Credit reference agencies, why’s my credit report so out of date?
I’m angry at the failure of Equifax and Callcredit to update my credit report in good time. Now they’re at risk of damaging my reputation, my pride and my wallet. Are you frustrated with having to leap over credit hurdles?
I moved house in October 2011 and registered to vote immediately. I also transferred all of my bank and credit card accounts over to the new address. Full credit to the banks – the change of address went without a hitch.
In February this year, Harrow Council finally added me to the public electoral register, so I thought my credit file would once again look like normal. No such luck.
Leaping over the credit hurdles
In fact, Equifax went even further: initially its system couldn’t even find my address. It could find the flats on either side, but not mine. I emailed Equifax and it said the list is based on Royal Mail data. Luckily my postman has no such problems.
When Equifax added my address to its system and I finally got hold of my online credit file, I discovered that the company had no accounts associated with my current address, even though I had moved four months earlier.
Experian knew I was registered to vote at my new address, so why didn’t Equifax or Callcredit? Experian also knew that my bank account and credit cards had been transferred over to my new address. So why didn’t Equifax?
Things got worse. I paid for my one-off credit score with each agency and was shocked. Because of the missing data on my credit reports, my credit scores had been decimated.
Callcredit gave me a score of 566. And Equifax rated me as ‘poor’, with a score of just 366, as I have no credit accounts associated with my address. In complete contrast, Experian has all of my up-to-date data and tells me I have a credit score of 963. That’s excellent and roughly what I expected.
Bad credit report lost me my contract
Why does all of this matter? Well, in mid-February I ordered a new mobile phone (the Samsung Galaxy SII, since you asked) on contract with Orange, but my order was rejected as I failed the credit check. Embarrassed, I felt like a teenager with no previous credit, not a 38-year-old professional with a good financial track record.
It could have been worse. If I’d been applying for a mortgage or was in need of a new credit card, these just wouldn’t have gone through. And those failed Orange applications will probably appear on my credit file, further damaging my credit score.
If Equifax and Callcredit can’t update their systems in good time, why should I trust them with my personal data? And if they can’t keep my data up-to-date, they shouldn’t be allowed to have it in the first place.
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