Check your credit report, people! You never know what these credit reference agencies may have incorrectly listed against your name. They may still have you residing at the various addresses where you’ve lived in the recent or even distant past. My credit report was so wrong that I couldn’t even borrow a fiver on credit less than a month before I started this journey. Here’s what I did to resolve the issues.
I got a free 30-day trial with each of the three main credit reference agencies; Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit in the UK. Then I carefully checked all the details they had on me. Each credit agency holds slightly different information.
Fighting to Clean your Credit Report
It took me a total of six hours on the phone to remove just one incorrectly listed a default for £11, for example. This error wasn’t the only one. It was, however, well worth the effort for the positive effect it had on my credit score. Just that one result improved my ability to access more cost-effective finance.
I then had to prove that I am registered to vote at my home address. Despite living at the same address for over twenty years and being a regular voter, the credit agencies didn’t have my info up-to-date. This is what lenders use to verify your identity. However, for some reason, none of the credit reference agencies had me listed as registered to vote. Again, this kind of incorrect information can drastically affect your ability to get personal loans, bank accounts, credit cards, or even a decent mortgage rate.
It took me months of writing back and forth before I could get misleading information removed and updated. I even found one old debt still listed on my credit report more than ten years after my business folded. All personal debts should be wiped clean after six years. Ever wondered why your loan repayment interest rates are sky high? Negative information of this sort on your credit report may be to blame for higher than average insurance quotes, credit card rates, and a whole lot more.
Once I had managed to repair my credit report, I checked that everything on it is as it should be. I then decided to cancel the 30-day free trials. If I did not cancel, they would start charging me monthly fees on my debit card for services that I could well do without.
Apply for New Finance to Boost your Credit Report
You’ll want to keep an eye on your credit report for the future. Try the free for life Noddle service. Noodle keeps you up-to-date with information pulled from Callcredit, but also gives you other great options to help you save money, and apply for new credit facilities, too. The ability to get credit is what makes you credit-worthy. Having no credit history is not a good thing in the eyes of banks and other lenders. Clearscore is also another free and useful site for information on cheap finance and keeping a watchful eye on your credit report.
One of the fantastic advantages of cleaning up my own credit report is that I was able to apply for an American Express credit card. It was Amex who had me listed as a defaulter on a ten year old debt. When I queried it, they did send me a cheque for £75 as an apology. Imagine my surprise a few months later when they sent me a credit card with a £5,000 balance. I make sure to pay off my debt every month. The Amex card is super convenient. It earns me British Airways frequent flyer miles and many other benefits from a range of participating brands and outlets.
Good luck in your attempts to clean up your credit report! I hope you’ve found my experience useful.