for improving your credit score.
Are credit reports 100% accurate?
On the whole, credit reports from reputable credit reference agencies are accurate based on the information they are provided from different sources. This includes information provided by lenders, utility companies and credit card companies.
However, with the information coming from a wide source, there is a potential for inaccuracies within the individual lenders and credit providers. Regularly monitoring the information on your credit records is essential for staying on top of any incorrect errors that may impact your credibility.
Most credit information is updated monthly, as this is when lenders typically update their systems.
You can also keep your credit score as high and accurate as possible by registering on the electoral roll and updating your personal information regularly, such as your current and previous addresses and bank details.
Credit reference agencies are only responsible for reporting the information provided to them, and they can only fact-check or correct disputed information once it has been raised.
Mistakes to spot on a credit report
It can be easy to assume your credit record is accurate, especially if you pay your bills on time and rarely make risky financial decisions.
However, mistakes that are beyond our control can happen, so it is always important to stay vigilant and ensure you correct errors as soon as they arise. Common errors you should look out for on your credit report may include:
- Incorrect payment history
- Missing information
- Incorrect personal information such as an address, wrong name or electoral roll registration
- Negative financial associations
- Identity theft or fraudulent activity
Keeping a close eye on your credit report will benefit you when looking to borrow money. After all, it is your responsibility as the account holder to make sure you dispute incorrect information as soon as possible.
What happens if you spot a mistake on your credit report?
Spotting a mistake on your credit report can be unnerving, especially if you are looking to get finance in the near future. For the best chances of maintaining a good credit report, it is important to dispute information that may need to be corrected as soon as possible.
Contact the CRA
Get in touch with your credit reference agency as soon as you see anything abnormal on your credit file. The quicker you contact your credit reference agency, the quicker you can correct any mistakes. The CRA will be able to advise you on what to do next, whether that is a simple fix on your end or to open a dispute over the inaccurate information.
Go directly to the source
One of the most effective and efficient ways to correct mistakes on your credit report is to contact the lender or credit provider directly.
Provided you have sufficient supporting evidence (such as a bank statement), you will be entitled to have any missed payments removed from your file.
Note of Dispute
If you need help correcting your credit report details, then your credit reference agency can contact the source of the incorrect information through a Note of Dispute. A Note of Dispute is a brief statement written by your CRA to contest a specific error or inaccuracy on your credit report.
Remove negative financial associations
If you have opened a shared account with someone in the past or applied for finance together (such as a mortgage or lease agreement), then you will have financial associations with that person. This financial link will remain on your credit record until your credit reference agency has been notified.
So long as all debts are paid and any joint accounts are closed, you can apply for a Notice of Dissociation to remove any unwanted links to your credit file (such as an ex-partner or family member).
In some instances, you may need to take legal action to correct your credit report details if a company refuses to change a credit report error or demands an incorrect missed payment from you.
If a lender consistently demands missed payments from you that are incorrect, then you could risk having a default recorded on your credit report or even a County Court Judgment.
Why would errors occur?
Unfortunately, as with everything in life, mistakes can happen. Errors may occur on your credit report for many reasons, including admin errors from your energy provider or billing companies, incorrect name spelling, outdated information, or failure to update your address or register on the electoral roll.
You can reduce the possibility of negative impacts on your credit score or ability to secure finance by regularly looking out for inaccuracies and updating them promptly.
How long does it take to correct a credit report error?
Correcting a credit report error should take around four weeks, which can vary depending on your specific circumstances.
Working closely with your credit reference agency can really make a difference when you need to dispute information promptly, as they can help reach out to the lender on your behalf.
You can also add a Notice of Correction to your credit report, explaining why specific errors may appear on your credit file.
A Notice of Correction is a 200-word statement which allows you to provide information about any mistakes. This gives lenders more information, allowing them to consider your reasoning when deciding whether to lend money.
Check your credit file today
Are you thinking of applying for finance or a bridging loan in the near future? Then checking your credit history is essential for getting the best deals!
Checkmyfile is a reputable credit reference agency that combines information from top UK credit reference agencies, including Experian, Equifax, TransUnion and Crediva. Their comprehensive credit reports and ability to tap into a vast database of information allow you to gain a more precise overview of your credit history. [highlighted in blue to link to service page – not yet live]
You’ll be able to regularly check your credit score, gain helpful suggestions to improve your credit rating and borrowing ability and keep an eye out for any potential mistakes across your credit reports.
Start your FREE 30-day trial today and take control of your financial health.
Most finance applications are taken on a case-by-case basis. So, if you do find a mistake that you need to dispute or encounter an unfavourable credit history, then this does not have to be a dealbreaker.
At Bridging Options, our lenders will look at various factors such as a sound business plan, strong exit strategy and large deposit in order to find the best bridging loan deals for you.
Do you have to contact the credit reference agencies separately?
If the error on your credit report comes from a lender, utility provider, credit card company or any other company directly, then it is their responsibility to update the information and pass it on to the credit reference agencies.
However, if the information is inaccurate across various CRAs, then you will need to contact each one directly to notify them of the required changes. Checkmyfile can help you with this in some instances, as they provide information from multiple CRA sources.
What if the CRA fails to correct the information?
If the credit reference agency fails to rectify the errors, you can raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). While the ICO doesn’t directly correct credit reports, they ensure that data protection and privacy laws are being followed.
If a credit reference agency is mishandling your personal information or not addressing your concerns appropriately, the ICO can intervene and potentially take regulatory action.
What credit reference agency will a bridging loan lender use?
Bridging loan lenders will need to do a credit check before deciding what type of loan deal to give you. All lenders will have their own unique way of determining your creditworthiness. However, much of this will depend on your credit history and score.
A bridging loan lender will use information from the top credit reference agencies, including Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and Crediva.
It is always a good idea to regularly check your credit score and analyse your credit history across these various CRAs to determine your likelihood of obtaining a good loan. What’s great is that checkmyfile removes a lot of the hard work for you by combining the data from all four CRAs and creating a more detailed credit report.
Read more about bridging loans affecting your credit score here.
Can I wipe my credit file clean?
You can’t completely wipe your credit file if you have a negative credit score, even if impacted by accurate information. However, there are ways to work towards a clean slate and a good credit score by improving your spending and borrowing habits.
To gradually build your credit score over time, paying your bills regularly or setting up a direct debit is essential to ensure you don’t miss payments. It is also crucial to keep your personal details accurate and up-to-date and stay on track with loan repayments.
You may be interested in bad credit bridging loans.