Before you start thinking about refinancing or applying for new credit accounts, it is important that you check your credit file and find out what the lenders and reference agencies see when they look at your profile. In some cases, there will be incorrect information added on your account, and this will impact your current and future interest rates, as well as your chances of getting accepted for new finance deals. Most people start panicking and have no idea what to do when they discover information on their credit file that shouldn’t be there. Below you will find a few tips on how to solve the problem and make misleading information disappear forever.
Debt You Paid Off
If a debt is still showing a balance on your credit file, even though you already paid it off, it is important that you contact the lender. You will, however, need to take into consideration the fact that credit files take a few weeks to update, so if you only paid off your account balance on your credit card, you might need to wait for a few months. If you don’t see a change after a month, you might want to write to the credit card company and ask them to get the records updated with credit reference agencies. Depending on which credit card company you have an account with, this can take anything from a few days to a couple of months.
If you have had disputed bills that show in arrears, on your credit card, you will need to get in touch with the electricity or utility company and ask them to update the records. However, if you have a letter from them stating that they made a mistake, and you have a zero balance, you might want to take the initiative and contact the credit referencing agencies sending them a copy of the letter. This way, you might see the updates faster, and your bad credit that doesn’t exist will disappear from your file in just a few weeks.
It is important that you keep on top of your address history, and register on the electoral roll as soon as you move. If you moved house and rented out your home, your old address should show as a previous address, and not a current one. To get you off the electoral roll on the old address, you will need to contact your local authority, and ask them to update their records. As soon as you move in your new home, you will need to add your name to the electoral register. Bear in mind that the updates can take a few months, depending on your local authority.
Credit You Never Applied For
If you find financial accounts and services you never applied for on your credit report, you will need to contact the referencing agency for further details. Chances are somebody you know, or a person who got hold of your personal details applied for a loan or a credit card in your name online, and you are financially responsible for the debt. There are several companies offering software and online services to protect against fraud with Netverify, so you can avoid becoming a victim of fraudsters.
If you ever called your bank and failed the security questions, they might have put a fraud marker on your account. Most of the time, these notes disappear on their own after a while, but sometimes they don’t. If you manage to verify yourself by walking into the branch and showing your ID, your fraud marker should be taken off. If it still shows, you will need to get in touch with your financial services provider, and ask them to update their records and inform the credit reference agencies that you have verified your identity, and there is no fraudulent activity on your account any more.
This part of your credit file is very tricky. If you have offered to be a guarantor on one of your friends’ mortgage or loan, your name will be connected with theirs. Likewise, if you still have a joint account with your ex partner, you will have a financial connection. Ask them to get their name off the account, or open a single account and get your name of the product. Other people’s credit rating can impact your chances of getting finance when you need it.
It is important that you keep checking and updating your credit file when necessary. Keep an eye on all the details, and you will get better rates and offers made available by high street lenders.